Deftones & Coheed And Cambria @ Southampton Guildhall, 15/11/2010

The temperature outside the Southampton Guildhall this evening is rapidly dropping to near freezing whilst people are still queuing to get in through the doors. Luckily, the atmosphere on the inside is much less frosty. In fact, it’s positively electric with excitement and anticipation of the show ahead once the crowd starts culminating in the main room. The DJ is spinning tunes for the eager crowd, and to get everyone ready and fired up (and to generate a little heat to the cavernous room as well) Slayer is belted out through the PA system as a level of decibels normally equalled only by the performing bands! It does well to get the crowds warmed up and ready for the proceeding show, though, as when the lights dim at around 7:30 for New Jersey prog-prodigies Coheed And Cambria, the frontline of the crowd bellow out battle cries like there’s no tomorrow.

Coheed And Cambria take to the stage under a camouflage of strobe lights and spacey, atmospheric sound effects reflective of the kind of progressive rock/metal blends and sci-fi fiction that have given them their devoted fan base. When they introduce their set with the equally entrancing In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3, it becomes clear that Coheed And Cambria know who they are playing to tonight. They don’t have to impress a new crowd, nor are they deliberately trying to win over any new comers to their shows. Instead, they know they are playing to people that, for the most part, know about them already and as such they dive right into a bunch of handpicked older songs as well as a bunch of new tried-and-tested ones from their latest release Year Of The Black Rainbow. After the marching sounds of In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 start to fade out, they kick things up a notch with Ten Speed and then right into latest fan favourite Here We Are Juggernaut. It’s during moments like these, and when they plough head on into crowd pleaser A Favour House Atlantic, that you can see how Coheed And Cambria have gradually become more and more of a tightly knit unit. Claudio Sanchez is a whirlwind of hair, guitar and awesomeness whilst bassist Mike Todd has some impressive techniques on show tonight and, whilst they aren’t accompanied by the backing singers they have had in the past, Travis Stever does a fantastic job of adding in backing vocals and frantic guitar work on newer tracks like This Shattered Symphony and the powerful World of Lines.

When No World For Tomorrow makes it powerful entrance onto tonight’s bill, though, its ex-Dillinger Escape Plan drummer Chris Pennie who really shines through with his machine gun silo drumming, belting the double-kick drums so hard over the PA that it’s to collectively pop everyone’s ears! It’s impressive stuff, nonetheless, and whilst Coheed And Cambria don’t do their usual mid-set cover of Iron Maiden’s The Trooper, they do round off their mammoth support set with the awesomely triumphant Welcome Home which plasters a big fat smile across every fans face, getting them to chant back at the stage area as if they were battle cries. Though Coheed And Cambria have an hour-long support slot tonight, their time on stage seems to fly by, and they leave the crowd sufficiently feverish for more. Let’s just hope that, in due time, Coheed And Cambria will grace our fair shores for a headlining tour once again.

After what seems like hardly any time at all, the lights dim once again, hailing the arrival of Sacramento’s finest rockers Deftones. They waste no time in whipping the crowd into a frenzy by opening with the viceral Rocket Skates. As with Coheed And Cambria before them, Deftones know what the crowd tonight have come for, and as such their hour-and-three-quarters long set list comprises of a majority of songs of their latest release Diamond Eyes as well as fan favourites and older classics such as My Own Summer (Shove It) and Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away), each of which the crowd recognise instantly as soon as they start. It’s only half-way through their set tonight that Deftones indulge the crowd with Diamond Eyes and the slow churning, earth moving You’ve Seen The Butcher, leading man Chino Moreno leading the crowd in every scream, every shout and every movement. Chino cuts an impressive figure tonight, constantly bounding from one end of the stage to the other, spending more time on the elevated parts of the stage an entire body length higher than the crowd than he actually does on the stage itself. The only thing missing from this show tonight is their bassist Chi Cheng, who is still currently hospitalised in a semi-conscious state after a car crash a couple of years ago, with Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega standing in for him since. Some members of the crowd have turned up tonight in “One Love For Chi” T-shirts they have made themselves, and this does not go unnoticed by Chino or any of his band mates as they dedicate a song to him.

Towards the end of their set, a light shines onto a hanging disco ball which lights up each member of the room as Chino leads into the darkly haunting and strangely romantic Sex Tape, before they start rounding off the night with the huge sing-along of Minerva, Passenger and the ethereal sounds of Change (In The House of Flies). As they leave the stage for the night, a huge smile is slapped across each fans face as everyone piles back out into the freezing temperatures of the night. After the show, many of the members of each band are hanging around, all too willing to sign merchandise, take pictures and generally hang out for as long as they can. There are rumoured difficulties at home for Chino, which could be why he’s one of the last people to make a show. But nonetheless, Chino is nothing but a true gentleman when he does, as are all the rest of the members of both bands on tonight’s bill.

And that’s ultimately what tonight has been about for Coheed And Cambria and Deftones tonight – the fans. It’s in how their set lists are put together, it’s in how they address the crowd like they’re talking to each of them individually, and it’s in the length of time they spend with their fans afterwards, just hanging out. And that’s what sets both of these bands into a class of their own – their creativity, their uniqueness and not forgetting where they came from and who their fans are.

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2 Comments

  1. It seems today that Coheed and Cambria put up a link on their website page to my humble little blog, All I can say is that I am massively geeked out by this, and never thought that my articles would be good enough to be recognised by the bands! So, yes, a super massive extra huge Thank You to all the guys in Coheed And Cambria for thinking this is good enough to be worth a mention, and I encourage anyone reading this to leave some feedback about what you think of the entry and, if you were at the show, your thoughts on the night as well.

    P.S. Yes, I am the same guy that asked for pretty much every Amory Wars Volume I had to be signed!! Thanks again for that, i realise it might have been a pain considering the weather, but it was totally appreciated at the same time!

  2. So, it seems that today even more people are heading over to my blogsite, which I’m truly loving! Just to let everyone know, if you really do like what you’re reading here, then you can subscribe to this blog and the more people I get subscribing, the more likely I am to post things on here more often!


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