LIVE REVIEW: Coheed and Cambria, Soul Glo, O2 Forum Kentish Town, London, 13/06/2023
Photo Credit: Caitlyn Ebsworthy
Following their highly praised Download Festival slot, we took a trip to O2 Forum Kentish Town to catch prog-rockers Coheed and Cambria on the second date of their Neverender: No World For A Waking Mind tour.
Supporting at this show, and at select dates, were Soul Glo, who are described as hardcore punk/rock rap artists. It felt difficult at times to really make out any of the lyrics in their songs, especially as a first-time listener. Their energy was wild and unhinged which made for an engaging and unpredictable performance. In terms of a support act, they brough the hype and energy into the room which often support bands can fall flat on. We didn’t feel however that sonically they were the right kind of sound pairing for the headliners. Their politically charged music was however a refreshing take amongst the genre with a highlight being the song Gold Chain Punk (whogonbeatmyass?). 6/10
The UK and Europe leg of this tour only had a handful of dates, so we found ourselves lucky enough to be amongst the ‘children of the fence’ for this somewhat limited engagement. Coheed enter the stage to a rapture before the fans fell silent almost on command to savour front man Claudio Sanchez open with The Reaping which he plays singularly on a pre-placed acoustic guitar. Fellow band members join for the title track No World for Tomorrow, from the album of the same name which was then played in its entirety. Coheed are no strangers to playing their records in full, as traditions holds, they also like to do it in London having previously played Neverender – 4 albums over 4 nights in full back in 2008.
Sanchez carries an impressive control over his voice and fans who have not seen the band live will be pleased to know he sounds as good on record as he does on stage. There is little to no audience interaction until very late on in the set, which was disappointing especially as the fans were so engaged and responsive to the band. There seemed at points however that there was some almost unspoken connection between front man and audience as fans seemed instinctively prepared to sing along without being asked too. This clearly delighted the band members and made for a really incredible atmosphere. ‘No crowd surfing’ signs were ignored but were met almost with admiration, with the surfers gracefully taking their polite telling offs with a rock salute thrown to the crowd and a smile and pat on the security’s back as they were escorted back through the crowd. Some highlights from the first act of the show included Grave Makers & Gunslingers and Feathers.
After appearing to take their leave, the houselights dimmed before the band returned to play a few tracks from their latest album Vaxis II: A Window of the Walking Mind. This was a nice turning point in the show as it felt as though a musical transition had occurred almost as if the band were saying goodbye to their old material and switching back into their new chapter (which is no coincidence seeing as their music is based on comics penned by front man Sanchez). We found the biggest moment in the show was when the opening riff of Liars Club started and the crowd at this point lost their minds.
Perhaps some of the nicest crowd we’ve ever been up amongst, with polite moshing and standing aside to let people through, these rockers have clearly built a strong community where music can be enjoyed to the full and the experience is best enjoyed shared. We’re excited to see what Coheed do next. 8/10
Photos and Words: Caitlyn Ebsworthy