The Tivoli is Brisbane is one of those great venues you talk about with fervor and fond memories and since I’ve been in Brisbane I have two very awesome adventures to the Brisvegas hotspot. As one of those older style venues in capital cities slowly dying out, it’s everyone’s duty to see something there at least once before it disappears. The layout is typical of its era and although it’s had several transformations over the years, it’s still oozing with style and character.
Far from their stadium rock brothers, Coheed and Cambria appreciate the style and feel of a venue for their tour and often play in gorgeous old theatres like the famous Starland Ballroom nights and the Hammerstein Theatre forays in the US. For their Australian tour they picked three of the finest venues we had to offer. In Melbourne they’re at the Palace, the Metro in Sydney and of course, The Tivoli in Brisbane last night. Intimate spots which suit the sound they specialise in.
The night started out slow, with us 6 people arriving on time, but the gates not opening til 30 minutes after the time they should have. No a big deal, but it seemed every fan in Brisbane was out in force with line quietly forming down the block. After an hour of waiting we were in.
I didn’t really know much about the support, Circa Survive, before the gig and only had a chance to listen to their latest album after seeing them on the bill late last year. It’s not my favorite style of music, but those fans of some of the more important bands such as Deftones might find something to like in their sound. The one thing I have noticed is that they sound almost identical in lead vocals as Coheed but without the well written lyrics. My mate turned to me in middle and said “This is pretty shit” which was a sentiment I shared until the last two songs. They were polite and the image of graciousness in addressing the crowd and there were obviously fans there because I looked around to see people happily singing along to the tracks. But they were merely the taster to the banquet that was, Coheed and Cambria.
Coheed and Cambria
From the moment they took the stage until after the encore, fans of Coheed are nothing but that, fanatics. The energy in the room was truly electric and people craned their necks to catch glimpses of Claudio Sanchez’s huge long afro or the truly epic drumming of Josh Eppard. Most of the time I couldn’t see them, but the brilliant guitarsmithing (not a word) of Travis Stever and Zack Cooper made the room feel alive.
The night was not without incident though, with a mishap involving the lead microphone stand, a shitty roadie, non-existent security, lots of blood and a swearing and expletive Claudio. We were a little out of the line of sight at the time but we were talking about it with others and believe Claudio knocked down the mic stand, it hit a patron/or Claudio himself and caused blood to be sprayed across the front row. In the US, this would have been a definite law suit, but in Australia we see this as a sign of a good night and a constant reminder of the best concert we’ve ever been to RE: any Angels or Radiators concert from the eighties.
The set list was some of the most epic tracks the band delivers from ‘No World for Tomorrow’, ‘Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant’, ‘The Crowing’ and ‘Here we are, Juggernaut’. Peppered through the set list were some of the slower songs which in all honesty were fillers for the epic-ness that is the ongoing story of the Amory Wars saga. One ever-important song in every setlist for Coheed made its triumphant appearance as last song and how truly triumphant it was with its sprawling construction and multi-layered progressive goodness, ‘In Keeping Secret of a Silent Earth: 3’. The rendition, usually presented in about 6 minutes (give or take a minute) was extended into the epitome of truly epic by doubling the time (12 minutes in total) with various breakdowns, false endings and then completing the finale of the show with every member of the audience passionately belting out along with Claudio and co like they were there on stage with him.
The crowd, not satisfied with the end of the gig, began to chant in unison the chorus from ‘IKSSE:3’ before the quartet took to the stage for the encore of two songs. The night finished up with us all leaving satisfied, but as with any good band with many, many songs; wishing we had seen our favourites. Very little was played off the first album (some of us believe the greatest) but this is to be expected after seven albums (the last two within less than a year).
I filed out with the rest of the elated, sweaty fanatics quietly listening to two comic nerds professing their love for Coheed behind me in the march.
First nerd: “That last song before the encore was like my whole life!!”
Second nerd: “I’m so happy they played ‘The Afterman’!”
First nerd: “You like ‘The Afterman’??! That song is like the best and their best new song!!”
Nerd talk blah, blah, blah…[fade to black]…