Review: Coheed and Cambria, O2 Academy Newcastle

Coheed and Cambria returned to Newcastle's O2 Academy on October 12.
Coheed and Cambria returned to Newcastle's O2 Academy on October 12.

The nights are darker, the rain is heavier and there's a chill in the air - it means autumn gig season has officially arrived.

Summer is long behind us and the festival circuit has drawn to a close for another year - it's time to enjoy those cold, dark nights indoors with a band you love.

And I, along with the hundreds of other people packed in to Newcastle's O2 Academy, started my weekend doing just that.

Enter, Coheed and Cambria.

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The four-piece are touring their latest album Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures, which was released earlier this month.

Picking back up on the band's long-running Amory Wars concept - a space-age comic book series written by front man Claudio Sanchez - the 15-song epic continues from where 2013's The Afterman: Descension left off.

Epic is certainly the right word for it.

Launching with The Dark Sentencer the set was loud, proud and perfectly polished. Sanchez's voice is undoubtedly one of the best in the business, with every high note he hit sounding effortless.

Coheed are one of those groups who don't mess around, and I love them for it.

They took to the stage with no preamble and while there's always time for a little chat and banter with the crowd, what we're really here for is the music.

And they really packed in the hits, both old and new (honestly, the new ones are so good you just know they're going to be hits by the time the next album rolls around).

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The holy trinity of the night, if you will, was made up of Devil in Jersey City, Blood Red Summer and Ten Speed. More than 10 years have gone by, and they still stand the test of time as firm favourites.

My set highlights? Wake Up, Welcome Home and A Favour House Atlantic are always a treat to the ears and the eyes, as the whole crowd swayed, bounced and sang along in total synchronicity.

But my song of the night has to go to Island.

I was a huge fan of 2015's Colour Before the Sun - the only of the band's album not to fit in with the Amory Wars concept - and getting to hear one of its strongest tracks was really the cherry on top of an awesome autumn night. The only thing the gig was missing, for me, was Here To Mars, a personal favourite from the Coheed back catalogue.

I'm already braced for the next instalment ...

*Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures by Coheed and Cambria is out now.