Mosh pits, flashy lighting and more filled the Mill & Mine last night.
New York progressive-rock band Coheed and Cambria played to an energetic audience in a sold out show Monday night. Opening for the band was Missouri-based indie rock group Foxing.
After the opening act, Coheed and Cambria took the stage to a packed venue with just a few excited fans. However, as soon as the lights went out, the audience exploded with yells, screams and plenty of hands in the universal “horns” gesture for heavy metal.
The band put on a surprisingly impressive show, bulked up by an irresistible stage presence and killer light show. Frontman vocalist, rhythm guitarist and graphic novelist Claudio Sanchez put on an amazing performance, combining both catchy alternative progressive rock tones with upbeat melodies similar to bands like A Day to Remember, Panic at the Disco, Escape the Fate and other pop-inspired rock groups of the early 2000s.
With Sanchez, both lead guitarist Travis Stever and bassist Zach Cooper sang backup vocals with intertwining harmonies as they played ear-splitting riffs for most of the songs.
Most of the material Cambria played was from their latest 2018 album. To some fans, the abundance of newer material rather than older songs seemed like a disappointment.
“I just thought it was going to be different,” said a concertgoer next to me. “I’ve been listening to them for a long time, and I didn't even recognize most of the songs because they were off the new album. An awesome show, but I was a little disappointed”.
Like many shows at the Mill & Mine, the audience was very calm for such a high-energy band. With the occasional headbanger or obsessive fan, most in attendee seemed like once-young rockers that are now in their mid-30s, visiting the venue for a comfortable night out.
At the end of the show, despite Knoxville’s city ordinance laws about loud music, the band came back on stage after a chorus of “one more song!” The band obliged and played one of their early and most popular songs, “Welcome Home,” to many audience members’ excitement.
During the song, a mosh pit erupted as the band dug into the heavy doom rock guitar riffs. It was the first time I’d ever seen such a calm, easygoing mosh pit.
Overall, Coheed and Cambria had an enthusiastic and fun show that never seemed to die down in energy for the entire concert. Although they didn’t perform songs from their vast collection of material from the last 23 years of their existence, Coheed and Cambria definitely made themselves heard in the Scruffy City.