Just as Freddy Krueger is said to be the son of a hundred maniacs, Circa Survive seemed like a band incepted from roots in various different other bands. I’d only ever heard of the band before their support slot at the Metro on Sunday, though I had heard a certain faction of the audience describing tonight’s’ proceedings as a ‘double headliner.’
Coheed and Cambria, with Circa Survive,
Palace Theatre, Melbourne, April 21, 2013…
I detected shades of Placebo, The Eagles, Smashing Pumpkins, Iron Maiden and Kaiser Cheifs, amongst other apparent auditory influences. It was a combination that seemed to work well together, and it certainly seemed to be keeping the ‘double headliner’ crowd immediately in front of the stage happy, with significant trickles of satisfaction seeping back through the rest of the crowd. The lead singer flounced enthusiastically around the stage through their handful of sprawling songs, leaving me wanting to find out more.
It was clear as the lights dimmed that, despite the thoughts of the Circa Survive die-hards, Coheed and Cambria were the real headliners of the night. It had not been a sell out, although the Metro looked crowded as everyone vied for prime position (luckily an easy prospect at such a fine venue.) Still, there was a lot staked on the bands’ performance. Coheed is a band that have in the past given us cancellations, shows tarnished by bad audiences, but also albums rich with production featuring dynamic effects and broad instrumentation. How well would that translate to the stage? Would it need to be toned down? It was a little concerning to see, just prior to the band’s emergence, a stage populated by the rock basics – guitars and drum kits – but no sign of the sing section or piano that makes their albums complete.
Opening in anthemic style with No World For Tomorrow, the enthusiastic delivery and receptive audience went a long way towards making up for the elements not present from recordings. The rest was made up by a DJ delivering suitably science-fiction interludes and introductions to the remaining songs. It’s an impressive set, though focused on more recent material, and also, perhaps oddly for a band with a varied collection of slow and more progressive tunes, focused entirely on heavier material. A cool down sway with wedding favourite (presumably) Wake Up would not have felt out of place.
Nevertheless, the show didn’t disappoint, and a Coheed and Cambria headline show more than made up for the hit and miss affair of Coheed and Cambria in festival-mode, and their associated audience.