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Coheed and Cambria in OKC: A Family Affair

Coheed and Cambria made their highly anticipated return to OKC on May 14. On tour to support the release of their tenth studio album Vaxis II: A Window of the Waking Mind, the Criterion bustled with excited fans young and old alike. The last time the group graced an Oklahoma stage was when they opened for My Chemical Romance on the first night of their North American tour last August.

Taking place on Mother’s Day, it appeared that many families were out celebrating the holiday with their favorite band; the concert can only be described as a family affair. In fact, it felt as if there were just as many kids in attendance as adults—a rarity for progressive rock shows. If one had to guess, it’s likely that this concert was many of the kids’ first live show.

A common theme ran throughout the night: homemade matching merch. A few examples include a mother and her young daughter wandering around the venue in matching handmade tie-dye shirts that read, “Coheed.” A pair of sisters, jumping around in excitement, wore shirts riffing on lyrics from “The Gutter,” which read ‘Better call your mother,” while their mom wore a shirt that said, “Mother Superior.” Those not in homemade shirts bought their own at the merch stand. Too excited to wait, more than a couple of small children roamed the venue in short-sleeved tour shirts that were three times their size, sleeves going down to their wrists.

Enthusiastic fathers hoisted their children onto their shoulders so their kids could get a bird’s eye view of the stage. One young girl in a sparkling tiara celebrated her birthday this way, wearing a sash that read, “It’s my freaking birthday.” Singer Claudio Sanchez noticed her sash and tiara and bent down with a pick in his hand, gesturing for the venue security to deliver it to the birthday girl.

As the night wore on, a few kids fell victim to Sanchez’s melodious voice as they lay cradled in their parents’ arms, lulled to sleep as if he were singing them a lullaby. Guitarist Travis Stever wished the crowd a great holiday. “Happy Mother’s Day! Thanks for celebrating it with us,” he said in an interlude between songs.

As for Coheed, the band—as always—put on a show unlike any other. Opening the concert with “The Reaping,” Sanchez took the stage with his acoustic guitar before eventually being joined by the rest of the band. This was just the beginning of the group’s monstrous—no holds barred—twenty song setlist, which saw Coheed play fan-favorite album No World For Tomorrow in its entirety.

The nearly two hour concert reached its second half with the foursome’s seven song “encore.” Featuring “The Embers of Fire,” “Rise, Naianasha (Cut the Cord),” “Beautiful Losers,” and other songs from their new record, the set had something for new and old fans alike. Coheed’s performance proved that they’re at the top of their game, keeping up their reputation for being one of the best live rock bands today—one which can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Coheed and Camria’s headline tour continues before joining Incubus’ amphitheater tour this summer. Upcoming tour dates can be found on the band’s website.

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