Coheed and Cambria, Sheer Mag
The National Theater, Richmond, VA
By Lisa Wills
'The Great Destroyer Tour' from progressive rockers Coheed and Cambria descended on The National Theater this past Saturday, March 5th. The 1,500-capacity legendary historic Richmond, VA venue was sold out and I was lucky enough to score a VIP ticket on the pre-sale! There are two VIP options for this tour, MAGE or PRISE, and my MAGE ticket included early entry, early merch access, band question/answer session, group photo, acoustic performance and signed lanyard. It was reasonably priced and worth every cent.
Travis Stever, Claudio Sanchez, Zach Cooper and Josh Eppard strolled to the front of the tour backdrop and their liaison, Ernie, introduced himself and began taking questions from the crowd via mic. There was ample time given to all who raised a hand and the band responded in kind, providing thoughtful responses over the twenty minute period. Sanchez even took part in a proposal after a fan asked him to speak the first sentence of the chorus to 'The Suffering' as he dropped to a single knee and produced a ring...she said yes! Once the questions were done we took photos with the band in small groups, the PRISE VIP's were admitted for early entrance/merch and we stood a short time for the band to return for their acoustic performance, 'Love Gun' by KISS. Once it ended the doors to the public opened and we waited an hour for the show to begin.
I had never heard of the supporting act, Sheer Mag, but my head snapped straight up to center stage as vocalist Tina Halladay belted the opening wail of 'Steel Sharpens Steel'. Her powerhouse vocals combined with their blues-infused, seventies classic rock vibe had the crowd moving to the beat instantly. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Spotify, I'll be keeping an eye out for future tour dates.
Once the room went black the packed crowd roared and chanted, "COHEED! COHEED! COHEED!", until the familiar first notes of 'In Keeping Silent Secrets of Earth:3' began. The lights cut on and the atmosphere became brilliantly electric in expectation of what was to be a night I will surely never forget. Each fan in the capacity crowd wore a gigantic smile and sang along to every single song including all the faves: 'No World For Tomorrow', 'The Suffering', 'A Favor House Atlantic' and 'The Gutter'. Their impressive seventeen song setlist included three songs from the upcoming album; 'Shoulders', the recently released 'Liars Club', and 'Rise Nianasha (Cut the Cord)'. The album drops on May 27th, check out their special merch offerings for that release here.
Coheed had a second reason to celebrate in Richmond, it was the 20th anniversary of their debut album release, 'The Second Stage Turbine Blade', which Sanchez addressed and thanked the fandom for the decades of support.
The band closed out the evening with their epic hit 'Welcome Home'. I left wishing the show could last forever and cannot wait until next time, I'm still on cloud nine. This leg of the tour is almost over however the next leg begins on July 12th in Miami, FL with Dance Gavin Dance, move fast on those tickets before they sell out!