Monday, March 18, 2013

Culture: Coheed & Cambria At Radio City Hall, New York

Heavy Metal has developed a lot since its birth in the 60s of the last century. In around 50 years many different variations have appeared. Today exists a large spectrum of music forms that are regarded as heavy metal or are somewhat related to it.

Last Saturday I experienced 3 different interpretations of the heavier kind of rock music as I attended a show at New York`s Radio City Hall (wikipedia). The performance started with "Russian Circles", an instrumental band from Chicago that I have seen before last year at New York´s Bowery Ballroom (myspace).

The group, which reminds me of "Mogwai" (mogwai),  consists just of 2 guitarists and 1 percussionist, but they delivered massive walls of sound anyway. Their pieces started atmospheric but were building up tension and augmented then into enormous acoustical gravity waves as heavy as a neutron star. I hope I will get this experience soon again.

I also enjoyed the following band. "Between the Buried And Me" is a metal band from North Carolina (facebook). Their vocalist delivered the typical "death growl",  sometimes also called "cookie monster" vocals (.wikipedia). He was accompanied by 2 guitarists, 1 bassist plus 1 drummer. The band served a complex structured speed metal, which reminded me a bit of "Queens of the Stone Age" (wikipedia) but was much heavier.

The main act of the evening was the local band "Coheed & Cambria", who is since 1995 in business and celebrated last year a Top 5 Billboard album (The Afterman: Ascension coheedandcambria). It seems that they have many fans in the city. A lot of spectators arrived just before their show, ignoring the much better support bands before.

The stage was then framed by two cubic glass boxes on each side. Each glass cube contained a group of naked mannequins in different poses. This arrangement gave the concert a kinky and weird atmosphere. The focused light show and the strategical application of fog and shades underlined the surrealist effect which was quite impressive.

The long intros to each song created an ambience in the style of a sinister post-apocalyptic science fiction movie. The stage then was kept in dark and you could hear a blurred metallic sounding female voice that gave the impression of a disturbed computer.

Disappointingly the songs that followed didn´t match this dark scenario. Instead the band delivered somewhat sweetened mainstream pop songs which animated their fans to a merry sing-a-long.

The hall, which is often used for Christmas shows, Musicals and the "Cirque du Soleil" wasn´t appropriate for metal concerts or even hard rock. I couldn´t walk to the stage, because there was a barrier. I neither was allowed to stand in the aisle and had to sit tight on the seat we bought in advance, far away from the bands.

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