Coheed and Cambria @ McMenamins Edgefield - Portland

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     The Window of the Waking Mind tour finale with Mothika, Alkaline Trio and headliner Coheed and Cambria took place last Wednesday on Troutdale Oregon's cozy Edgefield lawn. Nestled between the trees, underneath a sunset scattered and strewn, the New York prog metal foursome explored their career up to the new record, Vaxis - Act II: A Window of the Waking Mind.

     Frontman Claudio Sanchez made a rock and roll spectacle of himself with Young-like energy: sprinting, kicking and hairflipping, but never ceasing to execute driving riffs and dynamic soprano vocals. Behind him was the intimidating, giant 3D visage of a horned demonic alien head surrounded by a mothership's worth of lights, and in the stage center was a roughhewn metal sculpture of the band's symbol dressed in LEDs. 

     Every member displayed animation and excitement of theatrical intensity. An attention to crowd engagement and interaction was also integral. Sanchez often approached the edge of the stage, handing young fans guitar picks and frequently letting the audience sing for him. This was certainly appreciated, as the flying hair in the crowd almost matched Claudio's mane in vigor and proportion. 
     Coheed and Cambria have uniquely dedicated fans because of the vast lore that accompanies their identity. Sanchez has based the bulk of the group's musical material on his literary fiction, The Armory Wars. In addition to nine conceptual albums, several companion comic books and a full-length novel have been released to narrate the sci-fi plot. This collection of art in all forms yields an entire universe to take part in, and makes Coheed more than just a band.