Coheed & Cambria // Thrice // Touché Amoré // Live Review // The O2 Academy // Birmingham
It was a cold, wet October evening when I found myself adventuring to the land of musical performances known to locals as the O2 Academy Birmingham for a night of live music goodness. Sci-fi Prog act Coheed and Cambriawere touring their latest album, with support from Alt-Rockers Thrice and Post-Hardcore/Emo legends Touché Amoré. As I queued to enter, the level of excitement was astronomical, which is unsurprising considering how much fans of all three bands truly love them. The energy and excitement were infectious from the very moment I arrived at the venue and couldn’t wait to get shooting the first band.
After a fairly long wait, the room was full as Touché Amoré took to the stage. Despite the slightly quiet reception at first, all it took was the duration of the opening track Come Heroine for the crowd to be absorbed into the set. I personally love this band more than I can put into words (which says a lot considering I’m a journalist) and found myself lost in the crowd for the duration of the set. Playing a mix of tracks from their discography, it wasn’t until the end that the emo fully kicked in with Flowers and You, an utterly heart-breaking track that hits too close to home and left me in tears. I headed outside for a breather and was so happy to have finally seen one of my favourite bands live. The crowd were slowly heading out to smoke, and all around me were people loving life, it was great to be around such a positive force of energy.
After a fairly long changeover, Alt-Rock legends Thrice hit the stage with a fairly impressive light show and an even more impressive performance. While the stage presence left me wanting more, the tightness of the set is where they truly shone through with track after track sounding ridiculously well-rehearsed and the crowd absolutely loving every second of it. By the end of the set, the crowd were well and truly warmed up, Thrice had played an absolute belter of a set that I couldn’t pick fault at if I wanted to and the crowd was happy, so I headed out for a cigarette to cool down before the night’s main event began.
As I headed back in, the crowd were ravenous, cheering at every single movement that happened on the stage even before the main event of the night kicked in. Before I knew it, an announcement that I barely managed to make out over the eruption of cheers and screams blared through the speakers and the headline act took to the stage. In my entire time photographing shows, I’ve never seen an audience that intense in my life, and between the energy from the crowd and the ridiculously tight performance, I can understand exactly why everyone I spoke to that I talked about never seeing the band live before were shocked. It was an incredible experience, especially thanks to how ridiculously tight the set was from start to finish. I have to reiterate though; I cannot believe how much the crowd made the show. Coheed thrived off of the energy coming out of that audience and used it to fuel one of the best live performances I’ve had the pleasure of seeing.
When the band had finished, I headed for the bus in the pouring rain and just kept thinking about how damn good of a show it was, everyone leaving the venue was happy, smiling and an awful lot of them had also spent an incredibly large amount on merch from all the £60 hoodies I saw looking like the tide going out to sea. It’s great that there are still bands that people love this much performing outside of just the odd arena tour or festival slot, and the entire bill helped me remember just why I love live music as much as I do. The community it builds for a single night that you only get to be a part of if you’re there at that exact moment.