Though musicians like the Who, the Pretty Things and the Beatles have tried their hand at the concept album, none have had the level of commitment shown by Coheed and Cambria. The Nyack-native prog/punk outfit, appearing at the Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) on Thursday, September 13, has released five albums in the past decade, all of which are based in a science-fiction realm created by frontman Claudio Sanchez, called the Amory Wars.
It’s not that the band doesn’t have enough wild stories from its own reality to draw from: infighting, drugs, armed robbery, big crazy hair. Perhaps it’s not as romantic as the 78 planets of Heaven’s Fence, but it sure seems an awful lot like rock ‘n’ roll.
The performance at UPAC comes one month ahead of the release of the band’s sixth album, another chapter of the Amory Wars called The Afterman: Ascension, which is itself the first half of a planned two-album cycle, with The Afterman: Descension on tap for 2013. This could also be the last Coheed and Cambria show in the area for a while, as Sanchez’s Amory Wars story – already a successful comic book series – is in development for a film adaptation.
The album and tour see the return of Josh Eppard to the band; the Kingston musician was with Coheed and Cambria from 2000 to 2006, returning to the fold last year. He joins Sanchez and longtime guitarist Travis Stever, as well as new bass guitarist Zach Cooper. The UPAC show will be something of a family affair, as 3 – founded by Eppard with his brother Joey – will serve as support act.
Coheed and Cambria with 3 perform at the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston on Thursday, September 13 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $28 and are available through the Bardavon and UPAC box offices. For more information, visit www.coheedandcambria.com or www.bardavon.org.