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Coheed & Cambria - O2 Ritz, Manchester 23.08.2016

Tonight is incredibly hot and despite an easy journey down, I find myself in a bit of an off mood which is odd considering I have been building this show up in my head for weeks. From the confirmation email to now, all I have spoken of is the fact I will be in the pit for the legendary Coheed & Cambria. So with my unexplainable bad mood sitting at the forefront of my mind tonights first band Mewithoutyou are already fighting a losing battle with me. Despite impressing me with their unrelenting energy, especially from lead singer Aaron Weiss who moves like a man possessed, I find myself unable to connect with their music. I am left standing on the side lines, sweat dripping off my forehead clock watching as they blast through their half hour set. Now as I sit here and write this I have since gone back and listened, in the comfort of my man cave, to the back catalogue of Mewithoutyou and I am truly in love. The lack of connection I felt on the night is felt now in all its glory. Vocals and musicianship blend perfectly and the songs lyrical meanings engage. What ever went on in my mind on the night has left me feeling robbed, as hindsight is showing me I was witnessing an incredibly intense and inspiring band commanding the audience of the Ritz and my disinterest meant I wasn't included in the spectacle.

La Dispute suffered the same sweaty judgement from myself, I was more irritated than engaged. Reminding me of Rise Against with less of the political angst, their too manic frontman bounded around the stage, never really stopping in one place for to long. Whilst impressively never needing to catch a breathe, I felt impressed only by this observation and no more. Friends had raved to me about these guys but I just wasn't feeling it. Technically impressive and strong vocally is all well, but where I have since connected with Mewithoutyou since the show I haven't been able to with La Dispute. Musically for me they are good at what they do but I find myself feeling disconnected all the same. When I have to search for reasons to like a band, then something isn't right on the night and sadly for La Dispute they just didn't hit the mark for me.

With patience running thin and a pre show hype looming on my shoulders I wait with baited breath for Coheed & Cambria. As the lights go down and Claudio Sanchez graces the stage with acoustic in hand my heart lifts immediately. The black cloud that has followed me around all night moves on as I fall in love all over again with a band I have been a fan of for a long time. What follows from here is full on, in your face, beauty. After waiting so long to see the band live I am rewarded with a beautifully structured playlist, comprised of songs new and old from their eclectic back catalogue. 'In Keeping Secrets Of The Silent Earth : 3' being a personal fave of mine, the crowd singing along at all the right parts gives me chills down my spine. The heat reaches insane heights and the atmosphere follows suite as the room becomes a fever pitch of dedicated fans, spanning all ages and backgrounds, singing and dancing in unison to a band that get better and better.

What starts as a bad night, ends with a huge ear to ear grin on my face. The reflection I have had since hasn't been able to pinpoint exactly what was going on with me. I could argue the nights supports weren't right. I could say the venues shocking ventilation and the days heat got the better of me, I can't really say for sure. But one thing is for certain, Coheed & Cambria not only survived my bad mood but also lived up to my personal hype and more so.

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