If Coheed & Cambria had sought to give its newest album a name in keeping with those that came before it — all episodes in singer-guitarist Claudio Sanchez’s sweeping science-fiction epic — the title might have been something like “Dear Listener, I Am Burning to Reveal, Part 1: Gravity’s Pull.” Even with its humbler name “The Color Before the Sun” constituted a departure, Sanchez replacing cosmic intrigues with more earthbound concerns: romantic commitment, fatherhood anticipated and arrived, a place to call home.
Yet for all of Sanchez’s newfound transparency and the maturation it implied, no spirits were dampened when seven of the 10 tunes on “Color” turned up on a fresh set list the band devised for its sold-out tour opener at the House of Blues on Monday. Credit the consistency of the group’s sound — bubblegum hooks, classic-rock riffs, meaningful nods to Bad Brains, Police, Iron Maiden, and At the Drive-In, among others — and its unassuming charisma onstage.
Opening with a hushed “Ghost,” Coheed offered “Island,” “Here to Mars,” a potent set-closing sequence of “Atlas,” “The Audience,” and “Peace to the Mountain,” and the encore-opening “You Got Spirit, Kid.” To its considerable credit, the new fare held up within a keenly selected mix of singalong staples (“In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3,” “The Running Free”) and muscular intricacies (“Sentry the Defiant,” “No World for Tomorrow”).
Reedy tenor soaring out from beneath his trademark haystack ’do, Sanchez embodied the solid core around which guitarist Trevor Stever, bassist Zach Cooper, and drummer Josh Eppard wound and uncoiled throughout a tautly paced show — Eppard in particular charging the band’s sinews with his gangly vitality.
No doubt the evening’s stakes were raised by the band in the support slot, Glassjaw. Near-legendary and historically star-crossed, the Long Island quartet offered a terse nine-song set: a half-dozen cuts from 2002 sophomore LP “Worship and Tribute,” plus the 2010 track “Jesus Glue” and two new songs, “New White Extremity” and “Shira.”
Those last two selections have sparked fresh hope among admirers still waiting for Glassjaw’s long-promised third LP. Listening here to a relatively new rhythm section — bassist Travis Sykes and drummer Chad Hasty — lending powerhouse swing to the syncopated snap and snarl of vocalist Daryl Palumbo and guitarist Justin Beck, you heard ample reason for hope, and then some.
COHEED & CAMBRIA
With Glassjaw, I the Mighty, and Silver Snakes
At House of Blues, MondaySteve Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nightafternight.