Review Summary: The Last Supper is both a sendoff to departed members Mic and Josh, and a celabration of what is still one of new rock's most influential acts, and is a must-have for any Coheed fan.
Warning: The following review is long
. If you have a roast in the oven, or you're ironing currently, you might want to finish that first. Go ahead. I'll wait.
The Last Supper: Live At Hammerstein Ballroom
displays a band that is taking over. From small cramped clubs to sold-out concert halls, Coheed and Cambria
’s remarkable journey to the top of the new rock scene has been amazing to view. They have become idols to thousands, and have given new life to the dying rock genre. To their fans, the four boys from New York seemed unstoppable, untouchable.
Which made the announcement of Michael Todd (Bass) and Josh Eppard (Drums)’s split from Coheed and Cambria (an announcement that was made only two days after the DVD released) all the more shocking to fans.
It’s inevitable that The Last Supper will be taken by many as a final cataloging of Coheed And Cambria as they once were. Heck, the title itself in eerily prophetic in its own way. The final recorded live show featuring Coheed as a full band, the DVD is a final toast to one heck of an awesome six years for the band.
Another thing that makes The Last Supper unique to most DVDs is that Coheed released a previous live DVD, Live At Starland Ballroom
, just over a year and a half before the new DVD. The Last Supper could be taken as a comparison by the band, seeing just how far they have come over this short period of time. While LASB was a nice medium stage and smaller house, TLS is far bigger, and far more demanding of your attention. The band pulls off all the stops set-wise, including giant curtain-like trees in The Crowing
, the guillotine from the Good Apollo cover on The Final Cut
, a slightly cheesy dragonfly during Everything Evil
, and the giant dominating screen behind the band that, while occasionally distracting, provides some awesome visuals of fire, lighting, and plenty of other juicy features.
Musically, each member is top notch during the concert. Claudio gives a near flawless vocal performance throughout the entire concert, and proves once again that he can still give the band life. Some might argue that Claudio has lost some of the passion and intensity in his voice since Starland Ballroom. And while the argument might have some merit, it doesn’t take away from the presentation at all.
Both Travis and Claudio both are brilliant guitarists, and they get the chance to show it during the course of the concert. Whether it be the trading solos on Welcome Home
, the memorable riffs of Delirium Trigger
, the pop infused The Suffering
, or the climactic soloing on The Final Cut
, both receive their fair share of brilliance during the DVD. It’s hard not to notice how much the two have grown since previous albums, or even Shabutie. They steal the show repeatedly, and the combo of two such brilliant players is one of the highlights of Coheed itself.
Bass-wise, Mic truly delivers the goods. He is actually more audible than on the band’s studio albums, and it helps him to make a better impression. You can clearly see and hear his numerous fills, and you truly realize how good of a bassist he really is. Unfortunately, his stage presence has taken a major hit since previous shows. It has been divulged that Mic was no longer happy with touring during the filming of the DVD, which subsequently led to his departure from the band. Half of the time, he seems to just be aimlessly wandering across his section of the stage. To make matters worse, his voice seems to have also been rocky during the tour, and his minimal vocal parts are either inaudible or just plain painful. As a bassist, Mic was an asset to the band, but as a performer, he had become a hindrance.
Most people wouldn’t expect Josh to be too great. His drumming has never been top notch, and often it’s repetitive and dull. And while he still is painfully average during some songs (The Suffering, Ten Speed
), he actually manages to deliver surprisingly solid performances on many of the songs. He manages to perform fairly well during In Keeping Secrets
and The Crowing
. But he truly shines during the Delirium Trigger
, and Everything Evil
, where he provides near flawless performances. While his departure from Coheed may be an aid to the band, he shows (for the last time) that there was always some untapped potential that he possessed.
The set list for The Last Supper is also near flawless. Each song chosen for the lineup is a Coheed highlight, and there really are no bad songs or performances. The epic In Keepings Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3
starts the concert on a particularly high note, as we are blasted from the opening riff into eight minutes of non-stop rocking. From the eerie mist, to the flawless performances of each member of the band, the song is a true Coheed classic. And the climactic cries of “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” is an experience that will chill you in its grandeur. Ten Speed (Of God’s Blood and Burial)
is one of Coheed’s better straight-up rock songs, and the performance is equally as good. If the performance suffers from one thing, it’s predictability. They don’t vary up the song too much, which is still acceptable, because it’s another great track.
Blood Red Summer
could have been a fairly average performance, but the band manages to make it something unique. The normally acoustic song is flavored up with some nice muted distortion. As well, Josh’s interesting, slightly raspy vocals are added to the song, which further spruces it up. The chorus is perfectly executed, and the layered vocals make the song a treat to listen to. The interaction from the fans during the “Wa-oh!”s is also great fun, and helps turn this average song into a surprise highlight. The success of The Crowing
, however, comes as no surprise at all. What can you say about The Crowing that hasn’t been said? Nothing. Anyways, this down tuned version of the song is once again outstanding, and the backup vocals on the ending are also far stronger than ever before. ‘Cept for that, it’s just good old Coheed rocking.
Oddly enough, Wake Up
actually functions better live then on Good Apollo. Without the overly syrupy strings and effects, we see the song boiled down to what it really is, which is a beautiful acoustic ballad that conveys real emotion. But, of course, Wake Up is only an intro for the real powerhouse, Delirium Trigger
. Arguably one of Coheed and Cambria’s “Best Songs Ever”, the performance lacks none of the intensity that made it famous in the first place. While Claudio’s voice isn’t nearly as intense as it was on Starland Ballroom, the song loses none of its passion, and only falters briefly with the less-than-spectacular screams at the end.
Anyone who has ever been to a Co&Ca show knows that not singing during A Favor House Atlantic
is nearly a crime. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t be able to tell on the DVD, as the crowd has been terribly mic’ed, and you barely hear them throughout the performance. That, coupled with the song being a near duplicate of its CD version, makes this song the worst performance on the DVD. The Suffering
fairs slightly better, due mostly to the fact that the song is far better written than AFHA. The bass fills are bouncier, the guitar parts are more technical and fun, the drums are… wait, nevermind. It’s just generally a better crafted pop-punk song.
has always been a fan favorite, and the performance features everything you’d come to expect from the song. And while that may be one of the performance’s main flaws (it plays out near identically to most performances of the song), it’s also one of its strengths, as it’s an amazing performance, as expected. Welcome Home
fares similarly, in that it isn’t a radical change, yet still manages to be superbly executed. Both tracks are late highlights to the DVD.
Finally, we are left with the absolutely epic performance of The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut
. At an astonishing 14 minutes long (that’s eight minutes longer than the CD version), this is without a doubt the most spectacular performance on the DVD. The band pulls out all the stops during the performance, and if I were to divulge too much of the details of the performance, it would spoil your enjoyment. Suffice to say, the band will keep your interest fully held for the entire duration, and by the end you will be wishing it was longer. No question, the best song on the entire DVD.
The Last Supper
could be viewed in many different ways. It could be considered a “Best-Of-Coheed” type concert. It could be considered a catalogue for the band’s evolution. It could be considered a reminder of what once was Coheed and Cambria. However, I choose to view it as a hope for what will soon be. With some new faces behind bass and drums, things for Coheed and Cambria
are certainly not over yet. Not by a longshot.
In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3
Blood Red Summer
The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut