Mastodon And Coheed & Cambria Crack Open The Armory


The Unheavenly Skye tour finally made it’s debut in Minneapolis on an early summer evening this past weekend. The Armory was a fitting and majestic space to house an amazing group of bands.

The opener for the evening was Every Time I Die out of Buffalo, NY. This highly energetic band was a nice selection to get the audience pumped up for an epic night of music. Their enthusiasm propelled them to take up various spots across the stage as they ran and jumped their way across. A number of the fans were quick to feed off that energy and began what was a reoccurring scene for much of the night as crowd surfers fell into the photo pit one after another. Their relentless barrage of energy continued for their entire set.

As their 40 minute set came to an end, one of their guitarists was cradled by the crowd and was passed along above their heads with guitar in tow. He was eventually carried all the way to merch table at the back end of the venue. All the while with grin stretched out across his face as on lookers cracked a smile too. While this was their first time playing with these two bands, I’d imagine they’ll get the invite to take the stage together again sometime in the future.

Mastodon has long been an influential band for me and it has been too long since I’ve seen them perform live.  While their music has been accompanying my life since the Remission era, Crack The Skye has been a favorite since it was released back in 2009. It was thrilling to hear that this tour was in celebration of Crack The Skye‘s 10 year anniversary and they were to play it in full on this tour. A friend of the band made an animation film that was played out as a visual aide to this show. It was an ever evolving backdrop that helped display the narrative of this epic concept album. The story could now be seen outside of the listener’s head as well as being heard and felt as the soundwaves pierced the air and shook the bodies in this long music hall. It took little effort to drift away and get lost in the music while gazing upon the animated scenes. It would be wonderful if they were to ever put this out there for us all to take in once again on our own.

As one of my favorite tracks, The Last Baron, came to a close I had a new appreciation for this album as the visuals offered a new perspective. Many folks in the crowd were waiting to be trampled by some more of Mastodon’s heavy music. Fortunately they had another 4 songs to share with the eager crowd. New visuals were on display and the lights dazzled the crowd as they churned out these last batch of songs. As drummer Brann Dailor thanked everyone for coming out, he mentioned that during the early years of Mastodon they played the 7th Street Entry twice in one week and was grateful to have people come out still to this day. They’ve come a long way from those days as only something larger like the Armory can accommodate the mighty Mastodon.

Mastodon’s Setlist:
Oblivion / Divinations / Quintessence / The Czar / Ghost Of Karelia / Crack The Skye / The Last Baron / High Road / Bladecatcher / Black Tongue / Blood And Thunder

The final act for the evening, Coheed & Cambria, was gearing up to take to the stage.  An extremely large semi-transparent white piece of fabric was pulled up to the ceiling’s rafters. As the time drew near for the last band to play, dark figures grew larger as they walked out onto the stage from behind the curtain. These silhouettes of the band and their logo were peppered across this large white curtain as the opening track to their new album rang out to the masses that had assembled at the Armory.  As the first heavy chug from the distorted guitar kicked in for the song The Dark Sentencer, the drapery fell as it fluttered to the ground and the crowd let out a hearty roar.

Frontman Claudio Sanchez was all over the stage matching his demeanor to that of the music, intense and full of emotion.  Folks all over were dancing and singing along to the music, it was a good way to close out the night. The monitors that sat behind the band lit up once again with a dizzying array of visuals to help enhance the experience. The multitude of lights beaming across the audience had provided another great display backed by some more epic performances by these musicians. Their on stage efforts were astounding and I’m glad to have been able to take it all in.

Coheed & Cambria’s Setlist:
Prologue / The Dark Sentencer / Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry The Defiant / Unheavenly Creatures / In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 / A Favor House Atlantic / The Gutter / True Ugly
No World For Tomorrow / Gravity’s Unison / Mother Superior / The Suffering / Old Flames / The Pavillion (A Long Way Back) – encore / Welcome Home – encore

With the Armory being a larger venue it was fitting as all three of these bands had put on an epic and intense display that was both seen and heard by all in attendance. This proved to be an exceptional billing for this tour, the Unheavenly Skye tour is one not to be missed.  Give yourself a second shot at this one if your fortunate to be in these following cities.

Mastodon, Coheed and Cambria, Every Time I Die Tour Dates:
06/18 – Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theatre
06/19 – Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
06/20 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Great Saltair
06/22 – Seattle, WA @ Marymoor
06/23 – Portland, OR @ Theater of the Clouds at Moda Center
06/25 – San Francisco, CA @ The Masonic
06/26 – San Diego, CA @ Petco Park – Park at the Park
06/28 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas
06/29 – Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre
06/30 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre
07/02 – Austin, TX @ Austin360 Amphitheater
07/03 – Irving, TX @ The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory