Coheed and Cambria / Vaux / Jamison Parker Richards on Richards, Vancouver BC - January 17, 2004

While the hardcore fans who knew the words to every song piled up in near bliss at the front of the stage, Coheed and Cambria didn't impress quite as much as their hype, which they received more than a fair share of in 2003. The New York natives have been riding a wave of buzz since their sophomore album, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3. The band's concept, which dedicates lyrics to the mythical, ill-fated husband and wife team of the same name, comes across as slightly formulaic. It was the penultimate band of the evening, Vaux, that delivered a galactic, ear-ringing set. Regardless, Coheed managed to squeeze in their act before the Saturday night club circuit took over the dance floor, proving their gnarly aesthetic and musicianship with songs like "Devil in Jersey City," or their encore "Al the Killer," which displayed lead singer Claudio Sanchez's sometimes odd little-girl vocals that floated from the steel-driven mire of their insanely speedy Iron-Maiden riffs. It was also nice of Sanchez to engage the crowd as much as he did with his friendly, albeit unintelligible, grumble. Vaux, a six-piece act originally from Denver but now on Orange County label Volcom, nearly shattered the windows with their multi-guitar sound and the metrical screams of lead singer Quentin Smith. Guitarist/keyboardist Greg Daniels was also a treat. They were also not short on charm, with Quentin telling the intrigued crowd that the band to follow rhymed with "good weed in Canada." Perhaps the most unfortunate aspect of the evening was the time slot for openers Jamison Parker. It was scheduled so early one barely had time to finish dinner before catching a glimpse of the performance. Jamison Parker feature two guys with guitars and drumbeats playing mellow metal reminiscent of Yellow Card. It was a bit strange, much like the whole show.