@ Newcastle o2 Academy, May 23 2010

This was one gig which should be filed under ‘memorable’. Coheed were incredibly cool, incredibly tight and incredibly energetic.

In fact incredible is the only way to describe an incendiary performance from the US prog metal crew.

In the wake of England’s World Cup win against Slovenia – the Academy had screened the game live – those packed into the venue were already in high spirits by the time Claudio Sanchez and co. took to the stage. The mood just got better and better as Coheed mixed back catalogue classics with choice tracks from their latest opus Year Of The Black Rainbow. There was no messing about between songs – this was a rare chance for the band to play to a demanding UK audience and that opportunity wasn’t going to be lost. Sanchez is a fine frontman but the decision to forgo a load of banter in favour of more brilliant songs was never going to be a bad move.

The Suffering is, perhaps, the best of the bunch. The second single from their third album went down an absolute storm and showcases the very best of Coheed’s prog ambition mixed with a passing nod to commercialism.

This was a lesson in how to deliver the perfect rock show – it wasn’t cannons and confetti Kiss and and it wasn’t organ-infused Yes but it was a compelling audio visual event nevertheless.

With The Amory Wars concept wrapped up Coheed might have reached a career crossroads but it’s doubtful a band with this class is about to hit a dead end. And if this gig was the end of the beginning it brought the first chapter of this extraordinary act’s life to a suitably triumphant close.