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Show Review: Coheed and Cambria, The Used rock blistering Arizona show

Hundreds of elder millennials dusted off now-vintage Warped Tour apparel and broke out the eyeliner for Coheed and Cambria’s tour stop at Mesa Amphitheatre on Saturday. The prolific rock band was joined by The Used and newcomers Meet Me at the Altar and the energy levels were off the charts despite the blistering Arizona heat.

MMATA powered through a slew of heat-related technical difficulties for a fast-paced set that really showed off their pop punk chops. The band was nothing but positive the entire time they spent onstage and guitarist Téa Campbell’s huge smile was telling of just how excited they were to be onstage after so long.

Self-professed emo band The Used seems to get better with age and they busted out all the hits for their direct support slot. Opening with “Take It Away” from an album most of the audience was listening to in middle school, The Used was off and running. Frontman Bert McCracken stomped up and down the stage while glaring, shouting and generally whipping the growing crowd into an excited frenzy of circle pits, walls of death and general insanity. 

The band had released an album during the quarantine period of the pandemic and they finally had the opportunity to debut the killer “Blow Me”, while dedicating the rest of the set to their older material. Diehards swayed and sang along to “I Caught Fire” and “All That I’ve Got” before the set ended with “A Box Full of Sharp Objects”.

In an unexpected shift in dynamic, many hardcore fans of The Used vacated the venue, leaving room for the Coheed and Cambria crowd to push even closer to the stage. The band is a rock staple and the show’s crystal clear production enhanced their incredible musicianship from the first notes of “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3”. 

To watch Coheed is to witness one of the most consistently excellent bands in rock absolutely tear up a stage and the grassy amphitheatre had plenty of energy left for their favorites. Coheed slammed through 10 songs before returning to an encore of “Unheavenly Creatures” and “Welcome Home”.

Check out more photos from the show! 

Story and photos by Olivia Khiel