Sound — 9
In Coheed And Cambria's latest DVD The Last Supper, it's all about the climax. The live concert performance at the Hammerstein Ballroom marks the last DVD release with now former members Michael Todd (bass) and Josh Eppard (drums), and it's one that they should undoubtedly be proud of in the long run. The hour-and-a-half stage show will undoubtedly please diehard Coheed And Cambria fans, but everyone will be a believer by the last number. If you're only familiar with singles like The Suffering from Coheed And Cambria (rounded out by vocalist/guitarist Claudio Sanchez and guitarist Travis Stever), then you're missing out on one of the most innovative concept bands today. If you ask one of the band's fans, he or she will likely give you a descriptive rundown of what can also be found in accompanying comic book The Bag On-Line Adventures of Coheed And Cambria. But aside from the rich plotline in their songs featuring characters like Claudio, Mariah, and Apollo, the actual band is full of phenomenal musicians. The Last Supper allows you to go beyond the singles and see how the band harkens back to the days of Pink Floyd's The Wall. The first-half of the DVD is captivating in terms of the playing, although the vocals do tend to get overshadowed by the mixing. If you don't already know the lyrics to songs like The Crowing or Blood Red Summer, then you probably won't know them by the end of your viewing either. This is unfortunate because Sanchez's voice is one of the most distinctive in rock. While the vocal delivery is still effectively passionate, it is tough at times to make out every word on the DVD. This problem actually allows the guitar work to take center stage during the concert, which is a blessing in disguise. If there is one thing that really makes Coheed And Cambria's concert powerful, it is the dual guitar work between Sanchez and Stever. Be sure not to fast-forward through Ten Speed (Of God's Blood & Burial) because that number has almost a nostalgic Iron Maiden feel to it. The pinnacle of the show comes in the finale, The Willing Will Iv: The Final Cut, an improvisational jam session of sorts that is entertaining from start to end. Stever's big moment comes when he goes Frampton on the audience and uses a talkbox during the first portion of the track. Then it's Sanchez's turn in the spotlight. In the remaining minutes of the song, Sanchez uses a violin bow (Jimmy Page-like) on his Gibson, plays a behind his head, and then proceeds to lay down a beautiful, emotional solo that stands firmly on it's own. While most of the other songs are fairly straightforward in their execution, it is this number that will probably create plenty of new Coheed And Cambria fans.
Content — 8
The Last Supper is approached much like a lot of other DVDs out on the shelves right now, and that's a good thing for the most part. From the scenes that chat with fans waiting in lines, it is obvious that the Coheed And Cambria concert experience is something they can't get enough of. The majority of the DVD is the concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom, and in general it is pretty entertaining. The stage show features a backdrop that Claudio talks about as being inspired by Pink Floyd's Division Bell Tour. While viewers at home don't get to see every image that is flashed on the huge screen behind the band, you do get a hint of how it adds to the dramatic lyrics. The DVD also features 3 videos: Welcome Home, The Suffering, and Ten Speed (Of God's Blood & Burial). While it is also mentions that there is behind-the-scenes footage of Sanchez, there is a minimal amount. The brief vignettes that feature Sanchez discussing the tour give you an idea of what the band wanted to convey in the concert, and seeing a bit more of that would have made the DVD a bit more complete.
Production Quality — 9
Director Kimo Proudfoot does a nice job of showing every possible angle you can imagine during the live show. While some directors feel the need to keep showing different camera angle every 2 seconds, even if it means missing out on integral guitar work, Proudfoot is not afraid to let the camera stay locked on Stever or Sanchez for the amount of time it takes to complete their solos. There is definitely a dark look to the DVD, but more than anything that gives you an accurate depiction of actual concert. There are times when the backdrop showing the animated graphics goes unseen for a while, so at those moments it's hard to say if the home viewer is missing out on anything that the live crowd saw.
Overall Impression — 9
When fans in the DVD proclaim that the Coheed And Cambria show was a life-changing experience, it's easy to understand why. Front the moment that the band takes the stage, the music is intense and intricate. While the band is not running around stage the whole time or doing on-stage antics, the musical execution makes up for it in full. It would have been great to see a little bit more of the behind-the-scenes chats with other members of the band as well as Claudio, but the director does allow the stage show to be given the attention it deserves. It will be interesting to see the direction of the band after losing Michael Todd and Josh Eppard, but Sanchez and Stever have a chemistry (that is evident on The Last Supper) that will likely weather the storm just fine.