Friday, January 25, 2008
Concert Junkie: Hail to the Volta
By Lori: who first fell in love with the Mars Volta back in '03 at the All Tomorrow's Parties (ATP) Festival in Long Beach, CA where they performed on the same bill as Iggy and the Stooges.
Anticipation. That was the overall feeling I had as I was trekking to my third Mars Volta show this one at Terminal 5 in New York City. This is the only band I have ever traveled the country to see from California to Rhode Island. The crowd wrapped around 56th street before the doors were worthy to open. Shuffling into the converted warehouse and dubbing a spot on the balcony as our, “Standing Zone,” we were ready for the octet.
No opening band was required as the Mars Volta shredded into “Roulette Dares” from the first LP, De-Loused in the Comatorium. With Omar Rodriguez-Lopez on guitar and Cedric Bixlar-Zavala on vocals, not since the legendary Page and Plant has there been such a stellar duo. Rodriguez-Lopez’s authentic guitar sounds mix well with Bixlar-Zavala's falsetto.
The rest of the two and half hour set consisted of mostly new songs from their upcoming fourth album The Bedlam in Goliath, which is due out on Jan. 29. Bixlar-Zavala dedicated “Drunkship of Lanterns" to the fans. With eight musicians on stage, it was exhilarating to see Bixlar-Zavala take Roger Doltrey’s antics to the next level by jumping on and off amps/speakers, climbing walls, and walking into the sold-out crowd.
Current drummer Thomas Pridgen unleashed a worldly solo. Synthesizers, Latin beats, and saxophones were other ingredients added to these already vivacious tunes. The Mars Volta sell-out shows, but yet don’t expect mainstream radio to fulfill your request unless it’s for “The Widow”-from Frances the Mute, and do not expect to hear that song in concert.
In a time where Emo lines the airwaves and everyone wants to be an American Idol, the Mars Volta stand above the mainstream and can rip their souls apart. My advice, listen to some Mars Volta and Progressive rock, you will feel so much better in the morning.