Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Mars Volta - Terminal 5 - January 14, 2008

Let me be very clear. This show consisted of two parts -- the one I hated, and the one I loved. After Cedric and his permed buffon and Omar the cracked-out Hendrix made to the stage with roaring approval, everyone suddenly went deaf. That's because for songs 1-7 of the setlist, the sound check technician thought we were at Wembley Stadium. Much like an atom bomb incinerates everything within blast radius, the Mars Volta destroyed our ears with an adverse Phil Spector wall of sound. Besides the staccato drumming, all I heard was noise and an occasional "exoskeletal" or "humans as ornaments." The saxophonist was blowing, Cedric was wailing, Omar was riffing away -- but I nor the entire tepid audience could hear a thing -- for 90 fucking minutes. I honestly wished for the concert to end.

Then, brothers, it came. "Cygnus...Vismund Cygnus." Oh, bliss, bliss, and heaven. Gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh. Gravity all nonsense now. "Cygnus" morphed into an extended jam with Cedric climbing the side balcony and spastically plucking the safety wires. "Drunkship Of Lanterns" was simply frenetic. A new tune, off their soon-to-be-released Bedlam In Goliath, "Aberinkula" was positively sick. And then, to end it all, the sickest Volta song you'll ever hear, they played "Day Of The Baphomets." Cedric says he awoke in NYC to the sound of jackhammers and thought it appropriate to end the show in similar fashion. Nice, nice indeed. Too bad the concert just got started right as it ended. C

Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of)
Viscera Eyes
Wax Simulacra
Conjugal Burns
Cygnus...Vismund Cygnus
Drunkship Of Lanterns
Day Of The Baphomets


Jeff said...

I've seen the Volta three times, and I truly believe they are one of the most talented bands of the past decade. I absolutely love their live shows, but unfortunately for me it's pretty tough finding someone who agrees that they put on a performance. For some reason everyone I talk to hates them live, I suppose for their extended jam sessions.

I really feel they put on a great show all the time, they have so much energy on stage and the music is mind blowing. I haven't seen them after Amputechture was released so I never had the pleasure of seeing "Day of the Baphomets" live, which is quite depressing since it's one of my favorite songs by them. I was planning on going to see this show until my car broke down which put a huge hole in my pocket... That's a shame they couldn't get the sound straightened out.

The Mad Hatter said...

I actually would have loved the jams, if only I could hear them. Jamming is such a great live experience when done well. The Cygnus jam was excellent. They had enough energy to last a lifetime, for sure; and three hours at their breakneck pace is no small feat. I just felt like they were having a grand 'ol time up there and we were given the privilege of watching, but whether or not we heard anything was not their problem.