Last night, I saw The Mars Volta at The Pageant here in St. Louis. When I heard that they were coming to town, I sent out an email to my friends, knowing that it was completely futile and that I would be going alone. Not everyone appreciates their particular brand of Latin-Prog-Funk-Hardcore-Free Jazz. That was just fine for me, as I knew I would enjoy the show and that if I was there with people who weren’t enjoying it, it would make me enjoy the show less.
Anyway. The show itself was completely awesome. The Mars Volta played for over three hours straight, with only one instance of show-patter. They broke up their crushing, pulse pounding numbers with extended jams that gave the thousands of seventeen-year-olds in attendance a moment to take a drag off of a joint. A non smoking show. Ha.
Probably the best part of the show for me was when they broke down Aberinkula, the opener of their latest album, into an extended solo competition. Drum solo: fantastic. Guitar solo: incredible. Saxophone solo: amazing. Dueling solos back and forth between lead guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and saxophonist Adrián Terrazas-González: absolutely mind melting. It was like dueling banjos for hipsters. Just amazing.
The show had pretty much everything you would come to expect from The Mars Volta: freakdancing, flailing about the stage, demolition of a mic stand (and tossing it into the crowd). Lead singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala actually ran into the crowd at one point to grab a trashcan to bring onto the stage, so he could throw it back into the crowd. Amazing.
All in all, an incredible show, and one that my ears will be ringing from for quite a while.