The Mars Volta (4 stars)

HMV Picture House, Edinburgh, Wed 9 Dec

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The Mars Volta

The Mars Volta are more than your average rock act - the sheer musicianship alone is staggering to witness. When Omar Rodríguez-López loses himself in protracted, complex riffs and astounding solo jams it’s utterly spellbinding, while frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala is a snake-hipped demi-god of big hair boasting a massive vocal range - though admittedly he’s not on 100% top form tonight as the constant flow of Lemsips and lozenges he imbibes throughout the gig attests.

Sonically, it’s a throbbing mix of prog rock, free jazz, Latin grooves and punk spirit recalling the darker moments of Santana, Hendrix and Yes all mixed with the rage of their former hardcore incarnation as one half of At the Drive-In. The Mars Volta live experience is a perpetually pulsating beast that goes beyond mere ‘album tracks’ with extended jams and live remixes bringing to mind early 70s fusion-era Miles Davis, in spirit if not in sound, especially their wild organic tribal rhythms. Surely one of the most exciting and exhilarating live acts in modern rock.

Set list:
‘Son et Lumiere’
‘Inertiatic ESP’
‘Cotopaxi’
‘L'Via L'Viaquez’
‘Goliath’
‘Eriatarka’
‘Since We've Been Wrong’
‘Cicatriz ESP’
‘Halo Of Nembutals’
‘Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore’
‘Teflon’
‘Viscera Eyes’
‘The Widow’
‘Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of)’

Comments

1. cliverozario18 Dec 2009, 10:47am Report

Yea, as outrageous as they are, I still adore the Mars Volta. Has anyone else checked them out live? ITS A MUST. I found a cool review of the gig i went to recently in London here http://tiny.cc/4LG1R. see them if you can.

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