Post by The Horned Grandmother on Nov 27, 2010 13:27:08 GMT -5
Mars Volta is another one of those bands that people went apeshit over - around the time De-Loused came out - so I ran out and bought it and it just grated on my nerves. No dynamics, no structure, just unpleasant. But then I thought, this is probably something that needs to be seen live.
Most of the hate from this board comes from their Sasquatch performance.
I agree, and I hope we're right. I was fortunate enough to see their Sasquatch performance from beyond cymbal-throwing distance so my opinion of it was less clouded by my Dr. Garbanzoht or flight response. They were, however, completely bonkers on stage. I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as when I saw them open for System a few years ago at an arena show. Now THAT was a wicked concert!
I saw them open for System a few years ago at an arena show. Now THAT was a wicked concert!
DUDE! Such a good show!
Yes! That night in general was quite the adventure for me, too. It's a long story, so I'll try to condense it, but feel free not to read this:
First off, I didn't know about the concert until after it was sold out. I scoured Craigslist for weeks trying to pick up a pair of floor tickets for myself my girlfriend at the time for anything close to face value, but people were only selling for much more. I happened to check the morning of the show and saw that someone was offering a pair at face value, so I e-mailed and met up with them downtown to transact. When I got there she said that she had won the tickets from a radio contest and didn't know the bands so decided to sell, and after posting she received about 100 e-mails in 15 minutes but mine was the first. The radio station had also given her a copy of the latest Mars Volta album, so she threw that in to the deal as well. I was a happy camper.
Later that evening, we were on our way to GM Place for the concert when we ran into some other concert goers on the SkyTrain. We got to talking to them, and even picked up some herbal supplements from them, and somehow in our conversation it came out that one person in their group thought the concert was actually at the Pacific Coliseum, another arena in the outskirts of town (we were downtown.) We checked our tickets, and in fact we were headed to the wrong place. Since we were already running late, this was not good news.
We changed our travel plans and stayed on the SkyTrain a few more stops in order to connect with the #16 bus that would take us to the concert. The bus was packed to the brim with more concert goers, and pretty soon after we boarded the driver got on the intercom and asked if there was anyone on the bus who wasn't going to the System show. No one responded, so he excitedly exclaimed that we were "going express" and proceeded to drive us straight to the concert with out stopping. He even said he'd turn a blind eye when we asked if we could smoke up on the bus. Only in Vancouver.
So we get to the show, going through about 5 security checkpoints before we make it to the floor, and Mars Volta is in the middle of a huge build-up to one of their songs. I don't even remember which one it was now, but it was epic. The place was alive and the energy unreal. Turns out that we missed about half of their set, but the half that we did see was awesome. And then System went on and time seemed to stop. I think the herbal supplements had a lot to do with this, but still. A great adventure, and a great show.
Just to make sure for those who weren't in attendance and are super curious, what was the reason for the Mars Volta performance being so awful?
Oh, and to answer your question: they went insane at Sasquatch '09. It kinda seemed like their normally managed chaos went out of their control and rather than being insanely good and complicated it just turned into a cesspool of sound. On top of that, Cedric, in his madness, decided it was a good idea to throw heavy things into the audience. I was not nearly close enough to be worried for my own safety, but I've heard a number of people talk about how they were afraid for their lives. They were probably exaggerating, but I wouldn't have traded places with them.
the Mars Volta performs to the aesthetic of whatever album they are touring. when they played Sasquatch they were touring "the Bedlam in Goliath" which is their most straight-up face-melting progressive-rock album. it's big, loud, and at times, overwhelming. so were they. this is also made apparent by the material from which they were drawing. all songs were from Bedlam with the exception of two(cygnus... vismund cygnus from frances the mute; viscera eyes from amputechture. no de loused). now, with their most recent album, they play a lot from de loused and have composed a much more approachable live show around it. I happen to love the weirder Volta(day of the baphomets is one of the greatest prog songs of all time) and think that their '08 set was beautiful and a tremendous success in light of what they were trying to achieve. sorry to whoever took that cymbal. thank you for your sacrifice.