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The Mars Volta at The Greek Theater, Hollywood – June 4

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Mars Volta vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala is a good dancer, and there’s plenty of Robert Plant in his vocal delivery. I like that. Both Cedric and, to stretch the metaphor, his Jimmy Page-esque guitarist counterpart, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, have big round hair. I guess mentioning the hair is getting old hat, though, so I’ll just go on to say that The Mars Volta is currently on tour to support their spacey, prog punk, salsa epic Frances The Mute, which I’ve read is all about death. It’s 77 minutes long and has five songs on it.

Cedric writes the songs, and I have it on good authority that they make sense if you know what they’re about before you start listening. I don’t, though, so I guess that’s why I’m still in the dark. I’ve read that the writing’s very emo, and that makes me feel a bit like a dull-eyed adult, since I have no real sense of what exactly that means. Rock music, it seems to me, essentially stems from the romantic tradition, and is pretty well stocked with “emo” even if you don’t give it a special name or have an affected hairstyle.

In the case of the Mars Volta, I think it just means that words will be strung together with no aim whatsoever at linear coherence. I’m only speculating when I say that perhaps it aims to be imagistic and emotional in a way that contraindicates clarity.

Last night at The Greek Theater in Hollywood, the Mars Volta played loads of music, and Cedric sang words. He also had some very stylin’ dance moves. It was undeniably good by some standard, if only because it’s nice to recall the vocal stylings of Robert Plant, and everyone there was real good at playing their instruments.

I had a fairly good seat, but I wasn’t within range of seeing the whites of their eyes. Overall, I had the feeling that if I were tripping really hard, or engaged in a concert-long, achingly hot make-out session with a super hot guy who didn’t speak any English, but really knew how to use his tongue, I might have enjoyed it more.

As it was, I felt it wandered a bit.

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About Jaime Nichols

  • http://spaces.msn.com/members/dorksandlosers Tan Hoang

    Man, I so wanted to go to this concert. Well, not in Hollywood but at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. Grrr.

  • http://hectorocks.com hector

    you are an idiot.

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    oh come on hector…

    don’t hold back, tell us what you really think

    no need to sugar coat it…

    but hey, at least you were polysyllabic..

    Excelsior!

  • alicia

    Music is not about what someone looks like, aka how someone is dressed or what their hair looks like. All you need to know is that the music is good. The stage presence of Mars Volta is unbelievable and the more you listen to their records the more you understand them. Cedric and Omar grew up about 3 hours from where I grew up and so I have been a follower from the begining. It is really upsetting when you have idiots commenting on their hair or how you didn’t like the show becasue you couldn’t understand what Cedric is saying, boo fucking hoo don’t go to the fucking show then! Comparing Mars Volta to Led Zepplin gives the guys no credit, sure I like Led Zep but I LOVE MARS VOLTA and they are in a category of their own! Maybe you would enjoy a Good Charlotte concert instead of one of the most amazing experiences ever (A Mars Volta Show) you fucking popculture slave!

  • uknown

    Alicia , I fuckin agree

  • me

    hey where can i buy mars volta greek theatre tickets

  • yervand

    barev azizzik i wantta get tata concert tickets

  • anonymous

    cedric uses a lot of references to synesthetic experiences in his music. i don’t know if this is because he is actually synesthetic or just tripped a lot. i think this might be why the lyrics make a lot of sense to me, but don’t seem to other people. i could be off on this…regardless i don’t think it has anything to do with age-don’t feel old! (well unless of course you’d like to.)