Last Friday night I was lucky enough to get a free ticket and my name on the guest list (thanks Tony!) to see The Mars Volta. It was a good night, I got to see parts of the Brixton Academy new to me even though I’ve been there a fair number of times in the last decade. However, the gig itself was decidedly odd…I should confess up front that I’d never listened to any of Mars Volta’s music before so its probably my own fault. They were loud, which is fine. They were loud and had a guy playing brass and often switched instruments with often 3 people playing percussion. However they were loud and they just wouldn’t stop.
Honestly they wouldn’t which was the strange thing. There was no support act, the tracks meandered on longer than any other band I’ve seen, often one bleeding into the next and at no point did they stop to speak to or even acknowledge the audience. If no audience had been there at all I fully expect they’d have got on stage and performed their 3 hour set (yes Three!) with the same energy and enthusiasm.
Maybe that counts as cool… but that accompanied with the vocals being less audible than the guy playing the maraccas makes me think it isn’t.
If any Mars Volta fans (Pete?) stumble upon this post please let me know what it is about them that I wasn’t getting and I’ll try and look out for it next time….