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Mars Volta, Perfect Circle – March 20, 2004 – Magness Arena

Mars Volta

Well, I had never heard of The Mars Volta before this show. I asked a few friends about them beforehand and the one thing that I was told by everyone was “Man, they are weird.” Hmm, I like weird so I was stoked about learning more, and most importantly, checking out what they had to offer in a live performance. A little research on left me thinking, “What are these guys doing opening for A Perfect Circle?” The funk laced experimental sounds that was heard on the web seemed a bit out of place but to be honest, this intrigued me even more.

The Mars Volta on stage was like a tornado of reverberation. Their music would pull you in countless directions within each song, needing double-takes at almost every measure. The energy extended to the audience was astonishing. Each member of the band had their own way of melding with their instruments, making alien like sounds at every turn. So yes, they were a nice compliment to the A Perfect Circle show after all. I love seeing bands really get into their own music, and The Mars Volta exceed anything I’d have on my wish list for a live show experience. I can’t stress enough how much these guys freak out on stage when the music strikes, and this energy carries over to the audience instantly. Cedric, the singer, reminded me of a mix of Robert Plant and Steven Hyde from That 70’s Show. His high-pitched vocal style wasn’t exactly my cup of gin, but his clout on stage made up for it, and fit the band’s identity quite well.

One thing is for sure: The Mars Volta is definitely a musician’s favorite. Regardless of liking the tunes themselves, any musician out there has to give these guys respect. One thing I have found with “musician’s favorite” bands is that despite having complicated time signatures and off the wall song structure, their songs don’t really have the hooks that make the average listener want to bob their head and sing along. This doesn’t seem to be the case with this band. They have the craziness and the hooks, so you can sing along with them while being thoroughly confused at the same time. To sum it up, am I going to run out right away and buy their disk? Probably not. But will I catch them at their next Colorado show? Absolutely.


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