2022, Music

The Mars Volta Live at Massey Hall, Wednesday October 5, 2022

The Mars Volta have reunited, much like At the Drive In did five years ago. However, unlike that reunion, this is a very different version of the band, if there new album is anything to go by. So I was slightly worried about this show. But that proved to be unfounded.

Five and a half years ago, I saw At the Drive-In during their reunion tour. The opener was ostensibly Le Butcherettes but was actually just lead singer Teri Gender Bender. She went over poorly.

Well, last night, she opened again, only this time with a band. I don’t believe the band were credited. Anyway, she was much better this time. Still very much not my thing, but much better.

But the Mars Volta, well, they were pretty amazing. Perhaps better than At the Drive-In.

Though they have a new lineup, they managed to play their extremely complicated material note-perfect a lot of time, while also stretching out a number of the songs. Of particular not was a piano solo by new keyboardist Leo Genovese, which was more impressive, to my ears, than anything Omar played during one of his solos.

Though I used to hate nostalgia, I can appreciate it as an old person. And I was happy that they played the majority of De-Loused in the Comatorium with only two songs from the new, poppy album. Alas, no Bedlam in Goliath songs – they aren’t playing it on this tour so I must absolutely be in the minority in terms of my love for that album – but I was still very happy. They played for basically 2 hours, right up to the hard-stop for the venue. (That’s yet another show this summer where the headliner played longer than expected.)

Anyway, it was a great show.

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