Sure you’ve noticed here my growing interest in The Mars Volta, or better said, Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Cedric Bixler Zavala’s universe lately.
Little by little I’m tasting and enjoying their stuff with a positive outcome most times, so now I’m a a bit frustrated for not having the possibility of witnessing this At The Drive-In reunion, nor The Mars Volta European tour. Fortunately there’s was a last chance of checking some of this overwhelming genius and virtuosity on stage, as a unique Omar Rodriguez Lopez’s performance was confirmed in Barcelona for July the 11th, just one day before his presence with ATDI at FIB.
Well, I hadn’t listened to a single tune of his solo stuff, asked an expertise on this universe whether attending that show would imply the risk of ending mentally disable or affected irreversibly, and he insisted I should see him, thus there was nothing which could prevent me from going to Music Hall, and purchased two tickets, one for Lou, half Norma Jean Magazine founder and editor, who came for the show and is staying at the Hellhouse for few days.
After some pre-show drinks with a couple of friends, we arrived to the venue, somehow surprised by the sold-out notice. Fortunately we had our tickets, but my friends couldn’t make it.
And what did we find there? The place was super packed with hipsters especially, rock and metal musical oriented guys, an outstanding musical press presence, but also people more into electronic stuff. I talked to many acquaintances afterwards, and those into tock loved Omar’s show, however those looking for something different enjoyed the supporting act better.
Once we made ourselves comfortable and were grabbing a beer, we took notice of the situation and what was going on. On the stage a DJ and an apparent belly dancer, and the music was as Martian as the electronic music at the closing of Primavera Sound at 6 AM. Those electronic sounds and repetitive rhythms full of syncopes and weird effects and noises, to sum up, the kind of music you perhaps could enjoy if high on something. Eureka The Butcher, Marcel Rodriguez Lopez’s project, couldn’t be more different and further to my musical interests and tastes. It didn’t bother me, but honestly, felt completely out of place. At the end of the show, lots of people were making fun requesting for an encore.
Omar Rodriguez Lopez is just one year older than me, even though he’s got this appearance of eternal youngster. He’s a self made man, or better said, his musical career can speak for himself. Yet, seeing him on stage, the way he greeted the audience in a shy and humble way, made me think of an accessible genius, andi liked it. The way he play, this is, his physical way of playing the guitar dancing and syncopating with his whole body, from head to toe, transmitted a unique groove and good vibes.
I can’t name any single song, and there wasn’t any set list, it was a sequence of jams based on initial songs, everything so amazingly arranged, but tied up at the same time, the musicians were in a musical journey to land on Earth at some point. Really the songs were highly atmospheric and lysergic, you just had to go with the flow. It was fascinating observing and enjoying listening, it was like abandoning yourself to the sound of music, and believe me, such experience is hard to reach.
The band was formed by Omar, amazing Deantoni Parks on drums, and Juan Alderete on bass guitar, well yes, pure The Mars Volta awesomeness on stage.
Teri Gender Bender, the singer of another side project of Omar, Le Bucherettes, currently supporting The Mars Volta on this European tour, jumped onto stage to perform a couple of songs and I think we all passed through several stages to end up surrendering to her charms and voice. A gorgeous girl, with a powerful voice, a hipster look and her mean face and monkey dances. For 30 seconds I thought she was ridiculous, on the second 31 I was delighted with her.
The trip was so intense and brilliant, Omar didn’t seem to feel like stop playing, and the crowd would have welcome more stuff, but unfortunately the organization addressed the show must come to an end, thus Omar thanked us for being there and left the stage.
Great impressions exchanged among the attendants, I personally impressed by the sound, the quality and Omar himself, and super glad of risking and opening to musical experiments and experiences.
Wish I can make it soon to see any of his projects. Viva Omar, his afro, his babyface and his huge glasses! What a musical monster!