The Mars Volta | 09.17-21 | East Coast

By: Aric Mayer

The Mars Volta :: 09.17.08 :: Hammerstein Ballroom :: New York, NY
The Mars Volta :: 09.20.08 :: Electric Factory :: Philadelphia, PA
The Mars Volta :: 09.21.08 :: Rams Head Live :: Baltimore, MD

The Mars Volta
The Mars Volta have been on a monumental world tour throughout 2008. I saw two shows on the first leg in January, and now that they are back in the Northeast Corridor, I decided to take a mini-tour. I was never a full-on tour head, but it wasn't out of the question to pack a knapsack and hit three or four shows with the Grateful Dead and Phish when I lived in California. I started seeing The Mars Volta just over three years ago and never has the notion of dropping it all for one more show been more appealing than now. With bags packed and anticipation high, I went forth to cover the tail end of their Bedlam in Goliath tour.

While a basic repetition of the setlist looks a bit tiresome on paper, the song titles only partially capture what I witnessed. While still playing close to two hours, many tunes were shaved for this leg of the tour, but to say that this band likes to explore or stretch out does a disservice to what The Mars Volta is about because it fails to convey how out there they can take things. As with all bands in the jam genre, there are structured, written segments, and then there are the springboards that send those tunes into vague representations of themselves. While I have seen TMV overindulge in aimless jams in the past, I was never disinterested in the music on this run - there were no perceptible lags, no struggling to find their way and it was consistently enthralling to watch this band perform the re-create these songs.

So, while every night began with the appropriately named "Goliath," the breaks, the solos and the adventuring through the parts of that song led us into different energies on all three nights. In New York it was a monstrous rocker, but by the time they reached Baltimore there was a complete jazz stop - with a saxophone and drums duet that would have seemed out of place in the same tune a few nights earlier.

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez by Anna Perry
The Hammerstein show started strong and proved to be the most full throttle of the three, in terms of energy and intensity. An old opera house, it was the largest venue, holding 3,500 people and offering the most elaborate light show and largest stage. The set also clocked in as the longest show of this trio. In a rap between "Aberinkula" and the closer, lead singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala told some fighting drunks to cut the crap, and then got the audience involved with a call and response of "a knife, a fork, a bottle and a cork! That's the way we spell New York! Right on, right ON!" (from Dillinger's "Cocaine in My Brain"). I'm certain that Pan was looking down from the ceiling, dancing amongst other angels and seraphs in the hand painted fresco and cheering us on as the band tore into the only performance on this run of "Drunkship of Lanterns" to close the set.

The audience at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia was mesmerized from the opening tune. The venue felt a bit cavernous, much like The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, but the sound was solid and all eyes remained front and center. After years of preaching against crowd surfacing and mosh pits, Cedric did not need to utter a word in Philly - although a noticeably younger crowd, everyone was well behaved and enthralled with the performance (in contrast to the near-melee of stupid drunks fighting in New York). Having seen these tunes played once through, I was able to focus more on the subtleties of the performance (and less on the possibility of being clocked by a hoodlum).

My observations: While Cedric has the role of frontman, guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez certainly has the reins. The composer and arranger of the studio music and the conductor onstage, he gives little cues to the other seven musicians regarding tempo, solos and dynamics. And when it comes time for him to do his thing on the guitar, the man shreds. He plays over, under and through the songs - his solos on "Viscera Eyes" and "Cygnus" were unfathomably bad-assed. I was listening to a 1969 live version of "Hot Tamales" recently and there certainly is a Santana influence in what The Mars Volta offer up during a jam, but it's a scary, deep, post-modern turn on the Latin tinged music of those rock legends. Whatever their influences, the band continues to evolve, regardless of whether they choose to play new tunes or dip back into the songbook.

The Mars Volta by Laurie Scavo
Speaking of which, the revival of "Eunuch Provocateur" made a lot of diehards happy, and I can't say enough about the command that Cedric has over his vocal range - especially if you go back and listen to At The Drive-In recordings. Wow. Meanwhile, the rhythmic changes during the jams can make the songs totally unpredictable. Thomas Pridgen really appears to be superhuman. I won't get into the debate about the change in drummers except to say that this incarnation of TMV seems to laugh and smile a whole lot more as a unit than when I got introduced to them in 2005. They challenge each other with every move, impossibly taking already complex tunes into maddeningly chaotic territory. My old buddy calls them "savants," which is a pretty good encapsulation.

So, my mini-tour wound down at the Rams Head Live, a 1,600 capacity intimate venue in Baltimore, where the sound was stellar. The featured ballad and minor radio song, "The Widow," sent true chills in this setting, featuring the fabulous fretwork by Juan Alderete on bass. Then, they transitioned into "Aberinkula" again and I knew it was ending.

During my time this past week, I had moments of being completely transformed - it's as close as I can get to seeing Led Zeppelin rip a blues jam or Pink Floyd space out in their respective heydays - which is to say, go see TMV now while they are living and pushing and performing in support of a monstrous record.

With minor changes in order, the setlists included:

Goliath, Viscera Eyes, Wax Simulacra, Eunuch Provocateur, Ouroboros, Ilyena, Cygnus... Vismund Cygnus, The Widow, Aberinkula (and Drunkship of Lanterns in NYC only)

The Mars Volta's next gig is Wednesday, October 1 in Arizona. They headline L.A.'s Detour Fest on Saturday. Mars Volta tour dates available here.

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[Published on: 9/29/08]

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Comments

Mr_McDankenstein Mon 9/29/2008 06:45PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Mr_McDankenstein

bring back Jon Theodore!

Matthew Jaworski starstarstarstar Mon 9/29/2008 07:27PM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Matthew Jaworski

Mr_McDankenstein - I have to disagree. I was worried when I heard Theodore left, but Thomas Pridgen is an absolute MONSTER and Bedlam, imho of course, is their best album since De-loused. And if took Jon Theodore leaving Mars to bring Zack de la Roca out of semi-retirement ... all the better.

Nice review, AM.

Hotchkiss starstarstarstarstar Mon 9/29/2008 09:37PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Hotchkiss

i'm with you there matthew. i was worried when jon left, but thomas has proved to be the right guy for the job.

im still digesting Frances the Mute and Amputechture, not to mention scab dates.

i'll get around to bedlam by the time the release the next album.

cleemchite starstarstarstarstar Mon 9/29/2008 10:32PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

cleemchite

Eunuch Provocateur!? Holy shit! Quality review.

Ointment starstarstarstarstar Mon 9/29/2008 10:44PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Ointment

Great review. Saw them twice in the past year, most recently in Philly on the 20th, and it was definitely one of the greatest shows I've ever been to. "I had moments of being completely transformed - it's as close as I can get to seeing Led Zeppelin rip a blues jam or Pink Floyd space out in their respective heydays." I was thinking of that exact comparison during the show. The Mars Volta are our generation's premier psychedelic rock band. See theses guys any chance you get.

dsawthestone Tue 9/30/2008 07:59AM
Show -9 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
ScIFreak Tue 9/30/2008 08:15AM
Show -9 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
keenan41 Tue 9/30/2008 08:21AM
+5 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

keenan41

SCIFreak...I think the absolute suckiness of RHCP put a bad taste in your mouth for Mars Volta. I mean, really, how many songs with California in the title or chorus can a band write?

UmphVolta Tue 9/30/2008 08:47AM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

^^Screamo? you sir, are an idiot

futhepharmer starstarstarstarstar Tue 9/30/2008 09:15AM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

futhepharmer

I have to say that these guys are one of the most unique acts around. They will blow your mind for reals. Saw them late night at Bonnaroo. That year, I was aksing folks whats the craziest shit to go see late night? everyone said to check out the Volta. So I did. Took a little psychadelic sumpin' sumpin' and let me tell you, Ive never seen so many hippies with blown away looks on their faces. Everyone was lookin' at each other like, this is fuckin' incredible! I've been crazy into them ever since. BELIEVE IT!

Conjugal Burning starstarstarstarstar Tue 9/30/2008 10:17AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Conjugal Burning

^^ one of those dude was me!! My volta cherry was popped at the roo and i will never look back! Oh, but TMV played Drunkship at Columbus, the first show of this tour and dedicated it to us for the previous cancellations

Conjugal Burning starstarstarstarstar Tue 9/30/2008 10:22AM
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Conjugal Burning

besides the drunkship typo's awesome review!! by far my favorite band, their jams bring me to wonderous places while scaring the shit out of me at the same time. Oh and SCIFreak stop talking shit if the only shows youve seen were on the rhcp tour. They were in between drummers and they crowds sucked. All of the Voltards in the audience felt it as did TMV. See them again with T.P. The man has the fastest chops I have ever seen live, and he doesnt stop for the entire show. While the band will drift into eerie soft jams, the non-stop ghost note fills are all over the place. Probably the best drummer i have EVER seen

Conjugal Burning Tue 9/30/2008 10:25AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Conjugal Burning

my bad Aric you were probably just speaking of the three show run you witnessed in regards to the playing of drunkship... I wish I was there for all of them!

phanatic2 starstarstarstarstar Tue 9/30/2008 12:14PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

saw the Volta for the second time in Boston on 9-14 and it was one crazy ass show. It was about 100 degrees in the orpheum and the Volta rocked the socks off of everyone in Boston. Glad to see they still have not sold out to the arenas, and continue to play clubs and theatres. It was so crazy seeing Cedric sing Dirty Water by the Standells for the Bostonians! Such an obscure cover for the Volta to pull off, figured they cover some Floyd or Zappa or something they are rooted in. But long live the volta, and long live the Volta-ites, those who see the talent in this band are true music lovers, ......those who dont get it, well, dont GET it. Oh well, their loss :)

ScIFreak Tue 9/30/2008 02:11PM
Show -6 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
Ointment starstarstarstarstar Tue 9/30/2008 03:48PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Ointment

If you think they suck so much, why bother spend your time giving your gay opinions on every one of this bands articles on this site? That's the second time I read your stupid ass story about the beer being knocked over, making me feel that your the douchebag.

brooklynite84 Tue 9/30/2008 05:12PM
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I can't wait to see them for the first time ever tomorrow in AZ, i've always heard their shows are really amazing and well worth it. i hope so since i spent $45 friggin dollars on this. the funny thing is, is that they were just added to the Voodoo Fest lineup after i got my ticket for the show here. Oh well, i'm sure it will be awesome times, one will have a more intimate setting whereas the other will have the festival setting. it will be cool to see both. For now, I'm off to see Sigur Ros...

ScIFreak Tue 9/30/2008 06:15PM
Show -5 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
Mr_McDankenstein Tue 9/30/2008 06:25PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Mr_McDankenstein

Matthew- I'm just a huge fan of how amazing they were up until amputechture, which I bought and enjoy only because it's The Mars Volta, but when Cedric and Omar took over the band and referred to themselves as "The partnership that is the mars Volta" I got turned off by what I took as them being arrogant, I saw them open for RHCP and although they opened with Roulette Dares it seemed like Cedric was too coked out to be on stage and Omar wasn't really playing anything relating to the music being held down by the other 20 people on stage, so I kind of got off the bus after Amputechture. Maybe I need to hear Bedlam, but I'm still going to fully advocate Jon Theodore's return to the fullest.

Mr_McDankenstein Tue 9/30/2008 06:27PM
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Mr_McDankenstein

except for the fact that it did get Zach to make some new music with someone. I'm hoping he's just warming himself up for the best RATM album since Battle of Los Angeles.

schofizzl Wed 10/1/2008 12:04AM
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schofizzl

okay first of all whoever was talking shit about the peppers doesn't know how to enjoy life. you can not like them, that's fine, but to talk shit about them is completely pointless, because if they heard you they would laugh in your face and not give a damn, then continue to pump out funky licks around the world as one of the most loved and respected bands in the last 30 years of rock history.

second, i saw TMV with the peppers also and the problem at that show (STL) was terrible sound mixing.. with so much going on in their tunes and it was up so loud it was just a big screeching mess, and from 20 feet off the rail it felt like my ears would bleed, but not in a good way. everybody was holding their ears and a few bad seeds threw some drinks up on stage. i was always upset because i love TMV albums, it was a big disappointment.

z man starstarstarstar Wed 10/1/2008 04:22AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

How can anyone dawg the chilli peppers. They've been making music since alot of you kids were in a womb, you learned to crawl, walk, then ride a bike and now you think you know music. Whatever, the volta raises hell and I love it!

djacoustic Wed 10/1/2008 05:01AM
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djacoustic

Oh look everyone! SCI Freak is here with another close minded ignorant comment! Haven't we talked about this before SCIWookie? NO ONE GIVES A SHIT WHAT YOU THINK! YOU ARE A CLOSE MINDED IDIOT! Have you gotten a job yet? Or are you still stashing your dad's money and praying for a Phish reunion? My bet is no job. Pharmer, that Volta show was sick as hell! I also saw them with a little sumpin' in my head. This band is absolutely amazing. SCIFreak, Kill yourself.

Conjugal Burning Wed 10/1/2008 07:19AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Conjugal Burning

Frusciante is the soul of the peppers, and he has been a part of 'The Mars Volta Group' for each album. He and Flea see Omar as a guitar visionary. SCIFreak you just need to catch a headlining show... they will re-introduce to you what 'jamming' is all about. Their jams have balls, willing to explore environments never trampled upon. Zappa did it, Jerry did it, Miles did it, as did countless others. The willingness to let everything go and not be afraid of the new entity such a jam brings with it is what I love about TMV. with your homeboys SCI, they lack such balls with every 'jam' written out to return as a whole, safe and sound. Leave generic jams at home and let the unrivaled haunted spirit Volta brings posses your being

SmashySmashy starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/1/2008 11:10AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

SmashySmashy

I wouldn't go as far to say SCIfreak is ignorant. He didn't dig it and he is just stating that. Messages boards would blow if you didn't get to read both sides of the story. Now I totally disagree with his opinion and I think he is basing it only on the RHCP run, which was notoriously bad. Despite that, I just saw them in Boston and they have got it back. Super tight with the new drummer and back in their element at their medium sized club shows, not the huge venues they were playing with RHCP... I was also at the late night Bonnaroo show they played 4 or 5 years back. I remember it differently though. It was packed for the first song, then most of the extra crunchy hippies covered their ears and cleared out. It was like a mass exodus. And us true fans moved right up and got some space. It was awesome!

keenan41 Wed 10/1/2008 01:29PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

keenan41

I can "dawg" RHCP because they've turned into easy listening music and completely lost the "funky lick" sound they had in the 80s and way early 90s. I lost some interest with Dave Navarro's cameo album and lost all interest with Californication. Also, having a short opening slot for a band never does justice. You need to see a full on headlining gig to really appreciate a band.

Grupp Wed 10/1/2008 02:47PM
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Grupp

Author's Note:

As to the opening slots that TMV had in the past - they were between drummers, they were not particularly sober, they opened for RHCP and then System of a Down in huge basketball arenas...I don't think you can evaluate a band based on a warm-up gig. And a band like this is going to have good shows and less good shows, even awful ones, because they take crazy chances - and they take things to the dark side (which is something that the GD could do, and Phish could do, and Claypool and Praxis - but SCI emphatically DOES NOT). You have to dig that scary side to a degree or this band isn't for you (am I right ScIFREAK?)

Jon Theodore is a great drummer. Frusciante is a great player. And TMV are extremely arrogant - arguably justified as they are bad assed rock star freak artists and they know what they are capable of! Sure, there are going to be artistic differences and all that - how many times did Zappa change his musicians? Or Santana? If that rubs you wrong - why? But if you are willing to get on the bus with these guys, and you like to let go and leave your expectations behind - the shows are going to be worth your $50 (as I am sure the Hampton shows will be).

ps I love Freaky Styley AND Dani California...Thanks for reading - it was a blast and a pleasure.

brooklynite84 Wed 10/1/2008 11:31PM
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Just saw the Volta tonight in AZ and i will tell you that the show that they played rocked, but the problem is, is that they came onstage 15min late and stopped playing 15min early, only a 1 1/2hrs all together, with no enocores. everyone thought it was just an intermission, but nope, i checked with the theater employees and they said that they shouldve played longer and showed me the Show Cards that read Volta was supposed to play from 7:30 to 9:30...all in all, it was my first Volta experience and it wasn't worth the $45 for that short performance, it was definitely good quality music full of high energy, but come on, you can't give us our moneys worth! I'm mean they don't even have an opener, so what's the deal?

radarlin star Thu 10/2/2008 12:39AM
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radarlin

I just saw Volta in AZ, too at the Dodge theatre. My friends and i are irate at how short the set was. By the way brooklynite84 Volta came on at 7:50 and had like a 4min intro before the band got on stage. Volta ended the set around 9:10. They played basically an hour. They straight up fucking snubbed the AZ fans. My friends said it best "the will be playing the clubhouse if they ever come here again." Well Volta just lost three very loyal fans tonite in AZ. Unfucking believeable. A $50 dollar ticket, for an hour of a Volta, that is unheard of in Volta world. These are the guys who i saw at Vegoose a couple of years ago and their first fucking song of the set was 50 mins alone! Not including the 3 other songs that were in double digit time. Hahahaha man what a bunch of pompous assholes. See you later Volta don't fucking bother to come to Arizona again!

radarlin Thu 10/2/2008 12:51AM
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radarlin

P.S. The song, the widow, sucks. I can't believe they wasted their time playing that when they have so much new material to push

bchater starstarstarstarstar Thu 10/2/2008 10:16AM
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bchater

Groovy review, AM. I saw them this past friday at Austin City Limits, and they tore it up. They were competing with Manu Chao in their time slot, but they obviously have a faithful following in Austin. Their set (or, more appropriately, "time slot") was only an hour long, but they let go of the reins and gave us an hour of pure unadulterated volta magic. I've been a fan since I had my first out-of-body, out-of-mind experience with them in 04 or 05 at the Greek Theater in Berkeley (with AM), but I too was impressed at the places they took us at the ACL show last week. Much more "jammy" energy than I'd remembered...

brooklynite84 Thu 10/2/2008 12:49PM
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radarlin, i just spoke with a friend whos roomate worked the security and i guess your right, they actually had 45-50min of more playing to go...theres rumors that a buttload of people got their money back last night, which i was about to do, but went home instead. i just called the box office and the manager told me that nobody got a refund and that it's not their fault that the band ended early and that i should take it up with band itself if i'm not satisfied...god, you gotta love AZs music scene. You'd think these fuckers would put on an amazing long show for us out here in this vast and lonely desert, but no, so fuck these guys, they may be talented, but they can suck a large fat dildo!!!

Conjugal Burning Thu 10/2/2008 03:09PM
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Conjugal Burning

Was there moshing at the Dodge? they have been known to cut shows short if the crowd is hurting people trying to get their dance on. Also, being a fan since 04, you have to realize that Volta makes their art for themselves, not the crowds who show up to witness it. They make their art for the sake of art, hence why on some occasions they get bottles of piss thrown at them. TMV's punk roots are evident on numerous occasions, but it makes me love them even more

radarlin Thu 10/2/2008 11:46PM
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radarlin

Conjugal Burning there was literally 3-4 mins of moshing at the dodge and it ceased very quickly. Their "punk" roots are GONE. Hahhaha in order to witness their art they charge 50 bucks for a ticket; last time i checked "punk" didn't cost that much. At least they should have given us an opening band to even make it worthing going. Brooklynite84 i wanted to get my money back but didn't think about doing it til i left. I am still in shock about what happened. I just got bitch slapped by Volta and all i did was buy their fucking ticket and love that god damn band for YEARS. In the great words of Brian Eno "Honor thy mistakes as hidden intent." My mistake was going to the show and my intent is to never give them the time of day again. Pompous assholes.

Conjugal Burning Fri 10/3/2008 08:51AM
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Conjugal Burning

it sucks that tix were 50 bones when they were 20 something for the Columbus show. It also sucks you are repulsed by their actions. But their actions such as only playing a 50 minute set as well as cancelling shows hours before the doors open displays such punk roots. The whole, i dont give a shit attitude they have displayed on numerous occasions is punk as all hell

brooklynite84 Fri 10/3/2008 12:13PM
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Alright, the only reason why i keep checking this damn article and what people are saying everyday, is to see how many other people at the AZ show got snuffed. Conjugal, i feel for ya man, when you have us dissing on your band, but i'm sorry, radarlin is right, 50dollars is not punk at all, so stop talking about them being so PUNK, cause they're not, they're assholes, but they're not punks. And radarlin, just wanted to add, when i spoke with a manager yesterday afternoon to get my refund, you know i of course added the fact that parking cost 10dollars plus one fuckin Bud Light, which was another 10dollars, so 70dollars for One Hour for One Band, is absolutely the worst money i've ever spent on a concert and i've even seen COLDPLAY in concert (i know i'll get a lot of shit just for that) I am seeing these guys again when i go to Voodoo Fest which they are supposed to play 1hr and 15min, maybe i'll catch the rest of the show we missed there. HAHAHA! I only payed 130dollars for that and that's three days with a shitload of better bands as well, so all in all, radarlin and i are right to be not satisfied and turned off from this band, i don't care if they carry an attitude and wear it on their sleaves, they just better hope i'm not in front row at this next festival cause i'll throw any heavy object at their stupid asses, just for fuckin' us AZ fans over!

radarlin Fri 10/3/2008 07:32PM
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radarlin

Brooklynite84 excellent notion about money spent in one hour. Mars Volta should give a fuck considering the economy this day in age SUCKS. So for middle class folks like us to shell out a shit ton of money to see them play i expect money moneys worth now. I mean these guys are fucking millionaires and certainly dont live like punks. FANS are the ones who buy the bands music, merch, tickts, the least they could do is act grateful OR give us a longer fucking show. And the whole "dont give a shit attitude" please if they are going to act like whiney ass wankers i don't want any part of it. It was cool ramblin' with ya brooklynite84!

Mr_McDankenstein Sat 10/4/2008 12:44PM
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Mr_McDankenstein

word^^

Conjugal Burning Mon 10/6/2008 07:32AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Conjugal Burning

i dont think I could be more biased when relating to you AZ peeps simply because Volta shafted Ohioans far worse, but they ended up delivering in the long run. Living in Cincy, Columbus is a two hour drive. Not bad at all really for an amazing show, but Volta cancelled the day of the show. The new date came around and there was a line around the building. 10 minutes before the doors were supposed to open they cancelled on us again. There is a youtube video of a TMV shirt being burned outside the venue. They had to bring in the riot police while all the meathead security were yelling out "diva" and "The lead singer cannot sing for he has taken too much medicine" then motioned a heroin gesture. The fact of the matter that after traveling 12 hours and waiting 6 months, they still came and gave the best show I have ever seen. My 5th time seeing them was a climax words can not express. This band is the shit but being a fan requires patience which shall be rewarded in the long run. Volta at a Voodoo fest= pure insanity and I wish you all the best.

Grupp Mon 10/6/2008 12:41PM
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Grupp

It's a business. Simple lesson - TMV can't shaft fans or there won't be any! Garcia was a great businessman, and there were many shows that left Deadheads wanting a refund...but I only remember the good ones!

The TMV shows I reviewed got progressively shorter, but the cost of each ticket was the same - maybe the big world tour is wearing them down? I'm all for artistry and moody experimentation - I would rather see a band take a chance than choreograph each note to the minute every night - but they do owe you all of the energy they can muster for $50 - and it sounds like AZ got the shaft. . .

lanceuppercut3 Mon 10/6/2008 05:55PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

scifreak is gay and stupid, rhcp are awesome but the fact that you talk shit on volta and say they suck makes fans of rhcp look like tools djacoustic sick burn!

swansong200 Sat 12/20/2008 11:54AM
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TP makes TMV what they currently are: the best god damn band in the world. Jon was good, but TP is a BEAST.