September 28, 2009

Monolith Music Festival 2009 Wrap-Up: The Mars Volta

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The Mars Volta were undeniably talented. They were the most talented group of musicians as far as ability and showmanship goes that I have seen in recent memory. These things can never be taken away from them. But the whole thing came off as a little masturbatory, so I ended up leaving before the encore. I like their music ... for the most part ... but I just couldn't handle the live show and the fans. Maybe it was just the people around me, but there were some very disrespectful people around me. I don't think I'd see them again.

The Mars Volta - Metatron

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Unknown said...

Brilliant. Are you a reporter or like just some dude who says stuff but provides no context or examples?

Luke Hunter James-Erickson said...

Thanks Chris! Not every day someone says "brilliant" in regards to something on this website.

I'd be the latter, unfortunately. I'm not bound to anything that demands I justify my words, which is what makes the internet great. My words on this site are kind of just my opinions, wrong as they may be.

The Mars Volta is an insanely talented band. Their ability is probably incalculable. Their showmanship is unmatched by very many. These are things that are undeniable. But the fact of the matter is that I didn't go to Monolith to be rocked, or, rather, semi-prog-rocked. I'm not really all that into 20 minute jam sessions. The bands that really shook things up were the bands that didn't have to go off on 8 minute guitar solos to prove their ability, bands that were comfortable making songs in 4/4 which are still experimental and awesome, or bands that completely shirked those confines and just went ahead and made noise, but to a steady beat (okay, admittedly that was pretty much just HEALTH). The Mars Volta are, despite their oddities and quirkiness, a rock band. Maybe a Jazzy, latin, etc. rock band, but a rock band none the less.

From an audience member's point of view, which is exactly what I am as I have no formal training in music theory, all I have to go on is how I felt when watching/listening to their set. And I felt like it was a bit over the top, like I was supposed to just bow down and recognize that they're the kings, and I the peasant. I very well may be the peasant, but I don't count being reminded of that fact a fun night.

Again, these are simply my opinions, as an audience member. Did you see the show? Have you seen The Mars Volta? I'd love to heard how you found their performance. I've not really discussed their live show with very many people, so it'd be nice to hear the other side.