The silhouettes of two pulsating afro\\\'s are accidentally projected onto the ceiling by the stage lighting, onstage below a man with huge hair grabs one such giant stage light – that’s a massive 500w spot-light thing incidentally, we\\\'re not talking about table lamps - and starts swinging it round the place like an Olympic hammer thrower going for gold, how he gets away with this without getting flattened by security is frankly confusing, more pertinently, how he got through customs at Heathrow with that haircut is a similar mystery. This is of course The Mars Volta, El Paso, Texas\\\' own post At The Drive-In prog-hardcore heroes and they don\\\'t let anything rest for a second.
The fearsome opening salvo of \\\"Son et Lumiere\\\", \\\"Inertiatic Esp\\\" and \\\"Roulette Dares” from their astonishingly ambitious De-Loused in The Comatorium is nothing short of completely overpowering, Cedric - never the calm one, it must be said – flys about the stage like an electric eel on crystal meth, somehow managing to steer clear of Omar\\\'s flying guitar, and once again, just for the record that hair is simply incredible. Even the recent loss of off stage sound manipulator Jeremy Ward hasn\\\'t managed to dampen their furious and complex live sound, songs start as a blast of tightly constructed hardcore before turning as is from nowhere into extended jams of the like not heard since Zeppelin were striding the planet, then just when it seems like its gone too far, they bring it all together again into a huge chorus.
The Mars Volta
The sprawl of De-Loused... may not be an immediately satisfying LP, repeated sittings are required before it gets under the skin, its some of this longer songs that don’t work best played live, not from lack of musicianship – The Mars Volta are technically an amazing live band – but the more meandering songs start to drag their feet towards the end of the show. With only one album to draw from however and the pure jaw-dropping performances of most of the material it would be unfair to fault them on this. When At The Drive-In split many people mourned their loss but judging by the crowd reaction this evening we have some new heroes.