The Mars Volta are no more. Guitarist and main composer Omar Rodriguez-Lopez has moved on to form Bosnian Rainbows, resulting in singer and lyricist Cedric Bixler-Zavala announced via Twitter that TMV’s inactivity was not a mere hiatus, but an actual end to the group, as he was dropping the mic.
In tribute to the sixth-dimension latin-funk math-punk rockers, we here at Antiquiet are celebrating the band’s legacy by scouring the depths of YouTube for the best videos we could find, spanning across a decade of The Mars Volta’s career.
First off, pro-shot footage of a concert that’s possibly the band’s most well-known by now: their performance at the Electric Ballroom in 2003. This was along the time of the release of their first album De-Loused In The Comatorium, yet features the vast majority of it played live. Cedric’s priceless introduction at the very beginning of the video is worth a click by itself:
The Mars Volta’s second album, 2005’s Frances The Mute, still holds up as a favorite among most fans, and apparently even Cedric Bixler-Zavala considers that as the band’s best live era. Its highlight was arguably the mind-blowing 30-minute closing piece Cassandra Gemini, which they would perform live on every show that tour – and then never again. Luckily enough footage of the song performed live exists in decent quality, and you can check it out in the playlist below. While you’re watching, ask yourself how many bands can actually maintain your attention that well for a song that lasts half an hour.
As our news piece about the band breaking up already included great footage of Day of the Baphomets, we’re posting here another song from the album Amputechture, but this time featuring the band’s replacement for Jon Theodore on the drum kit: Thomas Pridgen, who would later go on to record The Bedlam in Goliath with them. Watch the group obliterate Tetragammatron below:
Following Thomas Pridgen’s demise, the band went on to tour behind Octahedron – perhaps their weakest outing – and get Dave Elitch to fill in the drumming position, with Cedric Bixler-Zavala calling him the Volta drummer that sounded the most like Jon Theodore. Here’s a much more streamlined lineup of the band (you can actually count the people onstage) performing a great, jammed-out cover of Marianne Faithfull’s Broken English:
And finally, we leave you with Trinkets Pale of Moon, which could’ve been one of the standout tracks on the band’s last album, Noctourniquet, had it retained its original, much longer version that was performed live. As mentioned in our review of the that album, drummer Deantoni Parks and bassist Juan Alderete gelled together to form a ridiculously dynamic rhythm session, and it certainly shows here. Cedric’s off-mic singing around the 10:40 mark is still one of the coolest little things we’ve seen the band do live.