Night three of three consecutive nights exceeded all expectations.
Text, Photographs by Joshua Alvarez (@joshua.jam3s) at the
Hollywood Palladium on October 23rd, 2022:
Who would have ever thought that we would get to see The Mars Volta play again after their breakup? Selling out any event is an admirable feat, but to sell out three consecutive nights at the Hollywood Palladium is a testament to the support that exists from fans all over Los Angeles who have been anticipating to see the beloved progressive rock band.
Opening the night was the always spectacular Teri Gender Bender, who is no stranger to the music world with multiple projects under her belt with this being the newest of her musical endeavors. Teri delivered an electrifying performance in both English and Spanish, meshing well with the evening's headliners. A wide array of progressive sound and funky instrumentation was driven forward by her distinct vocals and engaging performance. Newly released EP, Saturn Sex, certainly got some shine.
As everything for The Mars Volta was being set into place, the anticipation was building within The Palladium. The back drop was decorated with giant mirrors and lights, which made for a very minimal but effective production that added new layers to an already staggering presentation. As the lights dimmed, the band opened with the beautiful Vicarious Atonement, a track that kicks off with an exquisite Omar Rodríguez-López guitar solo that leads right into Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s soft and sultry vocals, which sounded better than ever.
Their signature fusion of the Latin and progressive rock sound was heavily present with a career spanning set that incorporated a few new tracks into the setlist as well, those being Blacklight Shine and Graveyard Love. Fans both new and old were pleased throughout the two hour phenomenon. Cicatriz ESP, Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of), and Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Sound got the roaring reception anticipated. The performance was tight and reflective of how bad Omar and Cedric longed to perform again, as evident by the level of camaraderie that was visible among the members on stage.
Tracks like The Widow, Drunkship of Lanterns, and L’Via L'Viaquez live are an auditory experience unlike any other. The subtle moving lights coming from the mirrors mixed with the chaotic but moody lights elevated the songs to a new level.
As the night came to an end, Cedric graciously thanked everyone for coming out, gave proper introductions, and put an exclamation point on the evening in the best way possible, Inertiatic ESP — one of the most chaotic tracks off of De-Loused in the Comatorium (2003). The tour has now concluded, but the thousands at The Palladium continue to reminisce of the greatness on display. Good times were had and with a new record still fresh in our ears, one can hope that we'll continue to see them stateside.
Enjoy a photo gallery of the festivities below and stream/order the self-titled record.