Once a year I get really into the Mars Volta for about 48 hours. The mood strikes me just right and I dive head first into their insane brand of progressive rock. It’s admittedly only palatable for short periods of time but the duo of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala are more than capable of creating some strange and satisfying music. They were At The Drive-In. Then they were The Mars Volta. Now they are Antemasque. If The Mars Volta sounds like psychedelic prog-rock on hallucinogens and hard alcohol, and Antemasque is the light beer equivalent. Red Hot Chili Peppers’ legendary bassist Flea performs on their 2014 self-titled debut album and the sound is far more streamlined and articulate than most of what The Mars Volta delivered during their six album run. Its still frenetic and occasionally chaotic but the welcome addition of Flea and a new found respect for 70s FM rock and punk has given the Rodriguez-Lopez & Biller-Zavala sound some new life.
PREDICTION: Antemasque will play a sweltering late afternoon set in front of a small crowd of sweaty, devoted rock heads at the Outdoor Stage. There will be at least one vaguely coherent 10 minute jam session and some light moshing.