Best Concert (Since March 2003) - 2004
The Mars Volta
Readers' Choice: (tie): David Bowie/Radiohead
The first time the Mars Volta came to town, in November 2001, it was easily outshone by the other acts on the night's bill. Vocalist Cedric Bixler and guitarist Omar Rodriguez seemed reserved, even timid, despite being widely renowned for their explosive stage presence as members of the critically acclaimed El Paso quartet At the Drive In. But by the time they returned two years later in support of the just-released Mars Volta debut -- the epochal prog-rock masterpiece De-Loused in the Comatorium -- their sound and live show had noticeably coalesced. The result was simply the best concert of the year. Unfortunately, it's also probably one of the last times the band will play a venue this intimate.