Think of tonight as one steaming hot banquet. If music was food then tonight’s first act Le Butcherettes would be the starter, the equivalent of a piping hot Mexican chilli.
The greatest import from Mexico since Cheech & Chong, Brujeria, Speedy Gonzales and the Burrito were Le Butcherettes. Lead by frontwoman, Teresa Suarez Cosio, going by the stage name of Teri Gender Bender, the songstress had no problem working the crowd.
The floor of the Hordern soon piled up like pensioners at the local, waiting for their numbers to be called for the Friday night raffle, as they enjoyed selections from the buffet.
Firing on all cylinders with “Burn the Scab” taken from Cry is for the Flies (2014), which is a perfect way to open up a tight set. Teri speaks her native tongue in between songs, showing her praises with “Muchas Gracias” before belting out with some fine skills on the keyboard. Think of a mix between Bjork, Mike Patton and PJ Harvey; some would say the perfect cocktail and they wouldn’t be mistaken.
Alejandra Robles Luna provides drums of precision, backed by the bass groove of Marfred Rodríguez-López, as the band plough through a forty-five minute set which goes all too fast. The distinct sound of Teri’s guitar and the infectious riff of “Demon Stuck in your Eye”, another from that same album, leaves smiles on the faces of many here tonight.
“Witchless C Spot” taken from the most recent, A Raw Youth (2015) gets a good response, however its songs from the debut LP, Sin Sin Sin (2010) which prove to be the real crowd favourites.
From the fat riff of “I’m Getting Sick of You”, to the quirkiness of personal favourite, “The Leibniz Language” and the ever so catchy set closer “Henry Don’t Got Love” the sounds of a Mexican garage rock/punk band go down well tonight.
After the entrée and breathes of air in between meals, it was time for the main course, a Texan Barbeque of sorts courtesy of At the Drive-In.
For anyone who had missed out on catching this band in the past, thinking they would never get the chance to break their ATDI cherry, thanks to the comeback album and a tour to boot tonight dreams had been proven to come true.
The reforming of bands, such as Faith No More, Refused, and now ATDI, spark excitement in the rock community. Vocalist Cedric Bixler hasn’t slowed down any, running around the stage jumping around like a manic jack in the box, throwing his mic stand in the air.
It is the break-through Relationship of Command (2000) which takes over tonight, starting with the brilliant “Arcarsenal”, feelings of nostalgia captivating the Pavilion. Songs off the most recent in•ter a•li•a (2017) blend in nicely with the likes of, “No Wolf Like the Present”, ”Continuum”, “Hostage Stamps”, “Call Broken Arrow”, “Pendulum in a Peasant Dress” and “Governed by Contagious”, which looks like fans had learnt all the words to as they sang along like a drunken choir.
As tonight’s set mainly focuses on the two most recent releases it is nice to see the slow-burner “198d” from the Vaya (1999) EP and “Napoleon Solo” from In/Casion/Out (1998). More songs from the back catalogue would have pleased the early fans but then again if so then there would be less from the iconic Relationship of Command so beggars can’t be choosers.
Omar Rodríguez has an amazing tone to his guitar as always with his distinct style shooting across the stage like a flare lighting up the darkness. Songs like “Enfilade”, “Cosmonaut”, “Sleep Walk Capsules”, the spoken word of “Invalid Litter Dept”, and the anthemic, “Pattern Against User” are surreal, to say the least.
Sparta bandmates; guitarist Keeley Davis and drummer Tony Hajjar, are accompanied by bassist Paul Hinojos, who also played alongside Bixler and Rodríguez in The Mars Volta. The energy on stage is contagious with a faultless set.
Bixler leaves us with a story, rather than a speech, something the frontman tells his audience he won’t be giving tonight. With one of his children upset, as any good father would do Bixler asks “what’s wrong?” to the response that his sibling had “stole my imagination.” Bixler then goes on to say that they tried to steal their imagination but they are still here today.
And the imagination of At the Drive-In continues to create, closing the set with “One Armed Scissor”, receiving the much-deserved heroes response. It is exciting to see what the future brings for the ATDI camp with much, much, much more to serve upon the table.