At the Drive In
September 29, 2017
At the Drive In are back at it.
Had previous incarnations of the El Paso quintet its up and downs, most notably what was perceived to be phoned in performances during 2012s half-hearted brief reunion, tonight’s show was impressive and all constituents of the band, sans Jim Ward who exited the band prior to the second go at the reunion, were enjoying themselves.
Afro intact, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, holds court relying more on refined singing and chanting than gimmicky shrieking, all the while amp hoping, not resisting the occasional surreal audience confusing aside and restlessly moving to the hectic, frantic miasma that makes the tapestry that the guitarists Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Sparta alumnus Keeley Davis weave.
Ever the fulcrum of energy and heady ideas, Zavala leads a band that is solidly steered by the rhythm section comprised of Tony Haijar and Paul Hinojos.
ATDI presented itself as a still anguished coherent whole fully in charge of the proceedings: Still mercurial yet a bit more tempered and mature than the combustible band that burned out at the peak of their commercial success in 2001.
At the Drive In in 2017 is still the blistering and volatile quiet-loud-quiet jagged jigsaw puzzle and what makes their performance endearing is that they manage to nail musical subtleties while still capturing the unhinged chaos they have become known for.
A re-ignition of brash straightforwardness rather than a mere nostalgic reunion trying to rehash the spirit of days past and gone.
Photo by T