Out of every show I've ever been to in my short existance, this one undoubtedly featured both the best hair and dance moves. But for a review in full...
Opening Act: Hella
Caught about the last 5 minutes of their set due to a wrong turn (still new to town). But from what I heard of their set and then later heard from musically-trustworthy friends, these guys are worth a listen.
First Act: The Mars Volta
Undoubtedly on of the greatest bands in current existance. These guys are insane musically and dance-illy, which very well could be a word. Throughout their set I couldn't help but think this was about the closest thing I would get to seeing Led Zep perform live. And not just because of the Robert lant-esque bell-bottom suits. The show was electric and insanely high-energy. The kind of thing that shows that good musicians are always better live. Not to say that Francis the Mute was not brilliant (it was) but it was merely one take from some great improvisers. Catch them live while they still exist as an entity.
Second Act: System of a Down
Given their outspoken political views with such side projects as Axis of Justice, I was expecting more political ranting between songs, but this was kept to only one comment from Darin about how we should establish one big purple state. The set was fairly straight-forward renditions of their music, but was notable for the extended intro's Darin performed. Also, more than one song had clearly newer lyrics either to reflect the current political landscape or just because these guys are clever lyricysts (sometimes) and like to show it off. I did question just how long it is until Darin releases a solo albulm, given the fact that he wrote a good 70-80% of SOAD's last albulm and was definately center-stage at the show. Finally, they capped off the show with an extended version of "Sugar" from way back in the day which got the hardcore fans going.
Only complaint about the show:
I do enjoy some hardcore and shred-metal (and I'm only semi-emberrassed to admit it) when it's done well. But like so many sub-genres, even if I like the music, I typically hate the people who listen to it. The best example is that in the exceptionally long line in the bathroom between sets, all of the stupid metal-heads were complaining about how weird and boring the Mars Volta are, which I would have argued about with them if they weren't all clearly on steroids.
Even though, couldn't kill my good music buzz. I must say, it's so nice to live in a city where it's only a 15 minute drive to see good music, instead of 4 hour drive.