By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This Saturday, November 17th, sees pioneering Texan rock band At The Drive-In make their long-awaited debut on Rio’s famous Circo Voador stage in Lapa. The reformed five-piece will be playing three dates in support of their new album ‘in.ter a.li.a’ in what is their first visit to the country.
After an unexpected comeback in 2016, followed by the release of their first new material in almost two decades, Texas-based quintet At The Drive-In are now bringing their new album ‘in.ter a.li.a’ to Brazil in what must be a treat for fans of alternative rock and post-hardcore, who probably thought they would never see a scintillating At The Drive-In live performance on Brazilian soil.
Famous for being one of the most influential post-hardcore groups of the late nineties and early noughties, At The Drive-In was founded in El Paso, Texas, in 1993 by Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Omar Rodriguez Lopez, and Jim Ward.
It didn’t take long for the band to become recognized as one of the pioneers of the American underground music scene, with their intelligent and passionate blend of raw noise, intricate melodies and experimental techniques.
Although their first two albums, 1996’s ‘Acrobatic Tenement’ and 1998’s ‘In / Casino / Out’ didn’t sell a huge amount, the band received vaunted tour support slots with veteran acts such as Fugazi, Sonic Youth, and Jimmy Eat World.
The beginning of the millennium saw the band release their third album, 2000’s ‘Relationship of Command,’ which catapulted the group into the mainstream, with performances on late night talk shows in the United States and a radio and MTV hit with their single ‘One Armed Scissor.’
However, success was short-lived as the band split up in 2001, going on to form two separate acts: Mars Volta and Sparta. Then, in 2012, At The Drive-In surprised the musical world with comeback performances at Coachella and Lollapalooza.
In 2016, they announced a new tour, which began in the United States in 2017, before passing through Europe and on to South America, where they landed on November 9th with a performance in Santiago, Chile. The band have been subsequently acclaimed for a return to their high octane, wildly energetic performances that saw them gain so many fans during their first ascent.
If their performances in South America so far are any indicator of what fans can expect this Saturday, then there should be a healthy mixture of new and old songs, with the band performing new singles from 2018’s ‘in.ter a.li.a’ such as ‘Governed by Contagions’ and ‘Hostage Stamps’ as well as old classics such as ‘Cosmonaut,’ ‘Arcarsenal,’ and ‘One Armed Scissor.’
When asked about how the band are feeling to be in Brazil, drummer Tony Hajjar commented, “I’m overly excited. It’s so exciting, I’m excited about seeing the soccer stadiums, learning more about the culture, meeting the people. I’m as excited as I was on my first tour when I was twenty-three years old.”