At the Drive-In Were ‘Armed’ and Dangerous at New York’s Terminal 5
El Paso, Texas, post-hardcore greats At the Drive-In are set to release their first album in 17 years, In•ter a•li•a, on May 5 via Rise Records. Produced by the band's guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, the impending 11 track effort follows the group's legendary and groundbreaking third studio album, Relationship of Command, which they unleashed in 2000.
At the Drive-In broke up shortly after the release of Relationship of Command, with select members forming the highly successful proggy, experimental rock project, The Mars Volta, who went on to release six giant and critically-acclaimed albums before officially breaking up in 2013. Others went on to form the alt-rock sensation Sparta, who have released three records so far. At the Drive-In regrouped briefly in 2012 for scattered shows and eventually reunited again in 2016 to announce new music and a lengthy world tour consisting of numerous festival appearances and headlining gigs. Due to Cedric Bixler-Zavala losing his voice towards the end of the band’s 2016 run, At the Drive-In were forced to cancel their remaining tour dates on the evening of their New York City show at Terminal 5 on June 17 in 2016.
At the Drive-In are now back on the road, just having performed a last-minute warm-up show at the annual South by Southwest fest in Austin, Texas. The band is currently playing previously announced rescheduled dates, which hit Terminal 5 on Wednesday night (March 22) for the band's first show in the Big Apple in 15 years. As with their canceled NYC show last spring, At the Drive-In's make-up concert in Manhattan was a sold-out affair, with fans piling into the hip Hell's Kitchen venue, impatiently waiting for their heroes' long-awaited return.
At exactly 9:15PM, the packed and already sweaty house roared in hysteria as the lights dimmed and a massive backdrop was dramatically lifted into place. Singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala (with maracas in hand) and company burst into the evening's first anthem, the lead-off track from Relationship of Command, "Arcarsenal," with yells of, "I must have read a thousand faces!" and "Beware, Beware, Beware!" being belched from the rabid crowd, as they literally sang along to every note emitting from stage. With a setlist focused heavily on said iconic 2000 LP, the band continued with hits "Pattern Against User" and "Sleepwalk Capsules," with an energetic Bixler-Zavala regularly tossing his microphone (and even mic stand) in the air and jumping off drummer Tony Hajjar's kit.
The multi-talented Omar Rodríguez was in full form in New York City, twitching, thrusting and jolting to every amplified guitar lick, easily seen during the band's rendition of "Metronome Arthritis" from the 1999 EP Vaya and "Napoleon Solo" off the 1998 LP In/Casino/Out. Omar was at one point referred to as the "Mother f--king Puerto Rican Woody Allen," by long-time bandmate Bixler, who continued to rant, "Woody Allen has like a million movies, [Omar] has like a million f--king records!" Bassist Paul Hinojos and guitarist / backing vocalist Keeley Davis (who took over original member Jim Ward), both associated with acts The Mars Volta and Sparta, served as the band's backbone, enormously augmenting the group’s intensity.
Being as At the Drive-In have their first album in 17 years coming out soon, they no doubt dished out a few tracks from the forthcoming full-length, specifically the freshly unleashed singles "Incurably Innocent" and "Governed by Contagions." Though, as previously stated (and seen below), the band's main setlist was prominently dominated by classics from the amazing and highly significant Relationship of Command, including "Invalid Litter Dept.," "Enfilade," "Cosmonaut," "Quarantined" and "Catacombs."
"On behalf of these wet poodles up here," Bixler stated, "Thank you for coming, honestly, thank you for f--king coming. Thank you for being patient, I apologize again. I am as human as the goddamn germs that come into my butthole, okay?" (referring to the reason for last year's tour cancelation) before delving into the night's final song, the band's signature song, "One-Armed Scissor."
Mexican punk rockers Le Butcherettes, led by frontwoman Teri Gender Bender, opened the show, performing cuts from their previous releases, including 2015's A Raw Youth, which ATDI guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez produced.
Check out our exclusive photos of At the Drive-In and Le Butcherettes live in NYC in our gallery above. For all remaining ATDI tour dates, head here.
At The Drive-In Setlist — New York City’s Terminal 5, March 22, 2017
02. "Pattern Against User"
03. "Sleepwalk Capsules"
04. "Metronome Arthritis"
05. "Incurably Innocent"
06. "Invalid Litter Dept."
10. "Napoleon Solo"
12. "Governed By Contagions"
13. "One Armed Scissor"