The Greatest Video You’ve Ever Seen 010: At the Drive-In’s Relationship of Command


This week we kick off the festival season in Shanghai, as it were, with MIDI Festival and the PICNIC mini-fest at YYT.

I’m not much of a festival guy, as I believe they tend to offer only shitty sound, hundreds of thousands of people you don’t know and don’t want to, and over-priced everything. However, there is one way I like to experience festivals: on Youtube!

This week I have been gorging on live sets of all kinds, many of them coming on recommendations from’s two youngish culture bloggers, Rembert Browne and Amos Barshad. They are always getting sent to the coolest shows and events that I would want to go to and then writing about it. I hate them with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns  am always really happy for them when I read their dispatches. This week, it was Coachella Festival they were lucky enough to cover, but the real beneficiary was me and, through me, you, because they turned me onto all kinds of live videos like this, this, and, of course, this.

However, it was Barshad who reminded me what I really wanted to watch this week: eleventy billion hours of At the Drive-In (ATDI) reunion show videos of varying quality.

I had been really excited about the ATDI reunion possibilities when I first heard about it a few months ago. I have been into this band, especially their epic 2001 album Relationship of Command for almost twelve years now. It never gets old, although I have. This album has always been there for me, and it has always meant a lot. Can’t say enough about it, really.

So now, ATDI has gotten back together, after many years, and many side projects (Mars Volta, Sparta, whatever the hell else Omar Rodriguez-Lopez has been up to). How was it? Well, judging from the seven kajillion hours of reunion show videos I have watched, pretty OK. They are all a bit older, but the songs sound the same. Cedric Bixler-Zavalos still has the afro, but not quite the same vocal chops. Their drummer (Tony Hajjar) still fucking rips.

They are playing mostly material from Relationship of Command with a few other favorites tossed in for good measure. They are not recording new material. This, as they say, is it. So, in the over-indulgent spirit of music festivals, and a slightly self-destructive tilt toward staring at the computer screen way too long, I have culled together the best video for each song on Relationship of Command from the new reunion shows in Texas and California. In some places I have had to cheat, due to the fact that they are not playing that song this time around or the videos were of too poor quality, but everything is here.

I hope you enjoy, and I hope Mache’s embedding finger doesn’t break. [Editor’s Note: not finger, telepathic control chip.]

Here comes the Greatest Video You’ve Ever Seen, At the Drive-In style.




“Pattern Against Aser”





“One Armed Scissor”



“Sleepwalk Capsules”


“Invalid Litter Dept”


“Mannequin Republic”




“Rolodex Propaganda”






“Non-zero Possibility”


As you can see from the older videos I was forced to use, ATDI was a lot friskier in their younger days, but it’s great to see them again. Hope you enjoyed the spectacle. It’s time to go. This station is non-operational.

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