I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Paramount is one of the most beautiful and best sounding venues I’ve ever seen any kind of show at. While some people might be a bit confused when they hear that Maynard James Keenan, a man known for brooding heaviness in Tool and A Perfect Circle, and company were playing at a theatre which usually hosts musicals. Those people have no idea who Puscifer is.
Puscifer’s current The Money Shot Tour is the product of an acid induced fever dream of a child raised on a steady cultural diet of wrestling, Ed Wood movies and a helping of refreshingly unfiltered humor. The show starts with one of Mr. Keenan’s over the top personas, Major Douche, who recorded a video to inform the audience that the ‘No Photo’ signs around the building were for there own benefit, since the band was there to ‘entertain them’. This policy needs to be in place at more concerts. I understand everyone wants to accumulate all of there memories in videos and photographs, but maybe we should all forget that for the time we are watching live music. For the first time in a long time I looked around and everyone was in awe of what they were witnessing, instead of recording and uploading.
What took place on stage belongs in the theatre in which it took place. The production was more abstract play, complete with three acts and an encore, than it was a concert. I’ve come to expect nothing less from Maynard, whose bands have and will always put on amazing shows. The opening act was Luchafer, who are a Lucha Libre wrestling group. I won’t say anymore on this, since it’s better to experience rather than know the whole story going in. While most singers of his notoriety would take every opportunity to be front and center of the show, he takes the opposite approach. He performed from within the wrestling ring for a good portion of the set, dancing as if the music brought him back to a more primal state. This allowed the audience’s concentration to focus on the band and show as a whole, rather than celebrity.
And it was one of the best shows I’ve witnessed. Maybe it was that I didn’t have screens blocking my view, or that it was just that, a show. An experience that was more than people on stage playing music. To further seal this, at the end of the show Mr. Keenan made a point to introduce every single member of the show in the same manner that the cast of a play is introduced to the audience. And they all deserve to be recognized, whether it be Carina Round whose beautiful vocals added depth to the music, Mat Mitchell on guitar, Paul Barker of Ministry on Bass, Jeff Friedl of A Perfect Circle on drums, or Mahsa Zargaran of Omniflux on keyboards, this iteration of Puscifer is amazing. If they are coming near where you live, go! I can’t urge you enough.
Dec 05 Warnors Center For The Performing Arts Fresno, CA Dec 06 Arlington Theatre Santa Barbara, CA Dec 08 Fox Theater Oakland, CA Dec 10 The Theatre at Ace Hotel Los Angeles, CA Dec 11 The Theatre at Ace Hotel Los Angeles, CA Dec 12 The Pearl Concert Theater Las Vegas, NV Dec 14 Yavapai College Performing Arts Center Prescott, AZ