Whenever you get to witness a Maynard James Keenan production, you are always in for an aural and visual treat and with A Perfect Circle at Barclays Center, we witnessed the magic that surrounds all of his acts. Before you even entered the building, we were all warned that cell-phone camera usage of any kind would result in being booted from the venue and despite those numerous verbal and posted warnings, there were more than a handful of people that risked, and lost their battle to attain grainy footage when security tossed them. It was however, pretty incredible to glance over the audience and see a crowd highly-immersed into the incredible set that A Perfect Circle threw at us without a sea of cells in the way. Kinda like the good ol’ days, but that’s for another article.
Opening the night was the L.A. band, The Beta Machine, and brought with them an ethereal rock and dark-pop fusion that satisfied the many early attendees craving for something different. Lead singer, Claire Acey, wasn’t easy to miss with her slinky presence and howling vocals; and the band surrounding her was equally impressive with Jeff Friedl and Matt McJunkins (of A Perfect Circle) as key members.
After a quick break, a white sheet dropped in front of the stage, the lights darkened and the crowd erupted as the first notes of “The Package” rang out from A Perfect Circle. For a few minutes we were treated to enlarged and creepy silhouettes of the band members as they played the intricate and winding song. The sheet would drop revealing the band and their stage-setup, which resembled (to me at least), a dark and moody swamp with raised platforms which upon Maynard James Keenan and Jeff Friedl were perched with the other members strewn about.
The band would continue with “The Hollow,” “The Noose,” and then 6 songs in would uniquely-cover the John Lennon classic “Imagine” to the astonishment of many. The ethereal and amazing quality of the band’s sound continued with “By And Down” and then took another left turn with another cover “(What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love and Understanding,” by Brinsley Schwarz; that is also on their self-titled album in ’04 and was the first time it was played this tour. As the gig climbed to an end, the senses were being assaulted in the best possible way, almost like the end of an acid-trip where one moment your fine and the next shit is going down and the walls are melting. Highlights from the rest of the set was an invigorating “Magdalena” and my personal favorite and new “The Doomed,” which was edgy and timely. All in all this band is on fire and urge anyone wanting to see a proper rock show (without phones) to hit up a gig near you – Tour Dates HERE.
Article: Shayne Hanley