16 March 2010
On Tour With Puscifer
Boston, Berklee Performance Center
Drunk With Power
The Humbling River
|Review by awaitrescueblog at Await Rescue
Three-fourths of Await Rescue was in attendance for the Puscifer (Maynard James Keenan’s side-project) show last night in Boston. Johnny would have undoubtedly been present if he wasn’t off living the dream in LA’s 80 degree weather, and this show may just have been good enough to make him wish that he had toughed it out and hung around Boston for the week. (Especially since a 4.4 magnitude quake hit Southern Cali the other day. See you down in Arizona bay.)
Matt, Snake, and I found out about this show completely randomly at the last minute when a friend of Matt’s friend, Russian Julie, came up from NYC and knew about it. No idea how Russian Julie’s friend had heard about it due to the fact that there was no promotion of any sort surrounding this show in the Boston area. He must be on the Puscifer Mailing List… (Ahem! Please see the bottom of this post!). After not being able to attend Monday night’s Puscifer show, we hit up the BPC’s ticket window 45 minutes before Puscifer took to the stage and snagged ourselves tickets.
We walked into the performance center and were immediately greeted by unmistakable sound of Maynard’s voice. Once we got to our seats and saw what was going on onstage, we knew were in for far more than a rock show.
Maynard describes Puscifer as a “playground for his subconscious”, and what was going onstage would definitely support this statement. All the musicians onstage, one of which was Tim Alexander of Primus, were wearing flight attendant outfits, and the stage props and videos also followed the “Vagina Airlines” theme that went throughout the show.
Maynard and a fellow female singer sang the entire set each standing behind TV screens that had cameras and microphones attached to the backs so that the audience got a close up on both singers’ faces whenever they leaned into the mic to sing. The screens displayed black and white images of their faces with a distorted “fish eye” effect going on. I thought this was very a cool and unique idea that just made the whole thing seem a little bit crazier.
There were also four other screens onstage on stands and one massive screen behind the stage that would play “Vagina Airlines” videos in between songs, while the band members walked around acting as if they were flight attendants by handing out beverages, checking baggage, and doing whatever else flight attendants on Vagina Airlines do to ensure that passengers have a pleasant experience. The videos were hilarious and satirical in nature, taking shots at both airline and US security policies, and as you would expect with any Maynard project, the videos featured very strange, stunning visuals.
This was definitely more of a Vaudeville-style act than a rock show, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the band rocked harder and more aggressively than any of the recordings I had previously heard of Puscifer. For the majority of the show, two dudes played the role of Vagina Airlines passengers by sitting in the airplane seats at the front of the stage looking at the crowd while being harassed by the flight attendants (band members) in between songs. At one point, Tim Alexander handed them a massive rubber dildo to swing around during the set, and he also kicked their bags at them when Maynard booted them off of the “plane” at the end of the show.
Before playing the last song, Maynard addressed the crowd for the first time and mentioned that he was funding this tour, that it was completely “independent”, and sincerely thanked everyone for their support. He then said something completely unexpected that I never thought I would hear coming from someone who had written songs about how he cannot wait for the Apocalypse to come. He said “I know things are tough out there, but it will get better… Just focus on what’s important and everything will be alright.”
I have never felt so hopeful in my life. I trust Maynard. Fuck 2012!
If Puscifer ever comes to a town near you, definitely check them out. It was an incredible experience and has definitely changed Await Rescue’s perception of what a rock show can be… Just don’t expect any flight attendant outfits or dildos at our upcoming shows… not because we don’t think that that stuff is cool… we just don’t have the funding for it.
|Photos by Seth C Drury at Playground Boston