28 March 2010
On Tour With Puscifer
Columbus, Lifestyle Communities Pavilion
World Up My Ass
Drunk With Power
The Humbling River
|Review by Grace Davis
Hamburger, Gospel & Polar Bears: Oh My!
Columbus, OH March 28, 2010: rain, sleet, grey skies and all while everyone stood in line outside LC Pavillion for admission to the Puscifer concert. We pulled into the parking lot directly across the street and stared in disbelief. The show was scheduled to start at 8pm, doors at 7pm. It was after 7pm, and the line wrapped around the building, barely moving an inch. I looked at my husband and he looked at me. We finally decided that it just wasn’t worth standing in the rain when we had assigned seats anyway. So we sat in the car, talking & smoking, and watched the line as the people droned around their respective positions like worker bees, virtually vibrating in place (if they were moving at all). Finally, at about 7:45 pm, we could see the end of the line. We watched as it snaked closer to the doors and decided that was as good a time as any to bolt across the 5 lanes of traffic.
Let me just say that LC Pavillion needs to get a better system in place. It should not take that long to go through security and get inside the building this is not club night in Windsor, it is a concert that we all paid good money to see.
Once inside, we found our seats in the pit and began the countdown to the opening act: Neil Hamburger, comedian extraordinaire.
Hamburger is a throwback style of comedian, to the days of Sinatra, Martin and Davis. He has a very specific flavor that may seem a bit sour to mainstreamers, but is considered deliciously absurd to the rest of us. We listened and laughed as he delivered one liner after one liner, in between fits of trying to cough up what seemed to be an endless supply of phlegm. Yes, it is that kind of show.
After Hamburger took his final bow, the lights and music came back up and we began the countdown to the feature act: Uncle Scratch’s Gospel Revival, a two-man show with all the bells and whistles. These guys will keep you guessing: is it satire or is it sincere? Does it matter? Apparently, prior to our arrival, they were outside trolling the line, dressed in fire rescue worker gear, megaphone in full use as well as some handmade signs. I’ve managed to find some hilarious video footage of that:
All kidding aside, these guys put on one hell of a show. I was entertained and impressed. They finished their set, the lights and music came back up and we began our final countdown (as opposed to The Final Countdown) to the moment Maynard & Co. would take to the stage.
Billy Dee and Hildy (Maynard James Keenan and Laura Milligan) took to the stage with their rag tag team of musicians and hilarity immediately ensued. I’m such a fan of Puscifer, a project that frontman Keenan calls his “island of misfit ideas who’ve found no home with TOOL, A Perfect Circle, or Caduceus.” The first set of hillbilly hi-jinks was wonderful the Puscifer songs us fans know and love with a fun twist, as well as a fantastic cover of The Circle Jerks’ “World Up My Ass.” Throughout the main performance, there were several video breaks a la reality show, and at one point Hildy stormed offstage because Billy Dee was caught spending time with a local hoochie. She came back for the crowd pleasing “Cuntry Boner” and all was well.
One of the best parts about a Puscifer show is that you never quite know what you’re going to get. Halfway through the show, the stage was vacated and another video played while the crew adjusted the set. The next thing we knew, the band made its re-entrance and had clearly made some costume changes: Maynard was looking quite handsome in his black suit & shirt, red tie and signature aviator shades. The always stunning Carina Round had been sort of hiding in the background with her guitar during the first set, but rejoined in a gorgeous black dress and pumps and the audience was given the intensity they were waiting for: absolutely amazing renditions of new tunes (Polar Bear, The Humbling River and The Mission) as well as some earlier favorites (The Undertaker, Dozo and Indigo Children). Ms. Round’s ability to feel the music and let it physically flow through her is just beautiful the passion that a person feels when moved by music should not be contained.
She and Maynard took up positions behind large screens where a camera was recording their every move and displayed on the screens a strange, ethereal view of their faces as they sang and swayed. The wine was flowing throughout this second set - it made the evening that much more intimate, as though we were at a small cocktail party with friends who decided to be the artists that they are and entertain us.
Puscifer is so much more than meets the eye. There’s fun & frivolity, passion & sex, spirituality and the bonds we form with our fellow human beings. Everything that makes us human is in Puscifer’s music. This is definitely not something that any genre label could do justice.
Review at Great Expectations
Sunday was an excellent day, let me tell you.
I drove down to Columbus to see Maynard James Keenan’s solo project he’s got goin’ on and it was fantastic. I’ve never been a big fan of Tool or A Perfect Circle but I took a serious interest in his side project, his brain child, Puscifer, when I heard a few of his songs on the soundtrack to the movie Underworld and its two subsequent sequels.
Pusicfer moves away from Tool and APC’s “rock” roots and into a more bizarre and experimental genre. I’ve noticed he also has a tendency to remix a lot of the songs he creates with Puscifer and it’s fucking fantastic. I hated when Linkin Park did it with their second album Reanimation because I felt like they were using their fans and just trying to seeing how much money they could make off of them. The album was worthless and I’m pretty sure I threw it away. At least, I assume I did because I have no idea where it is… Puscifer, on the other hand, almost recreates his songs instead of just remixing them, giving each one a completely new sound, feel, and sometimes genre. Some of Puscifer’s songs have this hilarious rock/country sound. It’s almost a parody of country music… especially if you listen to the lyrics. Cuntry Boner is a good example. The title of the song itself is probably offensive. Some of his more serious songs, like Momma Sed (Tandimonium Mix) or Potions (Deliverance Mix), sound more like trance with a side of heavy rock. I think Puscifer successfully mixes genres in a way that does not suck or sell out. Go Maynard.
As for the concert, it was bizarre, trippy, and could possibly send someone into an epileptic seizure. It reached and exceeded my expectations. I got a balcony seat right near the edge, kinda off to the left. I could see the stage and all of Maynard’s antics perfectly. The opening band was hilarious and made a mockery of bible-thumpers.
When Puscifer began, it was almost like a mini theater performance. Complete with plot, characters, and a large screen above the stage where the audience could see a documentary of what was going on behind the stage and what the characters were going on about. Some of it was filmed even before the show.
All in all, I’m glad I drove the two hours down to Columbus to see Puscifer in all its glory. I don’t even care that I got lost in the ghetto on my way there.
I give you an ‘A’, Maynard, an ‘A’ for awesome. Not an ‘A+’, though, because you charged your fans $250 dollars for a thirty second meet-and-greet and that’s just low down n’ dirty.
|Photos by nerdatrstudio
Photos by cdubya1971
Photos at Metromix Columbus
|Review by Neil Shumate
Puscifer brings two shows in one to sold-out Columbus crowd at The LC
The atmosphere was untraditional for fans of Maynard James Keenan-fronted bands. Folded chairs that lined the floor would have been unacceptable at a Tool concert and the elaborate stage setup of an A Perfect Circle show was absent.