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REVIEW: A Perfect Circle @ the Schnitzer (Portland, OR – 6/29/11)

1st Jul 11 (Fri) 19 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

A Perfect Circle [APC] is a beautiful collaboration between music-writer Billy Howerdel (Tool guitar tech, Ashes Divide frontman) and lyricist Maynard James Keenan (Tool & Puscifer frontman, winemaker).  Their first album, Mer de Noms, took the artistic approach that is also in Tool’s world into a more mainstream hardrock setting.  They dug deep into addiction-themed lyrics on their follow-up, The Thirteenth Step, and then got really politically bent on eMOTIVe (which was released on the day we failed as Americans by electing George W Bush for a 2nd term).  WTF!?  Anyway, sorry for my personal injection… here is their oeuvre to peruse if you are unfamiliar:

Their last full-length studio album (the aforementioned eMOTIVe) also showed less songwriting and way more covers… Lennon, Costello, Marvin Gaye, Zeppelin, Devo, Black Flag, Joni Mitchell, Depeche Mode, and more.  Its political nature was maybe a last “rock the vote” push in the 2004 Presidential election?  Well, the peace and war and political conflict from 2004 is still here in 2011.  It’s different, but alas it’s still here.  I think that album is still very relevant… while APC plans on releasing some new material in the near future (digital format initially), the first thing I noticed when I showed up at the Schnitzer on Wednesday night was their stage setup: camouflage curtains, ammo boxes, and military-like gear littered the stage.

This was their first show of the six-week tour… Was the show going to be a musical battle-zone?  Maynard has been quite theatrical with his live shows lately (see my Puscifer Nov ’09 review links below), but APC tends to be a different beast… Maynard in Puscifer is the outgoing one, in APC is a bit reserved, and in Tool is many times cloaked and hidden for 75% of the show.

Before digging into APC’s set, the opener…

The opener was a Japanese noise-pop hardrock trio Red Bacteria Vacuum.  The reviews I’ve read have really dissed them.  I’m a fan of this type of thing (poppy Tsu Shi Ma Me Re & noisy Melt Banana); so I dug them plenty.  Plus they were cute a button when exchanging words with the crowd… “please… to… eat you.”  Nice 30-minute sugar punk from Japan.  I didn’t have my photo pass issue sorted out for their set.  Photo above courtesy of Meats Meier.

Well, the 90 minute set from A Perfect Circle seemed less like a battle zone than the stage lead us to believe.  Not as much energy as the props suggested (a generally more subdued Maynard sticking to his perch, etc).  As far as song selection, they played a decent mix of their originals material, but the night was really heavy on the covers.  While I like their “making the song theirs” in the approach, I was hoping for more of the rawness and angst from their original tunes…

Setlist: 90 minutes

  • Annihilation [Crucifix] (false start)
  • Imagine [John Lennon]
  • Weak and Powerless
  • The Hollow
  • What’s Going On [Marvin Gaye]
  • People Are People [Depeche Mode]
  • The Outsider (lyric flub)
  • (What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? [Nick Lowe/Elvis Costello]
  • When The Levee Breaks [Led Zeppelin]
  • The Noose
  • 3 Libras (All Main Courses Mix)
  • Gravity
  • Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie [Black Flag]
  • Orestes
  • Passive
  • Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums
  • The Fiddle and the Drum [Joni Mitchell]
  • By and Down [new song]
    No encore

I was hoping for “Judith” and perhaps the Failure cover “The Nurse Who Loved Me,” but it was still a highly enjoyable night.  While there were a few flubs, it was their first tour date in a while, and they pulled off quite an entertaining show.  Maynard explained, “I’m closer to 50 than 40” in an attempt to get some forgiveness.  The band didn’t talk much, outside of a few brief apologies from Maynard and the band introductions.  The band was Maynard on vocals, guitarist/co-founder Billy Howerdel, guitarist/keyboardist James Iha, bassist Matt McJunkins, and drummer Jeff Friedl (filling in for Josh Freese who is currently out with Weezer).

I don’t think you can go wrong with any of Maynard’s bands.  This year promises some new music & tour from Puscifer, some new music from A Perfect Circle, and potentially some Tool (they’ve been in a writing phase, but they take longer).  If APC is hitting your next of the woods, do your damndest to make it out to the show…

more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

Next show for me… Portland Cello Project at Alton Baker Park / Art & the Vineyard on 7/4.

~Dan – np: Klezmerson – Siete

A PERFECT CIRCLE PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2011 Daniel Temmesfeld / Pacificlectic,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

APC 2011 Tour Dates

  • May 22 – Columbus, OH @ Rock on the Range
  • June 29 – Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
  • June 30 – Kent, WA @ Showare Center
  • July 2 – Gibbons, AL @ Boonstock Festival
  • July 4 – Winnipeg, MB @ Centennial Concert Hall
  • July 6 – St. Paul, MN @ Roy Wilkins Auditorium
  • July 8 – Detroit, MI @ Fox Theatre
  • July 9 – Toronto, ON @ Edgefest
  • July 12 – Boston, MA @ Bank of America Pavilion
  • July 13 – New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
  • July 15 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
  • July 16 – Philadelphia, PA @ Penn’s Landing – Festival Pier
  • July 17 – Washington, DC @ Constitution Hall
  • July 19 – Charlotte, NC @ Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre
  • July 20 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
  • July 22 – San Antonio, TX @ Freeman Coliseum
  • July 23 – Grand Prairie, TX @ Verizon Theatre
  • July 25 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre
  • July 28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Gibson Amphitheater
  • July 29 – Sacramento, CA @ Memorial Auditorium
  • July 30 – Berkeley, CA @ The Greek Theatre
  • August 1 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kingsbury Hall
  • August 2 – Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
  • August 8 – Cincinnati, OH @ PNC Pavilion at Riverbent
  • August 9 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
  • August 10 – Wallingford, CT @ Oakdale Theatre

A Perfect Circle’s Tour 2011

22nd Mar 11 (Tue) Leave a comment

Yesterday, A Perfect Circle announced their tour dates for summer 2011:

  • May 22 – Columbus, OH (Rock On The Range)
  • June 29 – Portland, OR  Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
  • June 30 – Kent, WA Showare Center
  • July 2 – Gibbons, AL  Boonstock Festival
  • July 4 – Winnipeg, MB  Centennial Concert Hall
  • July 6 – St. Paul, MN Roy Wilkins Auditorium
  • July 8 – Detroit, MI  Fox Theatre
  • July 9 – Toronto, ON Edgefest
  • July 12 – Boston, MA Bank Of America Pavilion
  • July 13 – New York, NY Hammerstein Ballroom
  • July 15 – New York, NY  Beacon Theatre
  • July 16 – Philadelphia, PA Penn’s Landing (Festival Pier)
  • July 17 – Washington, DC Constitution Hall
  • July 19 – Charlotte, NC  Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre
  • July 20 – Atlanta, GA  The Tabernacle
  • July 22 – San Antonio, TX Freeman Coliseum
  • July 23 – Grand Prairie, TX  Verizon Theatre
  • July 25 – Phoenix, AZ  Comerica Theatre
  • July 28 – Los Angeles, CA Gibson Amphitheater
  • July 29 – Sacramento, CA Memorial Auditorium
  • July 30 – Berkeley, CA  The Greek Theatre
  • August 2 – Denver, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
  • August 9 – Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE

On-sale information coming soon.  http://www.aperfectcircle.com/

I plan on catching Maynard, Billy & Co at the Portland gig.  They’ve got a new website designed, with a blue, underwater/octopus theme.  Here’s hoping some new music is around the corner, too.  Also, in the email announcement, they hinted at some Puscifer news coming soon, too.

Puscifer Update 3/23: Per Carina Round’s email: “After that I will be heading into the studio with Maynard James Keenan’s ‘Puscifer’ to work on songs for the next release and rehearse up some goodies for a tour in the Fall.”

~Dan – np: Eyal Maoz & Asaf SirkisElementary Dialogues

A Perfect Circle tour

20th Sep 10 (Mon) 3 comments

A handful of multi-date city appearances… A Perfect Circle (led by Billy Howerdel and Maynard James Keenan) are bringing out their old albums and playing them in their entirety:

A Perfect Circle tour dates:

  • 11/4, Tempe, AZ (Marquee Theatre) *
  • 11/5, Tempe, AZ (Marquee Theatre) $
  • 11/6, Tempe, AZ (Marquee Theatre) #
  • 11/8, Los Angeles, CA (Avalon) *
  • 11/9, Los Angeles, CA (Avalon) $
  • 11/10, Los Angeles, CA (Avalon) #
  • 11/12, Seattle, WA (Showbox at the Market) *
  • 11/13, Seattle, WA (Showbox at the Market) $
  • 11/14, Seattle, WA (Showbox at the Market) #
  • 11/16, San Francisco, CA (The Fillmore) *
  • 11/17, San Francisco, CA (The Fillmore) $
  • 11/18, San Francisco, CA (The Fillmore) #
  • 11/20, Las Vegas, NV (The Pearl) *
  • 11/21, Las Vegas, NV (The Pearl) $

Playing…

* = Mer de Noms
$ = Thirteenth Step
# = eMOTIVe

Maynard James Keenan, Billy Howerdel, Josh Freese, James Iha, Matt McJunkins are the line-up.  Tickets on-sale… soon… keep your eyes peeled to http://aperfectcircle.com/ for more info.

  

I hope to make the string of Seattle dates, if I can work it out with… er… work.  *crossing fingers*

~Dan – np: Nellie McKayObligatory Villagers

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