Puscifer @ Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide 23/1/2017
Thebarton Theatre played host to Puscifer which is an independent project of Maynard James Keenan who is the only permanent member. It has been well documented that Keenan views this project to be his creative subconscious and a pseudonym for his solo work. Keenan hardly needs an intro fronting one of alternative metal’s most recognisable bands Tool and fronting A Perfect Circle. Seeing Puscifer live in concert is an experience and a half making it one to remember.
It is always interesting to wonder why a full pat down is required on entry to Thebarton Theatre when the majority of times it is quite cruisey and laid back. On top of that the stern reminders that cameras and mobiles should be put away or risk being thrown out. On the flipside it is good to see that people are in the moment rather than focused on their mobile phone taking pictures or video. Having some mystique around the show is a good thing also not knowing what to expect.
Opening act Luchafer who are a team of wrestlers consisting of one man and one woman on each team (red and blue) and one wearing full black bringing drinks out to the teams was quite interesting to watch them go hard at it in a wrestling ring on stage (quite ironic when way back when Thebarton Theatre used to host many wrestling events). The stage theme ‘Lucha Libre’ is very much a part of the Money Shot album. It was hard knowing what to believe with these well choreographed fights between the wrestlers but it does provide a nice contrast from the usual sort of support act.
There was plenty of cheering from the crowd who gathered early and once that half hour was done it was time for the main event. Sergeant Douche was on screen echoing many instructions including things like stick to the speed limit and not pull out any recording equipment. Right from the get go when Puscifer took to the stage they commanded attention like no one would believe. Maynard together with Carina Round took their positions in the wrestling ring in front of the unique and custom made microphones. Their performance was epic beyond all proportions starting things off with Simultaneous, Galileo, Agostina then Vagina Mine.
A constant source of frustration during the show was the dark lighting and almost impossible to catch a glimpse of Maynard. Is this deliberate? Doesn’t he like the limelight? All that could be seen Regardless, Maynard did a great job steering well away from the stage lighting predominantly dressed in black and wearing a wrestling mask. His trademark mohawke stuck out of the top. Horizons was a big moment in the set where Maynard encourage fans to get up out of their sets and dance like crazy people. There were quite a lot of the new songs played off Money Shot including the likes of The Remedy, Life Of Brian (Apparently Haven’t You Seen), Grand Canyon and Money Shot which the crowd got in to.
It was also pleasing that Puscifer did not neglect some of the big songs from other albums including Telling Ghosts, Man Overboard (Fear Is A Mind Killa Mix) and The Rapture off 2011’s Conditions Of My Parole. Songs from V Is For Vagina and Donkey Punch The Night EP featured in the set also. What was most notable was Maynard interacting with the crowd, something one doesn’t expect at a Tool show, thanking the crowd for supporting this independently funded project then introducing the very talented band.
The band pretended to leave the stage and then come back on for an encore, well that’s the way Maynard described it as going down. The Humbling River and Autumn brought this show to an end and it would hard to say that this wouldn’t be up there as one of the best concert experiences going around and if you didn’t go well then you really lucked out.
Review by Rob Lyon