Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Live review: A Perfect Circle

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 10:11 AM

A Perfect Circle w/ Red Bacteria Vacuum

Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre

July 19, 2011


The Deal: Back on the road, A Perfect Circle runs through nearly 20 songs, from its first album to a whole bunch of its covers.


The Good: The night started with a 30-minute set by the Japanese all-girl punk trio Red Bacteria Vacuum. While the trio came out to a techno groove and proceeded to pose at each drum break, their music was on the opposite end of the spectrum, offering heavy punk riffs and shouted vocals.


The bass player said the band loved being in Charlotte... and then repeated the word "barbecue" numerous times before a crowd member shouted, "egg roll!" The band whipped its hair, jumped around and appeared to love every moment they were performing — isn't that how it should be?


A Perfect Circle hit the stage a little after 9 p.m. on its way to a roughly 90 minute set. The band started off with two covers — Crucifix's "Annihilation" and John Lennon's "Imagine" — before hitting a couple songs of its own with "Weak and Powerless" and "The Hollow."


The band took up the full stage, but rarely did band members stray from their quadrants on the military-themed stage full of crates, artillery shells and camo netting. Former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha got a loud round of applause when he first walked on stage and held his ground on guitar and some keyboard work throughout the night.


Singer Maynard James Keenan was a man of few words between songs, only offering a simple "Thank You" after "Gravity." The band creates a more atmospheric and mood-setting brand of rock vs. the heavy grinding of Keenan's other band, Tool. Keenan's longest, and only, comments came after "Counting Bodies Like Sheep" — "This is usually where we walk off stage and you freak and scream and applaud until we come back out on stage, pretending like we weren't going to until you asked. We're gonna save us all some time by staying here, playing a couple more songs and then leaving... Perfect. ... And, we're back." The band then played it's faux encore of "Fiddle and the Drum" and its new song, "By and Down."

The Bad: I'm not sure which is more annoying and distracting — having the guy in front of you hold up his cell phone to try and video the entire concert, or having a security guy walk by every three minutes to tell him to put his cell phone down. The concert had some of the tightest security I've seen, hunting down every picture taker in the audience. Good luck getting any photos of Kennan, however, as he stood in the back corner without a single light on him for the duration of the show.

The Verdict: The crowd loved every minute of the band's 19-song set, from cover to brand new song. I would have liked a bit more originality instead of spot-on versions of the album songs, but something is better than nothing for this reunited band.


A Perfect Circle setlist

Annihilation (Crucifix cover)

Imagine (John Lennon cover)

Weak and Powerless

The Hollow

What's Going On (Marvin Gaye cover)

People Are People (Depeche Mode cover)

The Outsider


(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, And Understanding (Brinsley Schwarz cover)

When the Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin cover)

The Noose

3 Libras (aMotive All Main Courses Remix)


Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie (Black Flag cover)



Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drums

Fiddle and the Drum (Joni Mitchell cover)

By and Down

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