Thursday, October 16, 2003 @ 12:42 AM
A Perfect Circle Live in Londo
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REVIEW BY: FarkPark
A Tale of Two Concerts...
Being a fortunate type of person, I managed to obtain a ticket for each of two nights of APC’s European jaunt.
However, how different can two shows be?
Not a lot to say about the first date, it was over in 25 minutes. To my mind APC were entirely the wrong band to be opening for Deftones, and it showed. The crowd weren’t on the level, the Thirteenth Step album had only been out 3 days, and they went on first instead of second in a three-band bill. A lot of APC fans were still in the bar when the strains of “Pet” could be heard. Pints were downed and there was a rush to get in. Myself, I was sat right up in the Gods, over looking the stage below me. The sound was poor, and although a rousing version of “Weak and Powerless” kept spirits up, this was not going to be a vintage evening. In fact no sooner had the last chords of “Judith” faded away than they were gone. From my vantage point I saw them all virtually run off the stage, past the speaker stacks and probably into a fast car to take them away from that crest fallen khazi.
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Would the real APC stand up? To right they would, and they did in full technicolour, absorbing and masterful fashion at the Astoria in a special date added at the end of this part of the tour. MJK et al must have felt that London had not been given proper justice: but at the Astoria, justice was handed down in spectacular fashion.
A small two-tier venue, all standing (and swaying) at ground level, this intimate and acoustically charged venue was a million miles from the aircraft hangar echodrome that is Wembley Arena.
This time the introduction of “Pet” was perfect, the atmosphere was electrifying, I was about six feet from the stage and judging by the reception for “Weak and Powerless” and “The Outsider,” everyone had obviously had the opportunity to learn the words of the new material.
Resplendent behind a sheet, (for “Pet”) Maynard tore into the set with as much vigour as any Tool performance I’ve witnessed. Wearing a long daft wig, black tracksuit-type trousers with white flashes down the sides he was occasionally Ozzy-esque in his appearance and movement. But one thing is for sure: right before my eyes was one of the few real bona fide total ‘rock stars’ gracing concert plateaus in the world today. And, for good measure, bollocks to what anyone else tries to tell you about that fact.
Unusually communicative, MJK spoke to the crowd about war (‘We apologise for our President’) and led the crowd in a straw poll – who would be giving and who would be receiving? George W. Bush or Tony Blair? Blair definitely got the vote for the one being buggered…
If Maynard was being his usual iconic self, the rest of the band was not just there for backing purposes. They looked manicured in black and leathers, clipped into a seamless structure but all of them individual – be it tall, short, made up, bald, oriental - you name it they had it. In fucking bundles. I believe the phrase is ‘stage presence’. And, that was before the music.
The wall of sound flooded off the stage and onto those waiting to be soaked below. As a mass, the crowd swayed mesmerically to the rhythms and melodies, picking up the energy in time with the beautifully constructed tempo changes being delivered by Messrs Howerdel and ‘Mad for it’ Iha, with the smiling Jeordie and sticksman Josh completing the backbone of this intoxicating mix.
The new stuff sat really well with the old, “Blue and Thinking of You” being particularly notable in tandem, but after not long enough, (my only tinge of regret was the lack of “The Noose”) the show was over, MJK was off his podium and he was gone…
But wait. What was going on?
Yes it was true: it was Jeordie White, still on stage, complete with James’ guitar and he was playing and singing “Supersonic.” And then Billy took up on the drums and the two of them jammed a medley including a full length “Master of Puppets” – which bought the house down – “Dr. Feelgood” and “Highway to Hell.” In fact, James came back on to sing some more Oasis stuff, but by now, the roadies were taking away the gear around them, the lights were on and it was time to go home.
Having never witnessed a band playing whilst having the gear taken away, it was a real spectacle to behold. It also gave APC a ‘human’ feel about the whole gig – adored and revered but real, funny and perfect with it.
Fantastic, majestic and eternally memorable.
A Perfect Circle if ever there was one.
Astoria Set list:
Weak and Powerless
Thinking of You
The Nurse Who Loved Me
Master of Puppets
Highway to Hell
…… and more -- I couldn’t remember them all!
This review would not have been possible without the copious amounts of lager purchased for me by (amongst others) the dooner, idlemaster, shinobi, stingers and abudanyal (brothers in unconsciousness all). This review goes out to you. Spiral Out…….. and ‘til next time: