Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Perfect Circle, live at Aftershock: review and photos

A Perfect Circle
A Perfect Circle, Aftershock 2017
Guest post by Jade Anna Hughes: you can find more of Jade's writing here:  All photos by Alison Toon. Photo gallery here:

Just over 17 years ago I was waiting impatiently for NIN to play in the early California summer heat, madly in love with the music, and with Trent of course. I had no idea who A Perfect Circle were and had watched some Tool videos earlier that day, but hadn’t really made the connection between the bands.

Twenty minutes later I was standing there in the pit, mesmerized. Maynard James Keenan was standing in front of the crowd in teeny tiny shorts, his voice carrying across the crowd, backed by some amazing music. He then pulled his wig off, having shaved his head not long before, revealing a new, completely bald look. While I will remember the headlining NIN performance for the rest of eternity, I also took A Perfect Circle back home with me to France, listening to their first album on repeat, transported, literally. I have since seen Tool several times, as well as Puscifier, all amazing, but that APC performance was a huge deal. I really, really thought that Mer de Noms would be the first of many, many albums, but sadly, it was only followed by the equally brilliant Thirteenth Step in 2003 (and then eMOTIVe, an album of covers/remixes in 2004). So you can only imagine my high pitched scream for joy when I saw that both APC and NIN would be playing at this year’s Aftershock festival here in Sacramento! And then, after months of wondering whether there would be any new material, several new songs have been played at different live shows.

Maynard James Keenan, vocals, A Perfect Circle
Maynard James Keenan, A Perfect Circle, Aftershock 2017
We were super lucky, because a brand new single, The Doomed, was released earlier this month, and was played for the first time live at Aftershock.

While visually their set this time around was starkly different from back in 2000, as all members were shrouded in darkness and smoke, the few lights playing with the shadows, the music punched me in the stomach in the exact same way it did the first time around. Magdalena has pretty much followed me through every place I have lived for the past 17 years, and hearing a perfect, live rendition was about as good as it gets! The 12 song set was a brilliant span of my favorite APC pieces, and I’m really excited to see what they have up their sleeves for this new album that has been promised for 2018. And if we listen to what Maynard has to say, it promises to be heavily political, which of course also makes my day.

Maynard James Keenan, vocals, A Perfect Circle
Maynard James Keenan, A Perfect Circle, Aftershock 2017
I hope we can catch them on tour in the area next year again, because my APC appetite has awakened and wants MORE!

Setlist from Aftershock 2017: The Package, The Hollow, The Noose, Weak and Powerless, Rose, 3 Libras, Thomas, Magdalena, Hourglass, Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums, The Outsider, The Doomed.

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