Some things are worth waiting for. And although we stood around at the Keyclub for almost two hours waiting for A Perfect Circle to take the stage; I must admit, they made the frustration of waiting disappear almost immediately. It was as if they arrived and created a moment of instant clarity amongst the smoke and the droning hum of the crowd.
Maynard James Keenan emerged pale, bare-chested, and muscular, wearing a silvery green tapestry smoking jacket, and dark gray trousers. The visual shock was that of the long, brown, seventies-styled wig he was also sporting. It made him look as if he were the singer for Sweet or Three Dog Night or maybe even the Bay City Rollers. Weird. Nevertheless, A Perfect Circle went off. Maynard’s voice was crystal clear, and just as stunning to hear as it has ever been.
After a few amazing songs from the upcoming CD, (to be released on May 23rd on Virgin Records) Maynard graciously introduced each member, Troy Van Leeuwen on guitar; Billy Howerdel, the band’s composer, back-up vocalist and lead guitarist; Paz Lenchantin on bass, backing vocals, and she played violin beautifully; and Josh Freese on drums. Maynard went on to say, “And my name is Gaylord, I’ll be your waiter for the evening.”
The set list included amazing versions of “Judith“, “Duran“, (which got a massive audience response), “Thomas” and the instant classic, a very cleverly constructed adaptation of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Diary of a Madman” blended with the Cure’s “Lovesong“. It’s an event in itself to watch how smoothly the band pulls this off. The Keyclub’s sound system is definitely one of the clearest and most high-tech set-ups in Hollywood and it complimented them well. It seemed that the lighting tech was heavily into the effects of backlighting, (which didn’t come off as well for the audience members in front of the stage, as we were frequently blinded!) but all in all, the mood was ethereal and well presented. A lot of violets and blues were used which always adds a softer and slightly cooler atmosphere.
A Perfect Circle embarks on their tour supporting Nine Inch Nails on April 12th. Last night was the first of a relentless string of tour dates they have on the horizon. After what I saw last night, I’m confident that there will be oceans of fans across the world turning out to see A Perfect Circle’s hypnotic performances. For more information, visit www.aperfectcircle.com.