Field Report, 31 May, 2004

The A Perfect Circle concert tonight was so excellently bad-ass. Incredible. I wish I was better at words right now to express how else it was and what went on. It’s like, lots of fans, lots of teens in black loose clothing and long t-shirts, lots of college kids, preps, and their girls. Lots of out-of-place adults like me. The most pot I’ve ever second-handed at any show. The wimpiest security, neverminding the search at the door which made me feel like I was 16.

Hand sketch of the view of the stageBut that’s all just the crowd and facility. How about the vibe? A Perfect Circle put on an excellent show. They had a slight problem with keeping the vocals in tune; likely a problem with the mix on the monitors, but they straightened up several songs into the set list, and commenced with the stellar performance.

Speaking of set list:

  1. “Vanishing”
  2. “Lullaby”
  3. “The Hollow”
  4. “Magdalena”
  5. – Greetings, “welcome to the show”, jokes reminiscent of Bill Hicks

  6. “Weak and Powerless”
  7. “Orestes”
  8. “Blue”
  9. – Commentary on Clear Channel, Howard Stern, Ashcroft, profanity, and a hearty round of the entire arena saying “Shit Fuck” to see if it affects those around us

  10. “Thinking of You”
  11. “Breña”
  12. “A Stranger”
  13. “The Package” (super powerful, this song. Everything just gelled together)
  14. “3 Libras”
  15. “The Nurse Who Loved Me” (an alternate version, featuring stronger, more powerful electrics)
  16. – “Our album ’13th Step’ is about recovery, about the stages of overcoming your own demons…that’s the most powerful struggle of all…”

  17. “Gravity”
  18. “The Outsider”, which featured Geordie doing a solo while the rest of the band threw water bottles, drum sticks, etc. at him
  19. “The Noose”
  20. “Judith” (the requisite closing song, but the best for the job. A moshpit formed on the floor for this one.)

It was good to see the several well-known musicians in the band. There’s Maynard and Billy, of course, but on bass is Geordie White, also known as Twiggy Ramirez from Marilyn Manson’s band, and on second guitar and keyboard is Smashing Pumpkins’ guitarist James Iha. Drumming for them is session-musician badass Josh Freese. An excellent combination in the studio, a seasoned choice pick for the stage.

The opening band, Burning Brides, was completely and unexpectedly good. They are a three-piece band and carry a raw, crunchy sound that’s halfway between The White Stripes and Kitty. If not for this show, I would not’ve heard of them, and now I’m considering picking up their disc. They’re worth a spin; they’re definitely worth going to see should they come back through town.

My friend Fuzzy and I arrived at the arena about 3 hours prior to the show, not knowing if our section was general admission or not. Expecting to jockey for a spot in line, we found the wrong door and were directed to one of the doors on a level above the ground floor. We went to the wrong door, which was fortunate because the weather, which had been threatening, decided to unleash and pour heavy raindrops and lightning on downtown Austin. We had found suitable shelter underneath the top walkway leading up to the third level doors. We just sat talking and hung out with some kids from San Antonio while we watched the weather. I took off my shirt and enjoyed the cool, damp breeze.

The weather cleared up and around 6:30 we went to the third level doors, stood in line, got searched, and found our seats. We got hungry and picked up some pricy snacks and sat back down. About a half-hour later, Burning Brides came on and did their thing. Played for 45 minutes, then a half-hour break, and APC took the rest. The show was over around 10:30, and we headed out to wait on my roomate to pick us up. I felt like a 16-year-old kid, what with getting searched, then being around all those teens, and with having to wait on my ride. Heh. But it was all good. Damn was it good.

I’m stinky and tired now. Enjoy the pretty sketch of our view of the stage. Not too shabby, the view. What’s interesting to note is that Maynard spent the entire show on his elevated platform between the Josh and James in relative darkness. It kinda makes sense: most of APC’s fans are there to see him, mostly. But it’s not really his band; Tool is his band, APC is Billy’s joint venture with Maynard. So it makes sense to me that he diminishes his presence to give more spotlight to the other members who are doing the grunt work of turning out killer music.

I’m simply pleased with the whole production. Had a good time. Tonight’s show was taped and recorded for source material for a possible future live release. Let’s hope some of tonight’s show makes the cut.

G’nite, folks. :)

Published by Shawn

He's just this guy, you know?