Late post, but after all these years, last week I saw Puscifer.
I’m happy to report that it was an excellent show, despite having a nosebleed seat 5 rows from the back of the 2nd balcony. The sound in Bass Concert Hall was great, the staff was friendly, the seats were narrow like coach on a 737, and the view of the far back of the stage was limited due to angles, but otherwise it was great. And with my stupid eyeglass prescription, my experience actually improved once I put on my sunglasses.
The sticking point with the show was that the band, as well as the tour and venue managements, made goddamned sure that we all knew that cameras were not welcomed or allowed. Signage, ushers, bouncers, two PA announcements, hell, even a video with Maynard in MIB drag talking about SPAM being made from people who take pictures; it became abundantly clear.
I mean, it was kinda nice not seeing the glow of cellphones across the concert hall, and that we all were more engrossed with the experience than with the capturing of the experience, but still, there were a few things I would’ve loved to shoot. Oh well. At least they opened up the last song for photography. “You guys have been good,” beamed Maynard, “so this is the last song, and you guys can bring out your cameras.”
All-in-all, the vibe was light and funny, with Maynard’s humorous jive, the band’s funny costumes, and the choreography with Carina. There were actors in men-in-black costumes, alien costumes, and so on, and it kept the whole works from getting too serious. I don’t think Puscifer has ever been anything serious (except deep under the surface). Over the course of the show the vibe inched from paranoid delusion to ascendant and extra-terrestrial, to hopeful.
Tracklist was mostly from “Existential Reckoning”, the latest, but they did dig into older albums with songs like “Toma”, “Conditions of My Parole” (with lots of running around the stage), “The Remedy” which I really got into, and a handful of others with alternate mixes and takes that took my trained ear a bit to actually recognize (being confused is sometimes magical).
Several times I heard the word “trifecta” muttered around in the audience. That’s winning a horse race bet on win, place, and show, but in this case it’s people saying they’ve seen all of Maynard’s projects, from Tool, to A Perfect Circle, and now to Puscifer. I wish I myself could’ve said trifecta, but it was nice hearing other people bonding over a word. After 2 years of pandemic lockdown, any kind of enthusiastic society is welcome.
The show was also a great chance to hang out with my cousin Amanda and her cousin Christy from out of town. We caught up on family gossip and general bullshit. It’s always great to host family, which is a rarity even after living in Austin for 22 years.
To summarize, I had a super great time.
"Raise," he says, "raise your glass.
"Raise your glass to our
Our remarkable resilience to calamity."
Everything will be alright.