Friday, August 12, 2011
An (almost) Perfect Circle
On Wednesday night, Dan and I went to the Oakdale theater in Wallingford, CT to see A Perfect Circle. The acoustics of this theater were absolutely beautiful. It's smallish and there's not a bad seat in the house. I was worried about being on the balcony level, but in hindsight, I'm thrilled we were. People on the ground level were all standing. Dan asked before we left, "it's all seated, right?" I told him yes to which he replied, "Thank god. Man, I guess that makes me sound old." And I told him it's because we are old. It's so nice to be seated at a show, nowadays. When my sister and I saw RAMMS+EIN at Madison Square Garden, I was thrilled to be able to be sitting to see the spectacle. You get to watch and listen and not worry about getting an elbow to the face, or being covered in hundreds of other people's sweat. Of course, this depends on the band, the performance, the style of music and the venue, but for either bigger theatrics (like RAMMS+EIN) or slower, beautiful music (like A Perfect Circle), seats are fantastic. (Note: I would never be seated for, say, Every Time I Die, because something comes over me and I feel the need to bum-rush the stage and throw people around during the heaviness and energy that is ETID.)
The venue was perfect for displaying Maynard's angelic voice. I was excited even during the insanely unlistenable opening act (all-girl japanese punk band called Red Bacteria Vacuum) because you could tell just how big the sound was going to be. The SOUND did not disappoint.
Now, I've only seen A Perfect Circle one other time in DC when I was probably about 17. The only album they had out at the time was their first album, Mer de Noms. I was thrilled with that show because that's what they played. It was exciting to hear Maynard live and to see him in person, playing the songs that I had grown to love and form many memories out of. I know Maynard's reputation precedes him from his years with TOOL, and should know that he doesn't really care about making audiences happy, but I went in expecting to hear at least 3 songs for sure - (a beautiful cover of John Lennon's) "Imagine" from their most recent album of mostly covers, "Weak and Powerless" from their second album, Thirteenth Step and finally, "3 Libras" from their first album. That is PROBABLY my favorite of their songs, if I had to choose one. Well, I was right about the first two, and I guess they did play "3 Libras"... sort of. They mashed it up into a remix that sounded like a totally different song, just using some of the same lyrics repeated over and over in an odd melody. It was a big let-down. I was really looking forward to hearing that song live and Maynard's voice would have been unbelievable singing that song in that venue, but alas, he could give a shit less about pleasing little old me... And I respect that to an extent. I mean, you CANNOT walk away upset because you were just in the presence of that voice. That music. That magic.
They crushed "The Outsider"and "Pet," and pleasantly surprised me by playing, "The Noose" perfectly. I guess in a dream world, my expensive APC tickets would have afforded me the luxury (and honor) of hearing "The Nurse Who Loved Me" and "Sleeping Beauty." I wasn't a huge fan of the covers on their last album, so if they had replaced some of them in the line-up with either of those tunes, I would have been an extremely happy camper.
Regardless, the show was a pleasure. I'm truly glad we went. If you ever get the chance, I'd highly recommend seeing that man sing at least ONCE live in your lifetime. It's quite amazing. While arrogance is my number one biggest turn off, this guy's ego is pretty much warranted... What can I say? When you're good, you're good... He just happens to be brilliant.
**Sidenote: I never realized how many APC fans were massive nerds. Not like gothy nerdy kids, but full-blown, WoW playing, never had sex with a real-life vagina before, NERDS. Dan mentioned that a good percentage of them were overweight, as well. It was an interesting collection of fans... Definitely not what I'm used to, but then again, we're mostly at hardcore and punk shows with the skinny little snotty-nosed punk brats. Ugh. We're becoming the old people at shows, aren't we? :-/