Highlights included the beautiful blending of Round and Keenan’s vocals on “The Remedy.” and drummer Friedl’s bashing on “Toma.”
Peabody Opera House, St. Louis
Puscifer, the alternative-rock, performance-art collective, delivered a 20-song set to capacity crowd Friday, at the intimate confines of the Peabody Opera House.
The brainchild of Tool and A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan, the band delivered the unexpected, the perverse, the sardonic, and a more electronically based sound, against a backdrop of visual projections, props, and beautiful background paintings. The Money Shot Round 2 Tour was not your average rock show, and the legions of fans couldn’t have been more entertained.
The show’s opener was Luchafer, a masked group of Mexican-style male and female wrestlers sporting colorful masks, tutus, and wrestling tights. Lucky members of the audience got to sit ringside to witness the hilarious, WWE-inspired bout complete with taunts, screaming, body slamming, death blows, chokeholds. and death-defying leaps. Following the 20-minute match, the hall monitors came on with prerecorded messages from Keenan.
During the front man’s PSA, he appeared as a colonel, a preacher, and a cowboy. He reminded the audience of Puscifer’s strict policy against filming, photographing, or cellphone usage during the performance. It’s safe to say that Keenan is no fan of selfies, Facebooking, or filming his shows; rather, the band demanded the audiences’ full attention—and they earned it.
In almost complete darkness and to thunderous applause, Puscifer took the stage to the strains of “Simultaneous” from their 2015 release, Money Shot. Keenan—dressed in a suit and tie and sporting a wrestling mask—and vocalist Carina Round appeared in the wrestling rink in the back of the stage, as drummer Jeff Friedl began the song. They were soon joined by guitarist Mat Michael, bassist Paul Barker, and keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Masha Zargaran.
The lengthy set included the beautiful and soaring strains of “Agostina,” the majestic “Grand Canyon,” the raucous black humor of “Conditions of My Parole,” the techno-tinged “Life of Brian (Apparently You Haven’t Seen),” and the head-banging goodness of “Money Shot.” They finished the performance with the soothing closer, “Autumn.” Other show highlights included the beautiful blending of Round and Keenan’s vocals on “The Remedy.” and drummer Friedl’s bashing on “Toma,” from their release Conditions of My Parole.
Following an inspired, intense, and lengthy set, Maynard thanked the audience. He explained that Puscifer is an independent project, free of a major label or major backing. It’s obvious that Puscifer is a labor of love for Keenan and the other band members. It’s also safe to say that the audience members were duly impressed and drained by the singular visual and audio feast served that night. | Doug Tull