By Brendan Reid
November 30th, 2017
VANCOUVER – The self-proclaimed Merchants of Emotion have returned, and they haven’t come empty handed. Early 2000’s era supergroup A Perfect Circle now have new songs, and a new message to deliver to the masses.
Frontman Maynard James Keenan seeks to empower us to stay undivided. Part of this strategy apparently involves a ban on filming of any kind during the show. This may seem authoritarian, but ensured audience members remained in the moment, and when lighters were held aloft during softer songs, the gesture, strangely, did not seem at kitschy as it usually does. Perhaps they’re on to something here.
Three new tracks were exhibited. “Hourglass” was a curious beast, featuring vocoder effects and synth heavy leads. “The Doomed” evoked a sense of sublime self-preservation with its dark lyrics. “Feathers” was the closer, a meditative sojourn that left the audience swaying.
The old songs, however, are what really brought fans forth. Tracks such as “Magdalena” and “Thomas” were chillingly powerful, evoking headbanging throughout the crowd. Band members were stoic, and were flanked by Keenan, who lurked in the rear of the stage, lurching and dancing like a man possessed. This was juxtaposed by his personable banter, though the energy was diffused when James Iha took the mike, and told a pair of awkward one-liners. The continuation of the set felt strange after this interlude, though the profound energy of the band won the night in the end, and left their audience with a unified sense of elation. Mission accomplished.
A Perfect Circle, Maynard James Keenan, Pacific Coliseum