A Perfect Circle has hit the road on a Fall 2017 tour with a newly refurbished lineup, stage presence, and their first single “The Doomed” in over 13 years. I’ve seen APC a few times in the past, and you know exactly what to expect from the mysterious aura given by vocalist Maynard James Keenan. If you’ve come to see a magnificent light show, chilling vocals, and gargantuan full sound, this is your perfect concert.
Times are changing and A Perfect Circle are a part of the movement. A lot of artists are going in the direction to eliminate distractions from their shows. This means, if you’ve made your way to see A Perfect Circle, and you’ve brought your phone to take some photos, well…you may be kicked out. Their show is meant to be enjoyed right now, in the present, not through a damn screen. Security at Mohegan Sun arena is always great, and when bands tell them to strictly enforce their NO PHOTO/VIDEO policies, they adhere to their wishes and do a hell of a job. This may not be for everyone, and we’re all guilty of being sucked into the abyss of technology from time to time, but I noticed something last night that isn’t typical in 2017. One focus point, one thing to do, and pure enjoyment. Fans were completely engaged, and no arms were in the air holding up a phone while blocking someone’s view. From my seat, two sections away from the stage, I had an amazing view of the whole arena, which was full of people caught in the moment. This is simply something that you don’t see these days. It was refreshing to say the least. I honestly wish there were more of this.
Opening up for A Perfect Circle, was The Beta Machine. A mash up of a few artists that have quite the full plate this tour. Made up of Vocalist/Bassist Matt McJunkins (A Perfect Circle, Puscifer, and former Eagles of Death Metal), Drummer Jeff Friedl (A Perfect Circle, Puscifer), Vocalist/Keyboardist Claire Acey, and Guitarist Nick Perez. This dual set by McJunkins and Friedl was very unique as both bands on this bill have a bit of a different sound. Along the lines of a newer age Incubus, The Beta Machine has the flawless basslines that flow ever so swiftly with cunning vocals and strong rhythm sections backed by nothing but captivating guitar riffs. Their short, yet sweet set was definitely an eye opener for those who’d never seen or heard of them. The best part about it, were the faces made when crowd members realized they’d just seen two of the members of A Perfect Circle on stage as openers as well.
A quick set change and it was time for A Perfect Circle. A large grey curtain dropped in front of the stage, creating an amazing lighting effect from behind the artists. I was set to take photos from the Front of House, as only one of seven people allowed to do so in a 10,000 seat arena. Showing large figures on the curtain as APC opened with “The Package,” an eight minute mind-blowing masterpiece, the crowd was in awe of the mystery. Maynard James Keenan (Vocals), has always been a man of illusiveness, capturing an image of this was nearly impossible. What to do? See what the crowd sees. The aura given by the complete band was brilliant, there were no faces, only an epic catalogue of music to move you. As a friend mentioned to me after I took my photos, they’re now known to me as “A Perfect Silhouette.”
Since around 2003, Maynard has taken a back seat and doesn’t refer to himself as a “frontman” anymore. When he takes the stage, you know he is there, you don’t need to see him….even if he is wearing a wig with pigtails and a long fake beard. Questionably one of the best vocalists of his time, with his work with Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Pusicfer, his voice is one that can be recognized anywhere. At Mohegan Sun, the 19 song setlist was filled with eloquent vocals that made there way around the room perfectly with hits such as “Weak and Powerless,” John Lennon cover “Imagine,” and “The Outsider.” The sound and stage show was so good, yet simple, it made the arena feel as if you were right on top of the stage, where only you were the audience. The no phone rule in full effect, it was easy to get lost in the music, as I found many fans in sync with the sound and mesmorized. If you’ve ever seen an older Tool video, picture the visualization pieces grabbing the viewer and sucking them in. This was the A Perfect Circle show. My personal favorite of the night was the blusterous power of “Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drum.”
Check out A Perfect Circle on tour now with The Beta Machine and do yourself a favor and leave the phone in the car. As Maynard said during the show, “We are here to listen, to interpret, and to share.”