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Review: Puscifer at Thebarton Theatre, January 23rd 2017

Puscifer‘s latest Money $hot tour seemed to be getting great reviews on it’s various US and European legs, and Maynard James Keenan and co decided to share the love with Australian audiences with a tour taking in most capitals in Australia, as well as the MOFO Festival at Hobart’s MONA.  I was lucky enough to get along to the show at Thebarton Theatre here in Adelaide, and can report I had a great time!

First stop of the evening was a wine tasting session at local bar Udaberri run by Matt from Sip Wines.  He’s the Australian distributor for Maynard’s drops, and had a few bottles open for sampling.  For tasting were three reds and one white, the highlight for me was the Tarzan, which Matt tells me is out of stock!  I also had a chance to try Sense of Compression by Ochotoa Barrels – it’s a collaboration between a local Adelaide winemaker and Maynard.  It’s an expensive wine (was $13 for half a glass!) and while I enjoyed it, I came away preferring the much cheaper stuff.  Perhaps wine aficionados would appreciate it more then I!

After a quick bus trip home to pick up the car, I made my way to Thebby (as it’s know locally) for the show.  Entry to the venue was pretty easy, unless you were silly enough to pick up tickets at the door, for which there was a pretty long queue.  Once inside I grabbed a beer, chatted to a couple of other Fourtheye readers and then made my way into the main hall.  It was unusual to see this venue full of chairs, as every other show I’ve been to here has been general admission.  Unfortunately my seat wasn’t quite as close as I’d like, and was a bit off to the side, but the view was good enough despite that.

At around 8:00pm Luchafer came onstage to do their wrestling act.  The sound was pretty muffled – I got the impression they were taunting each other or having some form of dialog, and it’s possible we were meant to hear what was being said, but the sound was poor enough at this stage that I had no clue.  They “wrestled” on stage for about 20 minutes, the highlight of which was a Trump style pussy grab (with retribution).  It was interesting, but 20 minutes was more than enough.  The wrestlers were back for more antics during the show.

Puscifer made their way on stage at around 8:30.  Maynard and Carina Round started up on the wrestling ring, but moved around the stage during songs and between the 4 acts.  They played pretty much the same setlist they have for most of the Money $hot tour.  I enjoyed it and didn’t really find that there were any dull moments during the show.  For the most part the songs were heavier and had an extra punch missing from the recorded versions.  As a fan of heavier music unsurprisingly this went down pretty well with me!  I would have liked to have heard a few more older songs, but overall was happy with the setlist choice.

It was a pretty cool visual show as well, with a range of videos projected on the big screens being the band (and occasionally on two screens either side).  Highlights were the excellent visuals from the Grand Canyon video.  There were the occasional skits shown as well, but these seemed to suffer from poor sound quality, and frankly missed the mark for me.  They didn’t appear to get many laughs from the wider audience either.  They were only a very small segment of the show though, so didn’t really take anything away from the night overall.

The crowd was pretty quiet, remaining seated for the first two songs until Maynard proclaimed that if a 52 year old can dance on stage, then so can the rest of the crowd.  Personally I’m not a huge fan of seated shows – if Maynard wanted people to stand and dance, then it should have been GA.  Despite a few signs in the lead-up that the crowd would be small, it seemed as though the venue was reasonably full – it wasn’t a sell out but didn’t appear to be many spare seats either.

As mentioned before, the sound quality of the videos and wrestling was pretty poor, but the quality of the show seemed reasonably good.  Maynard’s vocals were relatively low in the mix I thought, but other than that didn’t have many complaints.  Maynard’s performance through the show was strong, and while Puscifer may not have the same vocal challenges Tool does, he sung well and was quite animated during the show.

In summary it was a really good night – I enjoyed the show from beginning to end and was very happy that Puscifer made the effort to visit our frequently skipped over town.  I’d happily go seem them again, and have no hesitation recommending others to check them out when they get the chance!

Can Büyükberber shares his visuals from the recent Tool tour

In a short but interesting article on The Creators Project, it is revealed that digital artist Can Büyükberber created a bunch of visuals for Tool’s most recent tour, including the new track Descending.  According to the article:

Late last year, Büyükberber put together ten individual video loops for band’s live sets. In his description, Büyükberber claims the cosmic animated artworks developed through his work in architectural projection mapping performances. Through this work, he began experimenting with “morphogenesis and higher dimensional geometries,” which, in turn, gave life to his design patterns. The animations were used for the first time in 2015 at a show in Arizona, and are now being used in the band’s 2016 US tour.

There is a video which accompanies the article as well:

Though if you prefer, ToolArchive has created a version with a live recording of Descending synced to it.

Junior, Breck and Co. talk about the stage setup for Tool’s 2016 tour

I came across this fantastic article on PLSN yesterday, in which Mark ”Junior” Jacobson (lighting designer & director) and Breckinridge ”Breck” Haggerty (video designer & director) talk about the stage setup for Tool’s recent 2016 winter tour:

Mark ”Junior” Jacobson
Lighting Designer & Director

“The band hadn’t played live since Spring 2014, and they were offered a festival date in Tempe for Halloween 2015. We found out about it in July 2015, and thought with three months notice, this would be a good time to put together a new show from scratch. It also gave me a chance to finally move Tool off of grandMA1 and into the grandMA2 world.
“In the past, we had always taken our arena design and tried to fit as much of it into a festival stage as we could. There always seemed to be mixed results. This time, we thought we would make a new design that is based on the space you have in a festival stage and geared to work well within those limitations, and maybe even exploit them. This would become our ‘Festival’ rig and we would use it any time they played festivals in the near future. The thinking was that when they do finish the next album we will make a new ‘Arena’ show from scratch, and then we would have two application-specific shows to choose from, depending on the type of show and venue.
“The band enjoyed playing that Halloween festival with their old friends, Primus, and decided to put together a January arena tour with them. We are not quite ready to put together a new ‘Arena’ show, we didn’t want to regress to the old show, and the set list from Halloween is similar to what they planned to play on this tour, so we decided to modify the ‘Festival’ rig to work for this tour. It seems like it goes against our ‘separate rigs’ plan a bit, but we didn’t have to modify it too much to make it work. Mostly sight-line issues you wouldn’t have on a festival stage, since the band is in a box there. We had to move some side lighting trusses up to accommodate the potential 270-degree seating. That was about it for lighting. Video made a few changes, as well.”

It’s a great article, and worth the read. It also features many great photos taken by Steve Jennings.

Tool 2016 tour photo by Steve Jennings

Rumour: Lollapalooza 2009

According to Mitch123 on Toolarmy, there is some speculation that Tool might be headlining this years Lollapalooza Festival.  Not a shred of evidence to back this up as far as I can see, so don’t go booking your plan tickets just yet…

Puscifer Live Rumour

The Gauntlet has a (very brief) article on Maynard, the Wine Signings and the new Puscifer Store and I picked up this little tidbit:

Responding to rumors of a live incarnation of Puscifer and a possible Las Vegas outing this February, Keenan offered no confirmation but a knowing smile.

Not really much point reading the rest of the article unless you’re a die hard.

Helmet @ Folwers Live 4th May 2008

Last night I got to go to my first gig since the Big Day Out, and that was to see Helmet play at one of our local clubs Fowlers Live.  Even though Helmet are now a very different lineup from when I saw them last in 1997 (Singer/Guitarist Page Hamilton is the only original member left in the band), I was excited about seeing them, especially when I heard they’d be playing all of their Meantime album.  Being one of my favorite albums, I’m happy to saw the band did and awesome job, and as an added twist, played it in reverse order.

Page HamiltonThe opening band were called Lady Strangelove.  The came on pretty much as soon as I walked throught the door and brought a drink.  They’re a psychadelic rock band, with a bit of a stoner rock influence.  They seemed to play pretty well, and had a lot of on-stage energy, but personally I felt they spent maybe a bit too long with extended solo’s and jams.  Extended jams can be good if you’re into the band, but when most of the crowd aren’t really digging it, and you’re waiting for the main act, it gets a little tedious.  And none of the musicians were really skillful enough that I though at any point “man this is really cool”.  However, they did a good job, and the songs they had were pretty good, and are far from the worst support act I’ve ever seen!

After a relatively short setup period (all of the bands equipment was already on stage and soundchecked), Helmet came onstage, starting with the only track (Swallowing Everything) played from their most recent album Monochrome.  Following a couple of Aftertaste tracks, the band started playing Meantime in reverse order, starting with Role Model and eventually ending with Meantime.  Better and Turned Out were definitely highlights for me, and the band were extremely tight all throughout the night.

Page was in quite a good mood throughout the night, frequently chatting to the crowd and apologising for taking 10 years to get back to Adelaide.  He also appears to be a big Coopers fan, which will come as no surprise to most South Australians.Jon & Dan

After finishing Meantime, the band left the stage briefly and eventually returned, playing an encore of Wilma’s Rainbow, See You Dead and Crisis King.  These final couple of track featured some extensive guitar noodling, none of which I found particularly exciting.  In fact the encore was a little dissappointing, though I guess once you’ve played through an album like Meantime, you don’t leave yourself anywhere to go.

Personally, I enjoyed the set list, though would have like to have heard something from Strap It On and Size Matters, or possibly some more from the new album.  Seeing all of Meantime was great, but part of me would have liked to see a little more variety, and given that the last tour was from the Aftertaste tour, a few less tracks from that album would have been nice.  I guess there’s only so much you can fit into a 90 minute show.

Page HamiltonThe venue was a pretty cool place to see Helmet.  It’s reasonably small, the capacity is about 500, and I don’t think the show sold out.  The sound was great, though possibly a little loud.  My ears are still ringing as I write this.  That could be old age though!  It was a very intimate performance, and it was easy to get a great spot, in my case right on the barrier.

Fowlers also uses an electronic ticketing system provided by Moshtix, which worked really well, and entry was fast and painless.  More venues should look into this system, as it’s basically a swipe card you load your tickets onto when you make a book, either online or in the shop.  Potentially, this could be a great way to combat scalping.Setlist

After the gig, all the members of the band came down to the front of the stage, and chatted with the crowd.  I managed to score a setlist, and shake hands with Page and the rest of the gang.  Too band I didn’t have anything to get an autograph with though.

Overall, it was a great show.  My initial fears of them being a bit past it were well and truely put to rest, these guys were as good as the Helmet I saw in 97 and 93(?).  Despite the revolving-door band lineup, the band was tight, and played all the songs with a lot of energy.  Considering it was the fifth straight night they’ve played, and the last gig of the tour, I thought that was a good effort.

If you get the chance to see these guys play in your town (they’re doing a short European tour in June) then make sure you check them out.  It’ll be well worth it!

Maynard joins The Nightwatchmen

According to this article at the Chicago Tribune, Maynard (as well as Perry Farrell and The Coup’s Boots and Ike Riley) will be joining the Nightwatchmen (Tom Morello’s solo acoustic show) at the gig this Thursday at Park West.

Apparently it’s mentioned on The Nightwatchmen Myspace site, but I couldn’t see it. Entry costs $10 and it all ages.

Tool Monster Mash Festival in Arizona confirmed

Many of you would have noticed the post on Toolband already (and on other numerous social media sites) that the rumoured Tool show on October 31 at the Monster Mash Music Festival in AZ has been confirmed. Supporting will be Primus and another couple of bands.

Blair notes that there is some important ticket information:

TOOL will be performing at the 2015 MONSTER MASH MUSIC FEST at TEMPE BEACH PARK in TEMPE, ARIZONA on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31 (HALLOWEEN NIGHT). Gates at 3:00 PM.

The first thing that you will need to know is that you CANNOT get tickets for this show via Ticketmaster! Let me repeat this: You CANNOT buy tickets for this Tool performance at Ticketmaster. In order to PURCHASE TICKETS – which go ON SALE on FRIDAY, JUNE 26 at 10:00 AM PST – please click on www.monstermashaz.com

Again, tickets are AVAILABLE (on FRIDAY, JUNE 26 at 10:00 AM) at www.monstermashaz.com
(… and can ALSO be purchased at The Marquee Theatre Box Office, Bookman’s locations, Zia Records stores and Asylum Records in Mesa, Arizona)

Now that you know where to purchase tickets, the second thing that you will want to know is that there are NO 3-DAY INCLUSIVE TICKETS – meaning that if you want to see TOOL on Halloween night, you will NEED to purchase a ticket for SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31 (at www.monstermashaz.com)

Make sure you get the right day or you’ll find yourself singing along to The Old Man Down The Road or In The End.

Blair contacted me not long after the announcement, and wanted you guys to know that this isn’t the curveball (which he contends is nearly finished after so long), and that it’s unlikely to delay the album as some may fear. As I pointed out in the forum at worst the album gets pushed back a month, which in the grand scheme of things isn’t really a big deal. He also hints that it could be just the one show – I’ll follow up with Blair to clarify this.

Update: Blair confirmed to me that there are no other shows planned at this stage. That’s not to say there won’t be, but it appears likely this is a one-off show.

A Perfect Circle release live version of Judith

Artist Direct have posted a live version of A Perfect Circle‘s Judith on their website today. The track is taken from the upcoming live box set Stone And Echo.

Happy Birthday Adam!

It’s Adam’s birthday in this part of the world, and as is tradition I shall post a Youtube video that contains some of his best work. The album 10,000 Days was pretty strong in regards to Adam’s guitar work, and while it’s easy to highlight Jambi as a defining solo, I actually think the solos in the 10,000 Days (Wings Part 2) track are the best on the album. Maynard may object, but here’s a decent recording of it live:

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