Sunday, December 13, 2015

Puscifer @ The Fox Theater 12/8/2015

Maynard James Keenan, a name synomonous with legendary Rock front-men, returned to the Bay Area with one of his many bands; taking the stage at the sold-out show at The Fox Theater in Oakland with one of his many bands, Puscifer for the first time since 2011.

There's a first time for everything and the show Tuesday night held three firsts for me. Not only was it my first time seeing Puscifer, or Maynard for that fact but the show was a seated one which was another first for me.

Luchafer @ The Fox Theater 12/8/2015
Photo by Marc Fong 

At 8:00 the show started with an opener you typically don't see, or expect to see at a concert. With a full on wrestling ring center stage at the picturesque venue for a Lucha libre match from Luchafer quite literally kicked off the night! Out of all of the shows I've been to this was the first time I ever saw a Lucha libre opener. It was exciting!

Exaggerated grunts and loud repercussions of body slams jolted the silent stricken venue for about half an hour as the two teams of two battled it out.  Their loud costumes were as vibrant as their wildly animated antics and as they thrashed about you couldn't help but be completely enthralled, amused and entertained. When the referee joined (and dominated) the fight,  murmurs of speculation that it was Maynard himself stirred around me but I'm still not so sure it was him.

Luchafer @ The Fox Theater 12/8/2015 
Photo by Marc Fong 
Hardly any time passed from when the wrestlers took their final to when the lights dimmed and a parody PSA video started. Paying homage to Puscifer's debut on the HBO's Mr. Show with Bob and David (Arrested Development's David Cross and Break Bad's/Better Call Saul's Bob Odenkirk), a white trash costumed Maynard starred in the short video warning all show goers not to take out or use their phones (or else!) and to just fucking enjoy the show. And with that, everyone jumped to their feet, hollering and clapping at the first sight and sounds of Puscifer! 

Pusicfer  @ The Fox Theater 12/8/2015 
Photo by Marc Fong 

Jeff Friedl was set up on drums in front of the wrestling ring with bassist Paul Barker (formerly of Ministry) guitarist Matt Mitchell to the left of him with keyboardist Mahsa Zaragaran to the right. Maynard and co-vocalist, Corina Round were behind the rest of the band with retro microphones in the middle of the ring. 

The infamously illusive front-man lurked in the shadows, as he's known to do during his shows, wearing his own Lucha libre mask. Cognitive guitar snarls and surreal synth hooks teamed with Round's robustly halcyon tones delivered a romantically eerie, cumbersome feel while Maynard's grandiose hand gestures pulled you in and his daunting delivery kept you hauntingly spellbound. 

 Puscifer @ The Fox Theater 12/8/2015 
Photo by Marc Fong 

For a band of revolving members (except for Maynard who is the only permanent member of Puscifer) they sounded sharp, bound by the layers of experimental, industrial rock, genre redefining sound they seamlessly make on stage. Their collective expertise left no need for prolonged banter: the atmosphere they created as they played provocatively connected Puscifer to their fans in Oakland. 

There's something to be said for great musicians who don't take themselves or what they do too seriously: knowing  how good and influential they and their craft are yet able to give fans a serious wholehearted performance while having fun with it. Maynard is one rock-star who has mastered this trait.   

Puscifer set-list 12/8/2015 

1. Simultaneous
2. Galileo 
3. Agostina 
4. Vagina Mine 
5.  Horizons 
6. Arsonist
7. Remedy 
8. Life of Brian 
9. Rev 2220 
10. Grand Canyon 
11. Polar Bear 
12. Breathe 
13. Toma 
14. Telling 
15. Moneyshot 
16. Man Over Board 
17. Undertaker 

1. Humbling River 
2. Autumn 

1 comment:

  1. This place is absolutely gorgeous, beautiful and stunning. Even though a few halls are equally appealing and fascinating in their decor, food and aesthetics, I'm tempted to still give Chicago venues some slight edge.