Puscifer’s ability to transform is what makes them have a legendary status. Each tour they do brings a totally new concept to their adoring fans who give themselves entirely to the performance. This tour featured the madness that is Money Shot, the band’s latest album.
It all began with a comical live Mexican wrestling match between the Blue Team and Red Team, both co-ed; the blue team’s lady was a blonde, bubbly boxer and the red team had a sultry, sexy stunner. They wrestled back and forth for half an hour with only occasional cartoon sound effects and the slams of bodies on the mat to listen to. In between rounds, they would party together with drinks in hand served by a mysterious, small wrestler in black. Eventually, the wrestler in black, seriously out-weighed by his meaty opponents, male and female, demolished them all in a matter of minutes. After this spectacle, brainchild Maynard James Keenan’s image came on the speaker screens introducing himself while dressed as two of his characters. The wrestling ring remained on the stage, the drums were at the center and forefront, his bassist, guitarist, and keyboardists were along the sides and a be-masked Keenan and fellow vocalist Carina Round sang in center ring opening with “Simultaneous.” Keenan and Round sing beautifully together, their harmony is haunting and wise. The way in which Round is moved by their music is strange like she is possessed by some primitive being not able to function in her body. Our wrestlers never left the stage, opting to sit on their bleachers on either side of the stage and groove along to the music, occasionally bucking up to each other from a long distance.
After a few songs, a huge screen lit up the back wall with ACT I appearing across it. This set consisted of “Vagina Mine,” “Horizons,” “The Arsonist,” and “Remedy.” Keenan and Round moved to the sides of the drummer, Jeff Friedl, and our wrestlers would prowl around them. Eventually, Keenan signaled to the male wrestlers to engage in a pushup contest in the middle of the stage which the Blue Wrestler won. The audience would cheer for their side whenever it was signaled by them. ACT II came quickly, and the singers once again climbed into the ring after another hilarious round of wrestling with the songs “Life of Brian,” “Grand Canyon,” “Breathe,” and more. People were jamming out as they watched not only the theatrics on stage, but the new spacey images on the screen that complimented the dark, weird music well. ACT III saw the addition of a smaller wrestling ring where two stuffed roosters battled it out via remote control. Our ladies faced off in a slow-motion battle before “Toma,” “Money Shot,” “The Undertaker,” and more songs bedazzled the audience the audience into a near frenzy. When all was seemingly done, Keenan sincerely thanked the crowd for coming out, introduced his band, and allowed them two more songs to go out on: “Smoke and Mirrors” and “Autumn.”
This show took place in the historic Saenger Theater which I initially thought was an odd choice. But I realized that this was no ordinary rock show, as the nearby gentlemen kept screaming as he wanted everyone in the venue to stand up and move around. This was a performance of well though-out art. It was comical but had meaning. It was meticulously planned, and should be appreciated as such. It just didn’t seem right to guzzle twelve beers and mosh around, this is an experience akin to the theatrical performances that this venue is used to. Puscifer is more than its music.