By Rose Riot
Puscifer is “Simply a playground for the various voices inside my head… A space with no clear or discernible goals… Where my Id, Ego and Anima all come together to exchange cookie recipes,” this is how Maynard James Keenan [Tool, A Perfect Circle] describes his newest project. Puscifer is the least mainstream of Keenan’s bands and my favorite. I caught this wacky mix of musical silly and serious on November 30 at The Cobb Energy Center, a much smaller venue than the huge arenas that Tool sells out. The band is currently touring for their latest album Conditions of My Parole, released in October 2011…
The show begins with video clips of Maynard donning a beige polyester suit and matching mullet, mustache combo… He is otherwise known as Billy D. Billy D is pure trailer trash, which is symbolized by the small Airstream that Maynard literally drags onto the stage to start his performance. As he pulls the trailer he speaks of the meaning of life and Puscifer. All of which went way over my head but I would expect nothing less from Mr. Keenan.
Once the trailer is parked, Maynard goes into the trailer and comes out with camping furniture, a grill, wine (possibly from his vineyard, Caduceus) and a fake rattlesnake. These props are set in place while his philosophical soliloquy continues. Eventually a curvy beautiful woman emerges from the trailer. She is Carina Round. She is there side-by-side to join Maynard in song. The rest of the band makes their way to the stage as well and the Puscifer show has begun.
Melodic and harmonious music pours from the Carina, Maynard and the band. The words of songs like “Rev-20-22” and “Oceans” are heavy and loaded on the audience only to have the mood lightened by wacky characters brought to life by Maynard via video stills and clips.
In his latest attempt to be elusive, Maynard sings at the back of the stage lit by a huge photograph screen showing images of the desert and UFOs. Occasionally he walks to the front to pour glasses of wine for himself and to share with his band. A Puscifer show is nothing you would expect from a rock show but everything you would expect from Puscifer philosophical
(Rose Riot is a photographer in Atlanta and contributing blogger for Tattoo Artist Magazine.)