red lights

A Perfect Circle Rolls into Milwaukee

A Perfect Circle
Eagles Ballroom
Milwaukee, WI
March 30, 2001

Maynard lets his wig flow.

Story by Tony Bonyata
Photos by Phil Bonyata

On the second to the last show of their headlining tour, A Perfect Circle stopped off at The Eagles Ballroom last Friday evening to give their fans a last look at a band at their peak before they disband to tackle their own full-time projects.
Paz Not letting anyone down, this quintet of thinking-man's metal broke out all the heavy arsenal in their small but powerful canon - playing virtually every song from their platinum selling debut album Mer de Noms.
Billy As the house lights dimmed the lone figure of female bassist Paz Lenchantin gyrated high upon a pedestal under a bath of cobalt blue, playing an interesting violin piece. She was soon joined by guitarist/ songwriter Billy Howerdel, guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen and drummer Josh Freese for a heavy instrumental that purposely lubed the crowd for the coming main attraction - vocalist Maynard James Keenan, who also fronts the metal band Tool.
With a river of flowing platinum locks, no doubt courtesy of Cher's wig closet, and a stripped-bare torso, Keenan broke into "Thinking of You," amidst the corkscrew guitars and pounding rhythms. Hunched over, with his head down and synthetic locks creating a spidery web over his face, Keenan's presence was subdued - slowly pacing in a circle like a tired pit bull. Yet his performance was nonetheless mesmerizing with his strong, sensual vocals and gyrating hips that tried to squirm free from his jailing spandex trousers.
As the band worked their way into "Magdelena'" Keenan's longing drones weaved throughout the squalls of Howerdel and Van Leeuwen's bickering guitars. It was at this point a few bodysurfers awkwardly sprouted up above the crowd like dandelions to the first spring rain. This was the first and only sighting of the crowd going, slightly, berserk, however. When they backed up Nine Inch Nails last year there actually seemed to be, breaking the law of physics, more body surfers in the air than people underneath to support them. While their audience last Friday was enthusiastic, they kept things a little more cordial - with arms, not legs, outstretched at song's end and feet planted on the ground. And despite the crowd's somewhat tempered reactions never taking the band to a new level, they still managed to hammer out some heavy songs drenched in lush melodies and angular riffs, such as "Thomas," "Brena," "Orestes" and their biggest hit "Judith." They also threw in a couple of surprises such a song that Keenan cowrote with Nine Inch Nail-alumni Danny Lohner as well as an interesting cover of David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes," which garnered a collective question mark above the heads of this youthful crowd.
Now that their tour has finished up, with Keenan going back to Tool and Van Leeuwen fronting his band Enemy, it may be quite awhile, if ever, before A Perfect Circle rolls into town again.

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