There’s something magical about any show that takes place at Red Rocks. Between the amazing surroundings, the warm sky and stars above, and the infamous sound that swirls around the mountains, well, there’s just nothing like it.
When a band like A Perfect Circle is on the stage, then it just foams over the top like a newly tapped keg. Ripping through tunes from their two albums, Mer de Noms and Thirteenth Step, the crowed drank it up and danced it out. And not in the Dashboard Confessional, sing-every-fucking-word-to-every-song kind of way, but with the same enthusiasm I experienced when I saw Tool more than a year and a half ago.
Of course the musical man of mystery, Maynard James Keenan, was at the helm atop a pedestal, shadowed and only visible by as an outline of body, mic, and long hair. He still hypnotized the audience with his usual flair, because it was his voice that mattered.
Since this was the last show for them for this year, they were not only a bit punchy from the tour, but seemed to have a “go for broke” attitude.
Maynard seized the opportunity to voice a few opinions he had about our country’s freedom of speech that’s conflicted with the FCC’s recent rampage on what they consider to be “indecent.” Before making his way onto the stage he was watching Fuse’s music new broadcast about the million dollars in fines Clear Channel has received for the Howard Stern show. But Maynard wasn’t quite convinced that we as a society need the FCC to protect us, or what they’re actually protecting us from.
So he decided to do a little experiment to see if two of the seven no-no words had a negative reaction on the mass of people that filled Red Rocks. After getting the crowd to yell “Shit! Fuck!” we were asked to look at our concert neighbor and see if maybe we went into convulsions, grew a third eye, or went into an uncontrollable performance of the moonwalk. We did this twice, and test proved that we were no worse for wear. In fact, it was pretty fucking funny.
The laughs didn’t stop there. The group also brought out lead singer from the opening band, Burning Brides, but disguised as a red rooster.
While all this was very entertaining, it was merely sugar on top of a rich and decadent dish that overflowed with A Perfect Circle’s intricate layers, musical finesse and intoxicating presence. At the end they thanked the audience and each took an individual bow. This show was so over the top, it took me back to that feeling of the mega shows I experienced as a teenager in high school, where you feel like you could just float all the way back from wince you came.