What’s a Puscifer?

pusciferBy Jeff Groat [Entertainment Bureau Chief]

Puscifer, the latest project from Tool and A Perfect Circle front-man, Maynard James Keenan, hit Vancouver on Nov. 13. Puscifer is another one of Maynard’s multi-sided, impossible to categorize and extremely articulate projects—although it’s as far from Tool as you can possibly get.

Maynard has described the project as “simply a playground for the various voices in my head, […] a space with no clear or discernible goals, […] where my Id, Ego, and Anima all come together to exchange cookie recipes.”

The mixed collection of musicians played most of the songs off the debut album, V is for Vagina, to a somewhat relaxed, if not deeply engaged crowd at the Centre for Performing Arts in Vancouver.
The typical Maynard style of dark humour that is usually manifested in some angrier fashion was out in full force, though in a way that reflects the more accessible side of Puscifer’s music.

As the red curtain rose on the stage, a camper’s tent lay in the middle of the stage with a video screen in the shape of a giant billboard behind, showing a view inside of Maynard talking on his iPhone.
After a few comments about camping in Canada, and why “are all these people outside my tent?” the tent rose and the crowd got a glimpse of what was to come during the rest of the show.

To start, a parody of the opening scene from the movie Patton showed on screen, in which a Major Douche (played by Maynard) spoke of the disrespect that flash photography is to a band playing in a dark theatre.

After the video, the show started. The set-list took on the bulk of Puscifer’s catalogue, although the band seemed to have fun adding parts to songs, or playing songs differently than they sound on record. They also played a stunning version of Rev 22:20, originally off of the Underworld soundtrack, bringing the crowd into the performance.

Interspersed through the songs, videos played on the “billboard,” asking “what is a Puscifer?” with parodies of Puscifer’s associated business and marketing people giving their predictable, overthought answers, only half-joking in the inherent mocking of the business side of the music industry.

The entire show seemed to embrace that part of rock fame that Maynard so famously deplores and ignores, but of course with a smirking dose of sarcasm.

Check out Puscifer’s latest release, “C” Is for (Please Insert Sophomoric Genitalia Reference HERE), an EP released as an online, digital download only on Nov. 10.