I’ve been meaning to write about the Puscifer show, but the pursuit of all-things-below-the-waist-of-two-girlfriends has kept me busy. Rain isn’t answering her phone, and Meg is off visiting the Marshal. Time to take a deep breath, do some laundry, and catch up with the rest of the world…
Until a month or so ago, I was pretty much unfamiliar with Puscifer, Maynard James Keenan’s “playground” where all the music that doesn’t fit Tool or A Perfect Circle goes to misbehave. The last time they came around, I’d just bought a ticket to Marilyn Manson and couldn’t afford two Puscifer shows. (One should see both shows when they play successive nights.) The things I’d read told me I’d love this band. I was not misled.
After kissing my mistress goodbye, I went off to the final pre-concert party, at Dr T’s desk. I’d been hanging with Meg all day, and had chatted with Rain, who was interested in going after hearing me talk about the show. Sorry kids, this was stag night. I had one seat in the 12th row. I snapped a picture of my pre-concert drugs. (Don’t let that innocent cupcake fool you. One is VERY filling.) Everything I didn’t want to lose to a search was hidden in the back room at work, and I was off to the show.
The Schnitz is upscale for a rock show. Frank Zappa’s band was the first non-symphonic band to play The Schnitz after the remodel. Big name acts doing small tours favor the Schnitz for its acoustics and lighting. It’s so well-lit that reality looks more realistic, if such a thing is possible.
I was second seat off the aisle, which meant someone else had bought one seat. Would I be stuck next to some smelly fat guy that couldn’t get a date? I was betting on it.
After clearing a near-invasive pat-down, (“What’s this?” “My balls.”) I went to find my seat. Good news and bad news. I wasn’t stuck next to a smelly fat guy; I would be playing that role this night. No, I was stuck next to what looked like a seventeen-year-old Jay from Jay and Silent Bob. I could see a stocking cap and headphones. Youngster was playing a video game or something. Grr. I’m not cozying up with a teenage boy until I absolutely have to.
I prowled the lobby, smirking back at the hipsters with matched derision. Thinking it resembled a night for Gresham’s finest to put on the dawg, I went back to my seat. Might as well meet the teen…
My second trip to the front of the auditorium was more visually appealing. The cupcake was coming in for a landing. There was a line of security manning the stage, and every person pulling out a phone was given one warning. “Use it and lose it.”
I walked up to my row, and noticed the teenage ‘boy’ was wearing pink knee-high stockings under black tights. Hmm. A flash of bright smile, and batting of pretty eyelashes.
I said, “Hi. It looks like we’re going to be buddies for a couple hours. I’ll just give you room until showtime.” I sat a seat away.
“Oh, you’re okay.” She offered the seat. Yes, SHE. I was sitting next to Avril Lavigne’s older sister, or so it appeared.
We chatted as we let people in and out of our row, to go drink or pee. “Have you heard the new album?” I asked.
“No, I wanted to see it live first. Completely un-pre-judged.”
“I have heard it maybe twice. I wanted an idea of what to expect. Are you familiar with Tool?”
Jay-girl turned and looked me in the eye. “I’m 42 years old, and Maynard is god. What do you think?”
“Forty-two? You play a convincing nineteen…”
We got along fine after that.
If Tool reminds me of a next-generation Pink Floyd, Puscifer reminds me of a next-generation Peter Gabriel. Theatrical, funny as hell, yet musically tight. I got lost in the visuals, puddling up for no reason like good music will make me do. I can sit stone-faced at a funeral, but I can cry like a bitch at rock concerts and sporting events.
I will spare you my own review, instead pointing to these:
Vancouver B.C. show.
Hilarity ensued as drunken hispters yelled at the five people standing in front of the stage. “SIT DOWN!”
“STOP TELLING PEOPLE TO SIT DOWN!” Back and forth. I was surrounded by women. On the other side of me looked like an Olsen twin. She took her bra off during Green Valley. By the time the band played Vagina Mine, it was Girl’s Night Out in my row.
Folks remained seated until Maynard suggested that it’s mathematically improbable and visually unappealing to shake ya ass while seated. They tore into a butt-wiggling version of Dozo, which got the crowd dancing, if you can call it that. (I saw ONE black person at the show, a matronly woman usher. The show could have used more diversity.) This was proof-positive that white people need dance lessons.
It wasn’t the music’s fault.
I noticed warm responses from both seatmates to material from the V is for Vagina album. By the time Carina Round brought out the banjo for Tumbleweeds, I was ready to go. If I hurried, I could make my usual commuter bus.
I excused myself past Jay-girl. “It was nice meeting you,” she said. We shook hands, and she seemed surprised when I turned and walked away.
As I walked for the exit, I kept thinking I should go back, introduce myself properly and offer to buy her a drink somewhere. Then I thought of Meg waiting for me to call, and Rain expecting me in the morning. (Thursday’s date won’t be interrupted by work. I’ll go in an hour early…) I should be happy with two women waiting for me, and not be piggish.
(Instead, I sent an I Saw U to Jay-girl via Portland Mercury. If anything comes of it, I will spill accordingly.)
I missed the bus, and spent half an hour dodging raindrops under an awning telling Meg about the show. It was all I talked about at work for two days.
The soundtrack for Spring 2012 is peppered with trailer-park references, drunken characters and trashy women.
Much like my glorious life…