A Perfect Circle heat up the Pavilion in return to Boston

A review of A Perfect Circle at the Bank of America Pavilion on Tuesday, July 12

, Managing Editor

It’s been awhile. After being dormant for the better half of the past decade, A Perfect Circle have finally come around again as the sleeping giant, or rather supergroup, has been awoken. The band returned to Boston for a hot night under the tent at the Bank of America Pavilion on Tuesday.

It sounds like a terrible idea for a band that stayed off the road for six years to finally return only to play mostly covers, but the Boston fans fully embraced the Emotive-heavy set which included almost every song from their 2004 album consisting largely of anti-war cover songs.

A Perfect Circle released Emotive seven years ago during an election year while a war was going on. They returned to the stage in Boston seven years later with an election year coming up and a war still going on (bummer). The band showed their sentiments with this progress (or lack thereof) musically, with the theme of the night cleared instilled from the get-go, as Crucifix’s “Annihilation” and John Lennon’s “Imagine” began the set, just as they do Emotive.

It’s easy to understand why fans would be perfectly content with APC’s cover-filled set when one hears what the band is able to do with these songs. They have a way of making songs their own as they often slow them to a chilling crawl before frontman Maynard James Keenan (of Tool fame) unleashes his forceful wail to power the song to the finish. At times, the only recognizable similarity between their version and the song they’re covering is the lyrics. For instance, they put a slow, eerie Depeche Mode-like vibe on Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On” before cheering it up a bit with an actual Depeche Mode song in “People Are People”.

The band certainly has a style; building songs slowly with often haunting instrumentation that draws out the emotions of the lyrics. Although it can be captivating, the show seemed to need a change of pace midway through and needed a boost of energy. That energy came in the form of Black Flag’s “Gimme Gimme Gimme” where there was no building necessary.

The most powerful song of the night came at the beginning of the “encore”, although they band didn’t actually take off per usual with Keenan amusingly explaining, “this is where your average egomaniac would leave… we’re egomaniacs as well, but just with little time”. The engine-esque rev of the guitars in “Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums” spawned a clap-along before Keenan ironically bellowed “Go back to sleep!” in a rage that could have woken the dead.

The show ended with a long-awaited new tune, “By and Down”, which the band just started performing a few weeks ago. The song started slowly before picking up midway through for a more powerful closing, proving these guys do have a style.

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