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Puscifer brings two shows in one to
sold-out Columbus crowd at The LC
The atmosphere was untraditional for fans of Maynard James Keenan-fronted bands.
Folded chairs that lined the floor would have been unacceptable at a Tool concert and the
elaborate stage setup of an A Perfect Circle show was absent.
Concert goers faced forward in their reserved seats looking at the stage that was
transformed into the setting of a rural outside patio.
It resembled a scene at the Grand Ole Opry, but this was an experience inside Keenan’s
musical alter ego: Puscifer.
Major Douche, Keenan dressed as a threatening military character, appeared on a screen
above the porch patio.
He warned the audience to not film or photograph the show, then he introduced Puscifer
after mentioning Tool and jokingly citing A Perfect Circle as “a full circle, or whatever it is.”
Though never as glam as David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust persona, Keenan has traditionally
trademarked live performances using a somewhat similar approach.
Tonight—instead of wearing a long-haired wig, painting himself with blue and red body
paint or wearing a white-painted face mask with female prosthetics—Keenan seemed to
reincarnate a crooner from Hee Haw.
The first half of Puscifer’s set became a cheesy theatrical comedic play that used 2007’s
Cuntry Boner EP as a catalyst for its western rooted theme.
Keenan was dressed as the character Billy Dee who was joined by his short-skirt wearing
sidekick Hildy, played by comedian Laura Milligan.
It was fitting for Milligan to be part of the tour, as the name “Puscifer” was first used during
the early ‘90s when Keenan performed comedy sketches with Milligan in her Los Angeles
The porch set came to life as band members entered wearing country costumes,
performing with acoustic guitars and a pedal steel guitar complete with Johnny
Cash/Loretta Lynn stylized vocal duos. All of which were executed with precision.
Songs including “Vagina Mine,” “Queen B” and “Drunk With Power” were rather
unrecognizable until familiar choruses kicked in.
The band took brief breaks as the screen showed episodes of “The Burger Barn,”
starring Billy Dee and Hildy. The satirical reality show poked fun at every stereotypical
aspect of southern life and the audience learned that the band believed they were punk.
The punk-rock claim was an appropriate transition for the band to perform its cover of
Circle Jerks’ “World Up My Ass.”
The first set was followed by more humor with a video posing the question: “What is a
Puscifer?” as the hesitant applause during the first half gave way to embracing cheers.
Keenan came back stripped of Billy Dee’s costume--now sporting shades, a black suit
with red tie and matching red socks.
Hildy was replaced by tall, sultry British singer/songwriter Carina Round who wore a long
black dress with heels.
The rotating live band, which included two members of Ashes Divide at this show, began
to perform “Momma Sed” from 2007’s V is For Vagina.
Keenan and Round took a separate place beside each other, standing behind small black-
and-white video screens that projected their faces in the dimensional form of a magnifying
glass. This is where the duo primarily remained throughout the show’s remainder while
reciprocating each other’s seductive hand motions and arm swings in unison.
During some songs band members walked freely across the stage to serve themselves
Caduceus wine from Keenan’s vineyard in Arizona.
The darker, more familiar Keenan-esque second half was well received, including an
audacious light show during Pigface-like “The Undertaker” and a vocally chilling
performance of “The Mission.”
The set continued with songs from 2009’s “C” Is for (Please Insert Sophomoric Genitalia
Reference HERE) and closed with Keenan introducing the band members, thanking the
audience and performing “The Humbling River.”
Earlier in the night fans welcomed the throat-clearing drunken anti-humor of comedian
Neil Hamburger. His half-hour set included many one liners about Courtney Love, Smash
Mouth and 311 as well as a humorously defensive cuss-filled response to an audience
After Hamburger left the stage, Cleveland two-member band Uncle Scratch’s Gospel
The rockabilly Silver Jews-ish band, composed of Brother Ed and Brother Ant, managed
to entertain the crowd with songs like “I Can’t Bang You On A Sunday” and “I Banged A
The stage props made up for the lacking amount of instruments (drums, guitar,
megaphone). A yellow sign on stage with an image of the devil read: “The devil is a cry
baby.” And halfway through the set, Brother Ed pulled out a large poster of Tom Cruise’s
face and rubbed it under his legs while denouncing Scientology.
As the ever-changing Puscifer show continues its tour, the screenings of Keenan’s wine
making documentary with Eric Glomski, Blood Into Wine, also continues this spring.
Photo By Cherie Roberts
Courtesy Of Publicity