On Friday night A Perfect Circle brought their current North American tour to Detroit at the Fox Theatre.
The band reunited back in November after a six-year hiatus and took to the road without a new album to tour behind instead choosing to highlight songs from their previous three albums.
The evening began with a set from openers Red Bacteria Vacuum, a female trio from Japan.
The band was a little extreme for the A Perfect Circle crowd but their high energy poppy punk sound did have many begrudgingly moving along to it by the end of their set.
It was definitely a sharp contrast from the moody music that followed as A Perfect Circle took to the stage for an hour and a half performance that drew heavily from the cover songs off of their 2004 album Emotive.
The five-piece band took to the stage clothed in darkness and the tune of “Annihilation” and continued strong with a haunting version of “Imagine” followed by fantastic performances of “Weak and Powerless” and “The Hollow”.
Band members guitarist/co-founder Billy Howerdel, guitarist James Iha, bassist Matt McJunkins, and drummer Jeff Friedl all had their moments in the spotlight with Howerdel’s strong vocals ringing out throughout the evening.
However, the A Perfect Circle sound is highlighted by the haunting vocals and wordplay of frontman Maynard Keenan (Tool).
The notoriously publicity-shy Keenan has always gone against the stereotypical idea of what a frontman should be and this evening was no different as he hovered back in the shadows at the rear of the stage.
Most of the evening featured powerful performances of some of A Perfect Circle’s best songs but the heavy Emotive setlist fell flat at times sucking the energy out of the crowd.
The band does a great job at reinventing many of these covers but played back to back they lack a little something, particularly since the band has so many other great original songs to choose from.
Conspicously missing from the setlist on Friday was popular song “Judith” and they also curiously chose to perform their remix version of “3 Libras” rather than the original which is what the crowd was looking to hear.
Despite the bumps in the road, the band continued to hold the crowd’s attention and finished strong with popular songs like “Passive” and ‘Gravity”.
Keenan had the crowd laughing as at the end of the set as rather than leave the stage the band just stood there as he said that rather than break up anyone’s iPhone videos that they would just pretend they had left the stage and came back for an encore.
A Perfect Circle finished strong with energetic performances of “Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums” and “Fiddle and the Drum” and then closed things off with new song “By and Down”.
Afterwards, the crowd flooded the local bars and continued playing A Perfect Circle songs mixed in with some of Tool’s on the jukeboxes proving that the show had made a lasting impression in spite of any disappointment they may have felt at the setlist.
A Perfect Circle setlist:
- Weak and Powerless
- The Hollow
- What’s Going On
- People Are People
- The Outsider
- (What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?
- When the Levee Breaks
- The Noose
- 3 Libras
- Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie
- Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums
- Fiddle and the Drum
- By and Down