I was so super excited to hear that a perfect circle was getting back together to tour and I scooped up tickets to Fox Theater in Detroit and someplace in Pittsburgh right away. I headed out to this show with Phil, who had seen them in Buffalo (as did I) years ago, and we were both pretty excited.
After getting pulled over and having the car searched in Queenston, we made good time to Detroit through Windsor, grabbed yummy dinner at this Mexican place someone (I think sean) had posted a review of on fb a few weeks ago, then wasted a few hours at MGM casino before heading to the venue.
Fox Theater is stunning. You’ll just never have places like that built again, so glad it is well taken care of. The opener was Red Bacteria Vacuum, a punk band that turns out to be from Japan. Can’t say it was any good, but they were cute reading off a sheet of paper in english to the crowd about Japan, and how the best thing they can do to help Japan is play their music haha.
APC came on at 9, opening with Annihilation followed by Imagine, and then I got the bad feeling that this setlist was going to all be from Emotive…and I was right. So I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, because in general it was a good show – Maynard still sounds amazing, the band (Billy, James Iha, 2 guys from Ashes Divide/Puscifer, no Josh Freese 🙁 …) sounded great. Just…I felt like I was seeing a new band I’d never seen before, because since I hated Emotive and listened to it a whole total of once, I really only knew like 5 songs. The setlist just bummed me out big time. They really must have played the entire record, just song after song from Emotive (just checked, they played 10 of 12 songs), and I started wondering if they were still doing the “one album per show” thing, and had hopes that Pittsburgh would be better. But sadly, setlist.fm seems to show the same basic set – lots of Emotive with a few changes in the songs from Mer Des Noms and 13th Step. *sigh* Guess I need to try to brush up on my Emotive before August.
So here’s the setlist:
Annihilation (Crucifix cover)
Imagine (John Lennon cover)
Weak and Powerless
What’s Going On (Marvin Gaye cover)
People Are People (Depeche Mode cover)
(What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? (Nick Lowe cover)
When the Levee Breaks (Joe McCoy cover)
3 Libras (All Main Courses Mix)
Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie (Black Flag cover)
Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums
Fiddle and the Drum (Joni Mitchell cover)
By And Down
APC was never a band you really had to SEE, as they are not very active on stage, and they still aren’t. Maynard, James Iha and the drummer were on boxes at the back, with the bassist and Billy moving around up front. I’m glad we got Magdalena, as they sometimes seem to switch it out with Orestes (wouldn’t mind that either though), and they seem to switch out Gravity for The Package. So much of Emotive is slowish, it just brought the whole thing down. The crowd didn’t seem to have any energy (maybe due to a seated venue, but I’m figuring it was the setlist, the older songs got big reactions). Passive is better live than on Emotive, but it still pales in comparison to the live version called Vacant from…2001?ish (aka the buffalo show). Counting Bodies Like Sheep was pretty awesome, but it was one of 2 songs I liked from Emotive so it makes sense. And closing with 2 songs I have never heard before (or don’t remember hearing) was just…blah.
So….it sounds all like a complaint, but it’s only a half complaint. They really sounded amazing, and live music is always awesome. Nothing compares to live guitar, and Billy is a pretty great guitarist. I just don’t understand the setlist choices.
Now I need to get excited for U2.