Signs around the venue made clear that the band was there to offer an experience. Not a concert, mind you, but something different. "Tonight's show is similar in nature to an opera or a film," the warnings read. "Any disturbance from the audience will compromise the quality of the performance." Not what you'd expect to find at your typical rock concert.
But A Perfect Circle is far from your typical rock band. Composed of musicians with experience in various headlining acts, most notably singer Maynard James Keenan of Tool, the band (or perhaps "side project" is a better label) has been largely absent since the 2004 release of their politically charged cover album, eMOTIVe. But you wouldn't know that at Sacramento's Memorial Auditorium Friday night.
The ample (if not quite sold out) crowd wrapped around the block in order to see the ensemble cast of rockers, bragging to one another of times they 'd experienced the band years ago as they waited to enter the venue.
And "experience" is a fine way of describing an evening of watching this band in action. All the musicians seemed to be there to focus on the music... no spotlights, no video screens, and very little crowd interaction. For 90 minutes, they cranked through highlights from their three-album catalog of heavy-yet-melodic tunes, with singer Keenan stationed at the back of the stage offering little more than a silhouette against a colorful light show that accompanied the music.
The typical obligatory encore was even bypassed for the sake of the show, "These days, times are tough," Keenan announced towards the end. "We won't save you any money, but we can save you some time," so rather than leave the stage only to return, they just cranked through a few more songs before calling it a night.
With that, what seemed to be the typical rock crowd cheered and thanked one another for the invite to the show. Not quite your typical rock concert, but perhaps a little more exciting than your everyday opera or film.