A Perfect Circle & Beta Machine at the Air Canada Centre, November 15th 2017

Wednesday evening, fans packed into the Air Canada Centre for an evening of transcendental music experiences.  Coming up strong, Beta Machine and A Perfect Circle performed the hell out of the evening.

Beta Machine

If Phantogram and Nine Inch Nails went to Cape Cod for a lovers getaway, nine months we’d have Beta Machine.  One of the many musical projects of Matt McJunkins’s (of Perfect Circle, Eagles of Death Metal, Puscifer and more), Beta Machine combines epic drums, trippy keyboards and the smooth vocals of Claire Acey. With two members of Perfect Circle in this opening band, it was impressive to see them crush two sets in a row.  Beta Machine’s psychedelic meets techno vibe was a welcome surprise to start the evening.

A Perfect Circle

Coming on stage, Perfect Circle took up their instruments, lead singer Maynard James Keenan up on a platform at the back of stage.  Hiding in shadow much of the show as usual, he seemed to command the audience’s attention easily, even from back there.  “The Package” opened the night as the band played behind a large white curtain, lights making their shadows small then larger than life.

Dropping the sheet, the band launched into two more, trance-like songs “The Hollow” and “The Noose”.  Clean and dark, the songs floated across the stadium easily and with power.

A Perfect Circle even managed two unique and impressive covers, demonstrating an ability to pay homage while making the songs their own.  The first was a cover of the Beatles’ “Imagine”.  It used more minor notes than the original, almost sounding like a gothic choir.  Just a few songs later, the band covered Depeche Mode’s “People are People” to thunderous applause.

One of the evening’s many highlights came with the political undertones.  Maynard, apologizing on behalf of his country (a similar sentiment he shared back in May when touring with Tool). Equally political, “Counting the Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythym of War Drums” combined complex, militarized drum beats with eery vocals.

The night ended sans encore with the 19th song of the evening, “Feathers”.  Mixing electronica, metal and rock- the A.C.C. Was triumphant with sound and the crowd left satiated (and with the promise of a new Perfect Circle album in 2018).

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