On the 12th of December, Copenhagen’s Forum was filled with fans of melancholic rock. Maynard James Keenan with the colleagues from A Perfect Circle visited one of the city’s biggest venues. They provided a decent dose of A Perfect Circle music and let the fans enjoy the live performance of a big part of their last record.
The opening act for the evening was no one else than the amazing Chelsea Wolfe. Her performance started on a barely lit stage, with minimal red lights breaking the darkness. The first notes of ‘Feral Love’ with the fast drum machine rhythm and a slowly raising voice traveled through the venue. ‘Spun’ was played next, and here Chelsea played her hollow body guitar, a lot of fuzz and distortion created a very atmospheric ambience. The performance continued in similar mood with the following songs. The total lack of light that was witnessed for the bigger part of the show was an additional factor to create an intimate atmosphere inside the venue. Chelsea closed the show with ‘Survive’ and ‘Scrape’ leaving the stage for the main act of the evening. Chelsea Wolfe ‘s performance was top class and from what could be hear in crowd discussions, very well received by those who never heard about her previously.
After a 30 minutes interlude it was time for the main act, the one and only A Perfect Circle. Initially it felt that Chelsea Wolfe was performed with minimal lighting but with the first beats of ‘Eat The Elephant’ I was about to realize how wrong that was. The piano together with the drums teared down the chatting noise in the arena. After few moments the characteristic voice of Maynard James Keenan was heard. Interestingly, until the end of the first song it was not clear if he was singing from the stage or hiding somewhere. The big secret was revealed when the first notes of ‘Disillusioned’ were accompanied by minimal blue backlights that revealed the silhouette of the vocalist, located on a special stand at the back of the stage. A Perfect Circle performed song after song without unnecessary breaks, continuing their theatre of shadows. The setlist continued with older tracks like ‘The Hollow’ and ‘Weak and Powerless’. Shortly after they refocused on their latest release with one of the best single songs, inspired by Douglas Adams novel, ‘So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish’. Later in the show we could hear more of their older material like ‘Rose’, cover of ‘(What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love and Understanding’ sang by Billy Howerdel and ‘3 Libras’. The final moments of the evening started with one of the bands biggest hits, ‘Judith’, followed by a cover of AC/DC ‘Dog Eat Dog’. And this was the first time the fans could really see MJK and not only his silhouette standing behind the band. They closed the night with ‘Delicious’, which deserved the vocalist comment: ‘now you can take out your f… iPhones’. Note that A Perfect Circle has been extremely strict about photos on this tour, and this was the first time this evening he entered the front part of the stage.
To summarise, this was an amazing performance where the band made an interesting exercise forcing the audience to focus on the musical aspect of the performance by limiting the visual experience. They managed to pack in a quite big portion of music, with a setlist of 20 tracks. I do believe that everyone leaved the arena happy with this special performance that aimed to please the ear and not the eye of the listener.