Live ReviewsMusic

Puscifer Brings A Complete Performance to Ovens Auditorium

A four piece rock band wearing suits performs on stage
Puscifer rocks Ovens Auditorium. (Photo by Jeff Hahne)

If you’re going to a Puscifer show, don’t expect just another concert. No, this is a complete performance. When the Maynard James Keenan-fronted band hit Charlotte on Monday, Nov. 1, there was as much to watch on stage as there was to listen to aurally.

Where most bands play fan favorites and offer plenty of sing-alongs, Puscifer creates a vibe through the music while there’s a show for the eyes. And if you’ve seen Puscifer in the past, this is a completely different show.

The band’s 18-song setlist was dominated by their latest album, Existential Reckoning, as they played 11 of the 12 tracks. And where singer Carina Round was more of a support player in the group in the past, she was front and center as much as Keenan this time around.

A man wearing a suit and sunglasses is shows on a giant TV screen on stage
Puscifer’s Maynard James Keenan tells the crowd to put their phones away. (Photo by Jeff Hahne)

Throughout the show, there were aliens wandering around the stage, band members moving (and sometimes jogging) around the stage, and bizarre, humorous interludes featuring Keenan as special agent Dick Merkin. (He compared Miley Cyrus to Justin Bieber and Nick Nolte to Gary Busey at one point, while also wondering what Madonna was doing these days to try and keep herself relevant.)

During the last five songs of the show, Keenan appeared as his character Billy D and asked, “Which of the Carolinas are we in? Is it the one with more Jesus? It’s not? Then there should be bars everywhere in this state!” to the delight of the crowd. 

There were also multiple announcements to put phones away and that anyone seen taking a photo would be immediately removed from the theater… and made into Spam. That is, except for the last song when Keenan told the audience to “take your stupid fucking phones out and take photos or video all you want of the last song… I talked to Maynard and he said it’s ok.”

A member of the electronic duo Night Club stands on stage spreading out their arms
Night Club (Photo by Jeff Hahne)

The night opened with an energetic set from electronic duo Night Club that sounded as if Britney Spears and Nine Inch Nails had a baby. It’s not an easy gig to open for any Keenan-fronted band, but Night Club’s driving beats were a good fit for what was to come.

Be sure to check out Queen City Nerve’s Soundwave, Charlotte’s most comprehensive live music listing, so you don’t miss out on any shows or concerts coming up. And hell, if you’re looking for something else to do, you can check out our events page as well, which runs the gamut of things to do in Charlotte. You don’t ever have to be bored again. You can check out more of Jeff’s pics and live reviews here.

Puscifer setlist
Bread and Circus
Fake Affront
The Underwhelming
Grey Area
Personal Prometheus
The Remedy
The Humbling River
Man Overboard
Momma Sed
Bullet Train to Iowa
Conditions of My Parole

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