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A Perfect Circle Live in London

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Wednesday, February 11, 2004 @ 11:46 AM


APC, With Auf Der Maur, Live a

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REVIEW BY: FarkPark

It’s fucking freezing in London in early February.

Yet, at 5pm, despite the wind, wet and rain, the strong and hardy followers of A Perfect Circle were huddled up in the doorways to this famous old venue.

Only two and half hours until the doors open, but never mind, they don’t come round that often – make the most of it!

Dodgy dealers flogging hookey hoodies – “Only £10 each guy, £35 in there they are,” loads of flyers for APC and Melissa doing the rounds, ticket touts begging for buyers and sellers, beggars begging generally... local pubs packed with the excited gaggle of fans, late comers flocking out of the underground…

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It’s a special place, the Hammersmith Odeon (as it used to be called).

Inside the atmosphere built as everyone found their own special place for the gig. The door hangers from earlier were all down the front. Lights were up, and so were spirits.

Nowadays, the Apollo features a complete standing area on the ground floor with a large seated upper tier. The acoustics in there were always superb – and I knew the place’s outer most boundaries were going to be taken to the limit by five of the rock world’s musical perfectionists.

Auf der Maur hit the stage at 8pm on the dot. Melissa is one stunning figure on the stage, her silhouetted image projected onto the wall at the side of the auditorium. A mighty fine idea, intentional or not, it gave a great effect. Especially as she was wearing a tiny leather mini skirt…

The new material was well received, if unheard, of by the majority of the crowd prior to that moment. “Followed the Waves” had been getting airplay, and was the high light of the performance – that and James Iha’s brief appearance on guitar.

So, with everyone’s appetite given a bit of a nudge, all we had to do was wait. We were told that smoking was prohibited during APC’s set ‘due to illness’ and cameras were also forbidden.

Then, the lights dropped and we were treated to the sight of MJK behind his sheet, playing drums, belting out the beat to “Vanishing.” Jeordie and James came on wearing suits – yes, suits… It was hot in the Apollo tonight, and I for one was pleased I wasn’t wearing a suit!

The old magic feeling of when you know it’s going to be a great gig descended on me. I wasn’t going to get involved with the moshers and other idiots that seem intent on turning APC shows into something else, because I wanted connection with the band and their music...

I was quite near the front, just on the edge of the pit. I was close, but not close enough. Unlike my previous APC encounter at the Astoria, I wasn’t under the spell straight way. I battled with my senses -- I was trying to hard to take it all in, whereas last time I had let the experience wash all over me. In the end, I gave in and was won over to the sheer prowess of the music -- I was moonstuck, abandoned to the sound and the visuals, the lights, the atmosphere, the heat and the vibes from the crowd.

Playing every note like he’d just written it and interacting with the front rows, Billy looked supremely confident and proud. I love watching him play, like was he born with a guitar in his hands.

James joked with the crowd -- introduced as ‘more crap American humour’ by MJK and played a silly song. Jeordie looked cool. Incredibly cool, for a man wearing a suit in a hothouse. Man, he must have been hot! Smiling, as usual, and taking everything in – constantly surveying the throng around him - his aura was incredible.

Josh was looking up to the gods most of the evening, playing like a demon and not once did he miss a beat. A master at work.

It dawned on me that you don’t have to be tearing round the stage all night to deliver power. If you have that balance, that alchemy, power is what you will have.

These guys – you could watch them individually and be royally entertained. They look like individuals but mesh together perfectly… cajoled and encouraged by the prowling majestic MJK. Very quiet, perhaps he had a throat problem, but economical as he was with the chat between songs, he didn’t hold back when it was required.

As always, the set finished too soon. The dust was settling before last orders in the pub, and suddenly everyone was outside, excitedly recounting their own tale of the amazing experience they had just taken in.

I got a text from a mate in the upper tier, which summed the whole night up. It said (quite simply):

“Fucking Immense. FACT.”

With Salutations to Stingers and Shinobi

APC Set List:

Vanishing
Pet
The Hollow
Magdalena
Weak and Powerless
Thinking of You
Blue
Thomas
The Package
3 Libras
The Nurse Who Loved Me
The Outsider
The Noose
Judith



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