An Otherworldy Evening: Puscifer at The Greek Theatre

The ensemble deliver an electric performance characterized by a delightful visual spectacle.

puscifer
Photograph by Ekaterina Gorbacheva

All Photographs by Ekaterina Gorbacheva (@ekaterinagorbacheva.art) at

The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on June 12, 2022:


With their expansive new album, Existential Reckoning, arriving at a time of much trouble in the dreaded 2020, Puscifer never got to celebrate its glory as deserved. Though the album’s constantly unfolding capabilities offered much in the realm of an expansive listen, there are certain qualities that are further elevated via the live setting, more so because of the band’s grandiose approach to cinematics, character development, and electrifying instrumentation. Joined by A Perfect Circle’s Billy Howerdel and Moodie Black as openers, Puscifer have now put an end to the six year tour draught, allowing for Existential Reckoning to breathe new life throughout Summer 2022 in North America.


The band’s Los Angeles tour stop at The Greek Theatre was expected to be a standout, especially with Jermaine Rogers illustrating the conversation piece that was his show exclusive poster as is the band’s norm. Jesus making out with an alien? Yup, that’s one you’ll want framed.

Artwork by Jermaine Rogers

Beyond the band’s deliberate approach to tour merchandise, the night’s Puscifer show was set to be a thrill from the moment the openers hit the stage. Billy Howerdel, who’s celebrating this month’s arrival of his solo debut full-length, What Normal Was, set a somber, mysterious tone with warm lighting set across his stage. Howerdel is a workforce of a musician and his songrcraft speaks volumes of his meticulous attention to detail.

a perfect circle, billy howerdel
Photograph by Ekaterina Gorbacheva

What Normal Was is as ethereal in the live setting as it is via its studio recordings and Howerdel's radiance brought it forth with an added layer of immersion. Somber lighting selections of warm hues set the crowd at ease as the acclaimed frontman shine from track to track.

a perfect circle, billy howerdel
Photograph by Ekaterina Gorbacheva

His set was built from standouts of What Normal Was, including the opening Selfish Hearts, Follower, and Poison Flowers, each of which resonated well with the engaged crowd. It was a melancholic performance that’ll surely draw many to explore the depths of the Howerdel’s introspective endeavor.


Enjoy a photo gallery of Howerdel's performance below.


As the masters of the arts that they are, Puscifer set the bar for what it is to establish a visual persona from the get-go. If you’re expecting idle musicians playing monotonously beneath stagnant lighting fixtures, that’s not what you’ll get here. Instead, the core trio of Maynard James Keenan, Carina Round, Mat Mitchell, along with their supporting cast, deliver an otherworldy spectacle of joyous musicianship that sparks infectious nods and smiles throughout.


The band’s opening act was largely of standout offerings from their latest composition. Following a spam video introduction, Bread and Circus chimes in and kicks the evening off with aplomb. Postulous, Fake Affront, and The Underwhelming follow suit with an intriguing vibrance that only a unique selection can achieve in the rock arena. If Existential Reckoning showed something, it’s that Puscifer remains boundless in nature as the band continues to inject all ends of the musical spectrum into one multi-faceted formula. Theorem and UPGrade are apt in showing it.

Photograph by Ekaterina Gorbacheva

At this time, one could consider The Greek Theatre stage as a hot set of many moving parts, like a soundstage or studio during filming. Maynard and Carina transform from act to act to resemble their Billy D, Hildy Berger, Major Douche, and Dick Merkin monikers, fittingly so as they play through different musical eras and their associated ecosystems. Merkin’s videos play as an intermission in between acts as the band recharge and ready another course of songs.


Existential Reckoning continued with another string of exquisite selections that were layered throughout the second act, an act that included two revered Puscifer gems. The gems in questions were The Remedy and The Humbling River, each of which was welcomed by the many who sang along to its moving vocal harmonies and melodies. This second act highlighted two distinct eras that again reaffirm Puscifer’s treasure trove of variety among their sonic trajectories. Another Dick Merkin intermission plays on the venue’s screens and the third act commences to the slow burning Bullet Train To Iowa. Conditions of My Parole, another Puscifer great, draws great applause and Existential Reckoning closer, Bedlamite, plays the same role for the evening’s festivities.

Photograph by Ekaterina Gorbacheva

Few times will you find a touring experience of the magnitude that Puscifer bring forth. Every one of the three acts and humorous performances that coincide with the band’s celebrated output is intentional and made to fit within the broader scope of a narrative worth basking in. What once was live luchadores on previous tours is now a cosmic display portrayed by alien guests that make this one worthwhile trek down the band’s discography. Daniel Martin Diaz’ cover illustration is quite a treat to look at, so it’s only right that Maynard and co. expand upon the album’s visual identity in the flesh. This is as tantalizing as a Puscifer show can get, and for those still on the edge of paying a visit to their nearest tour stop, let the below photo gallery of the performance guide you in the right direction.


You can stream/order Existential Reckoning HERE and check out the remaining tour dates below.


Puscifer Tour Dates (TICKETS)

June 24 Philadelphia, PA The Metropolitan Opera House

June 25 Brooklyn, NY Kings Theatre

June 26 Wallingford, CT Toyota Oakdale Theatre

June 28 Boston, MA House of Blues

June 29 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE

July 1 Rochester Hills, MI Meadow Brook Amphitheatre (Pavilion)

July 2 Chicago, IL The Chicago Theatre

July 3 St. Paul, MN Palace Theatre

July 5 Omaha, NE The Admiral

July 6 Denver, CO The Mission Ballroom

July 7 Salt Lake City, UT Eccles Theater – Delta Performance Hall

July 9 Portland, OR The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

July 10 Seattle, WA McCaw Hall