“Puscifer” SESSANTA Tour, April 16th AZ

While it wasn’t quite Maynard’s birthday!  Sessanta at Talking stick amphitheater in Phoenix, AZ made us all damn sure know this was a celebration for the one and only MJK.  This was not your average, everyday concert! This is a trip through the mind of Maynard James Keenum with his two other bands, ‘A Perfect Circle’, and ‘Pusifer’. Plus, special guest, ‘Primus’. There were no hour-long sets, each band got equal time and traded off on stage. They would play an average of 3 songs each with an extra song here and there, and then they would trade off to the next band. For someone with a short attention span, this was just about perfect. While I would like to see other bands adapt to this platform, I honestly don’t think it would work as well with most tours. All three bands complimented each other flawlessly. 

The preshow video by the eccentric singer MJK gave us all a grave SPAM spoonful warning of no cellphones. If you’ve ever been to any one of Maynard’s concerts, you would know he has a no-cell phone policy. While this may be controversial or “shocking” to most, I agree with it! As I was watching the show. I stopped for a second and looked around. I saw individuals all around me fully consumed by the music. Dancing, laughing, crying, strangers high-fiving, parents bonding with their kids. This is exactly what a concert should be. With everything we do in life, we’re fully consumed by our phones nowadays. We were all present in the moment, taking in everything this night had to offer. For the ones (there weren’t very many) that got kicked out for trying to record, may they rest in spam.  

The concert Itself was one giant celebration with so much going on at all times. Trying to unpack all of it was a true feat. The only way would to experience it would be to see it live.   

Hearing people around me, it seemed as if everyone was ready for Primus to open the show. We were all surprised to hear ‘A perfect circle’ opened up the night and dug right into it with ‘The package’. APC has and will always be an emotional journey. The music will put you in a trance-like state and just heavy enough to get you to start headbanging. The music and live performance are utterly beautiful, passionate, and flawless.  

Each band was on their ‘A’ game and performed to what most would think are their greatest hits. There was not a feeling of this band sounded better, or this band performed better. Every band on this bill was a memorable one. ‘Primus’ was the only one to really stood out to me, only because I’ve never been a fan of them live. In all honesty this was because they were thrown on some metal tours and didn’t fit the bill. This concert changed that feeling. We can all agree Claypool is a God damn talent on the bass and probably one of the greatest bass players to ever live. Claypool’s bass was hitting so hard that my heart was vibrating. I actually wanted a couple more songs from Primus but all in all, they were absolutely phenomenal. 

Lee Claypool

Puscifer was probably one of the most entertaining acts out of all of them. I mean this band is centered around all the voices in Maynard’s head. This project really lets Maynard’s freak flag fly high. I truly feel this is where MJK becomes a little kid again. At one point, Carina and Maynard were playing rock Em sock Em, and in a surprising defeat, Carina took the win! Yea, even on Maynard’s birthday she didn’t let him win.  They were chasing each other around the stage, all while keeping perfect tones while singing. On both sides of the stage there were those electric old people chairs that slowly glide up a staircase. Like the one in the movie Gremlins where the old lady gets thrown out the window! At one point, Maynard and Claypool got on the electric chairs and raced each other to the top of the stage. Puscifer is complex, weird, and adding in the combination of Carina and Maynard made this project something extraordinary.  

To close out we got a special treat with every member from every band on stage performing ‘Grand Canyon’ by Puscifer. This was the perfect comedown song from this experience. It’s a song that grounds you while gradually building up to its climax in the last couple of minutes closing out this magnificent night.   

Photos and Review by Michael Olivas ~𝕭𝖊𝖆𝖗𝖉𝖊𝖉 𝕲𝖔𝖓𝖅𝖔 𝕻𝖍𝖔𝖙𝖔𝖌𝖗𝖆𝖕𝖍𝖞

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