A Perfect Circle at the Avalon Last Night

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Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly
A Perfect Circle performed their entire first album, Mer De Noms
A Perfect Circle
November 8,2010

Emerging from a five year hiatus, A Perfect Circle descended upon the Avalon in Hollywood to perform their platinum debut album Mer De Noms in its entirety to the delight of their hardcore fans. Boasting a slightly reconfigured line-up with the addition of Matt McJunkins on bass, A Perfect Circle received a large ovation immediately upon taking the stage. The chugging guitar power chords of "The Hollow" were razor sharp as performed by Billy Howerdel and ex-Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha.
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Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly
Maynard James Keenan: Seeking a phone endorsement deal?
Maynard James Keenan was perched at the back of the stage wearing a wig singing in his unmistakable style. "Magdalena" was perfect with its slow methodical buildup before peeling into its anthemic chorus and Howerdel's scorching guitar solo. Although the album was released ten years ago, "Judith" sounded as vital and urgent when it was released as Keenan delved deep to unfurl the screaming parts of the song. 

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Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly
Josh Freese plays in too many bands
"Orestes" was jokingly referred to being titled as "Stan Freese" by Keenan which provoked Josh Freese to conduct a rim shot on his drum kit being that it was a reference to his father. An air of levity definitely perfused the air as Keenan explained that these shows were about the band reconnecting with each other, before elaborating that if they mess up it was McJunkins's fault since he is the new guy.

Freese expertly displayed his drum finesse chops during "3 Libras," proving why he is a highly sought after session drummer. A mini intermission occurred when Iha took the spotlight to tell a few jokes. One such joke was "Where does a penguin keep his money? In a snowbank." Not missing a beat, "Thomas" perfectly slithered its way into your conscience with its sludgy guitars. Iha showed off his guitars skills during "Thinking of You" by ably handling the guitar solo on his Gibson Les Paul. 
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Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly
So this is what James Iha's been up to lately!
Howerdel energetically played the sliding guitar octaves of "Brena" occasionally stomping his foot along with the beat. The mellow vibe of "Over" put the final touches on the completion of Mer De Noms. The surprise of the evening came when original A Perfect Circle member Troy Van Leeuwen added guitars to the David Bowie cover "Ashes To Ashes." Their cover of John Lennon's "Imagine" ended the evening with Keenan telling the crowd the band's future is uncertain but they know were they are going cause "that's how they roll."

Personal Bias: Mer De Noms is one of the few albums I still remember how to play on the guitar.

Crowd: A multitude of Tool and Nine Inch Nails t-shirts were spotted in the audience. 

Overheard in the Crowd: "This is amazing!" was overheard multiple times throughout the evening.

Random Notebook Dump: I spotted former A Perfect Circle bassist Paz Lenchantin backstage while being escorted into the photo pit. 

Setlist:
"The Hollow"
"Magdalena"
"Rose"
"Judith"
"Orestes"
"3 Libras"
"Sleeping Beauty"
"Thomas"
"Renholder"
"Thinking of You"
"Brena"
"Over"
"Ashes To Ashes (David Bowie cover)"
"Imagine (John Lennon cover)"


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