A Perfect Circle at the Gibson Amphitheater Last Night

Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly

A Perfect Circle
July 28, 2011
Gibson Amphitheater

After a smattering of dates on the West Coast back in November, A Perfect Circle returned for a triumphant homecoming show at the Gibson Amphitheater. Sitting down in front of a small toy piano, Billy Howerdel plunked out the notes to "Annihilation." Continuing to visit their cover album eMOTIVe, "Imagine" had vocalist Maynard James Keenan precisely nailing the notes.
Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly
A shift in the lighting and mood occurred when A Perfect Circle flexed their musical muscle with a taut version of "Weak and Powerless". Similar to their prior tours, each band member seemingly blended into the stage as their illuminated logo was the center of your visual attention. 

James Iha and Howerdel intertwined their guitars for a super crunchy rendition of "The Hollow." Stepping out for vocals on their Depeche Mode cover "People are People," Howerdel impressed by keeping pace with Keenan which is no easy feat. Jeff Friedl pounded away on his drum kit for "The Outsider," filling in for Josh Freese who is touring with Weezer. 

Keenan displayed his adept skills on the shaker for "(What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?" before tearing into "When The Levee Breaks" that was punctuated by a searing Howerdel guitar solo. "The Package" seduced with its watery guitars before turning into a runaway bulldozer that leveled your eardrums. 

Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly
Softly palm muted guitar chords dominated their cover of Black Flag "Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie." "Orestes" sounded razor sharp as Matt McJunkins sounded subsonic with his nimble bass playing.  A tribal thump kicked off "Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm of The War Drums" as it seemed like a call to arms.

Possibly the vocal highlight of the evening was their Joni Mitchell cover of "The Fiddle and The Drum." The minor key darkness of "By and Down" emitted a dirge like feel but perfectly capped a stellar set by A Perfect Circle. One can only hope a new album will emerge from their extensive touring.

Personal Bias: My third concert ever was Tool at the Hollywood Palladium in 1992 opening for GWAR.

Crowd: Loud. The ovation between songs was deafening. 

Random Notebook Dump: Jeff Friedl also fills in on drums for Devo when Josh Freese isn't available.

"Weak and Powerless"
"The Hollow"
"People Are People"
"The Outsider"
"(What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?"
"When The Levee Breaks"
"The Noose"
"3 Libras"
"The Package"
"Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie"
"Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm of The War Drums"
"Fiddle and The Drum"
"By and Down"

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