Photos and Review by Porter Byers
When Special Agent Dick Merkin first appeared on screen marveling at the wonder of Spam™, the crowd at the Warner Theater in Washington D.C. laughed. As he went on to explain the mystery behind the meat, a gripping wave of fear overwhelmed the audience, who hurriedly stashed their phones as the performance began. Neither a smartphone screen nor a camera flash distracted anyone throughout the show.
That is how it should be – as nature intended. Puscifer are sharing a distinct performance art to be experienced directly between the stage and seats. The sonically new wave, electro-rock “Existential Reckoning,” the latest endeavor by Maynard James Keenan and his band, took time to create and focus to execute. It was a pleasure to absorb it directly from the artists, rather than through the screens of people in the rows between.
And the Puscifer experience certainly offers quite a bit to see and hear. Without giving too much away, you can count on dissonant melodies and expertly-laden effects to complement the hypnotizing visuals. Beyond the lights and the screens, it wouldn’t be a Puscifer show without a replete cast of characters emerging to perplex and delight.
There are still a dozen dates left on the fall leg, and opening artist Night Club is certainly worth an early arrival. The electropop duo from Los Angeles energized the room with haunting pop refrains led by the starpower of singer Emily Kavanaugh.
Despite the label of “dark” (or darkwave) that many apply to the sound, lyrics, and presentation of each act, their performances seem to elicit a lighter feeling, one that makes you dance and sometimes even laugh out loud.