Conditions of My Parole
March 7th, 2012
Omaha Civic Auditorium
Starting off with a 15min. tour mockumentary w/Billy D., Hildy Berger, and Peter Merkin, and then followed by a PSA from Major Dufresne about keeping your damn cellphones off during the show, Maynard’s Monologue set the tone for the night.
The Green Valley opened tonight’s show and the entire crowd went silent, waiting for the right moment to erupt. Even though the auditorium was assigned seating, no one was using their chair once the reality of tonight’s show hit during Tiny Monsters, while Vagina Mine had the crowd bouncing. Carina, banjo in hand, took over vocal duties during Rev 22:20 and had the crowd eating from the palm of her hand. Rev 22:20 was followed by a much more up tempo version of Potions and a sultry, haunting rendition of Mamma Sed. The curtains at the back of the stage parted and revealed a full stage length projection screen. The two small LCD monitors on either side of the stage alternated between flashing various tourist-esque postcard images and video of Puscifer herself. Maynard hung to the back of the stage except during the outros of several tracks when he made his way to the front of the stage, sitting in one of the lawn chairs, drinking wine. Older material was laced throughout the set and fit perfectly with the new material.The cool thing about Puscifer’s live show in that the material performed are the original versions of the album tracks, which are usually released as remixed versions on the albums. The images on the projections bent, blurred and twisted. From quiet nature scenes of a desert skyline and gorgeous cacti to the SETI satellite dishes slowly moving across the screen and coming into focus during Oceans. Short breaks were taken during the set so the band could re-arrange equipment or bring out an alternate drum-kit. Interludes were comprised of additional footage from the fake tour documentary shown before the band’s set. One projection during HORIZONS gave the fans the feeling of traveling down a deserted country dirt road, dust devils swirling across the screen. The combination of the live show and the projections created an incredible sonic landscape. Carina Round proved herself and irreplaceable member of Puscifer’s live show and commanded the crowds attention as much as Maynard did. There’s a more relaxed feel than at at TOOL or A PERFECT CIRCLE show, especially from Maynard himself. The bass during Conditions Of My Parole, the title track off of the band’s 2nd full length release, could be felt reverberating through the air. The crowd simultaneously erupted during the most familiar tracks and I worried one more that one occasion that the seats would be ripped from their foundation and hurled across the auditorium. Orange, pick and red skies during one projection, twisted and blended lending to one of the more ominous tracks performed this evening, Man Overboard, the screen finally erupting into an intense lightening storm. BRACE YOURSELF, BRACE YOURSELF, BRACE YOURSELF, Maynard threatened from behind the microphone. Telling Ghosts’ visuals were taken directly from the tracks official video and continued the crowds aural blood-lust and found Maynard and Carina dancing during the riffs like cowboy surfers. Coupled with intense strobe lights, a brutally intense version of The Undertaker garnered the most crowd response of the evening. Blindly flashes of sickly green light flooded and flashed the stage, keeping tempo. The show was coming to a close. Maynard took back to the folding chairs to introduce the band while Josh Eustis teased the crowd with an instrumental quickie from The Scorpians’ Rock You Like A Hurricane. Tonight’s show, however, didn’t have an official encore. “Just so you know, this is actually us leaving the stage for the encore,” Maynard joked with the crowd as he and the band enjoyed a toast. Maynard introduced the band and joked with Mat Mitchel about his aching back, asking if Mat needed a back rub and offering Matt McJunkins helping hands. “Bet you didn’t think this was that kind of show,” Maynard teased. “Well, it could be.” An off mic comment from Carina had Maynard replying with “I don’t know. I’ve never taken Viagra.” Maynard ended their brief toast by making sure the crowd new that Puscifer is a completely independent project. “No label backing us. No corporate distribution. It’s just you and us so thank you for showing up.” Carina, banjo in hand, lead the band in a stirring rendition of Tumbleweed, ending the band’s hour and a half long show but the crowd wasn’t done expressing their gratitude to the band. Maynard graciously bowed, exiting the stage amid a cacophony of screams, whistles and applause. Drum sticks and guitar picks were thrown into the crowd and the fans were left to digest the evenings events.