Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Puscifer at Club Nokia
What is a Puscifer? I answered this question when I saw Puscifer in Las Vegas. When it was announced that Puscifer was coming to Los Angeles, I knew the special guest factor would be heightened. Puscifer brought out some heavy hitting special guests to make this one of the best Puscifer shows yet.
With Queens of the Stone Age in hibernation, Troy Van Leeuwen (Guitars) has found time to start up Sweethead. Fronted by the alluring Serrina Sims (Vocals), Sweethead is a showcase for Troy's staccato guitar riffs backed by long time associates Eddie Nappi (Bass) and Norman Block (Drums).
Sweethead made its debut late 2008 when they played the Buddyhead Christmas party at the Hotel Cafe and recently had some gigs at Spaceland and the Detroit Bar.
Serrina owned the stage in five inch heals with her vocals channeling Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders and the better vocal parts of Courtney Love. Sweethead ended their set with "The Great Disruptors" that came to a close too quickly. Sweethead is off to the UK to support the Eagles of Death Metal for a one-off show and then tour with Snow Patrol. Look out for their debut album this summer.
"We couldn't get the camper inside the venue". A large projection screen showed Maynard James Keenan was speaking in a hushed tone on his telephone. This was particularly funny to me, due to the fact that Maynard was referring to the silver camper that appeared on stage during the third night of Puscifer's show in Las Vegas.
"Major Douche" made his usual appearance warning the audience "No flash photography or video was allowed!" I had heard that the night before Rani and Gil Sherone from Stolen Babies helped out on the rhythm section. On this particular night, Matt Mcjunkins (Bass) and Jeff Friedl (Drums) from Ashes Divide formed the backbone of Puscifer's tunes.
As a quick side note to this review, I exited the photo pit and was headed back to my friends when I ran into Josh Freese. We had a quick laugh about our lunch date at the Cheesecake Factory.
I was introduced to the winner of the $20,000 package deal who seemed to be a little shell-shocked by seeing Josh drum with the Vandals earlier in the day at Bamboozle Left in Irvine, visiting Mark from Devo and now rocking out to Puscifer. The look of disbelief on his face indicated that he was enjoying every second.
Having caught 3 out of 4 Puscifer shows, the parade of guest appearances on this night was most impressive. Billy Howerdel (Guitars) was literally dragged out in a sleeping bag and handed his Gibson Les Paul for some guest riffs. Danny Carey from Tool was hanging out for a bit roasting some marshmallows on the faux campfire.
Josh Freese did eventually come out and slay on his part for "Queen Bee". In order to help perpetuate the legend of Josh, he said he had learned the drum earlier in the morning. Milla Jovovich did make a guest appearance at the end of the evening for a scintillating rendition of "The Mission".
A lot of the interstitial film pieces were different from the Las Vegas show. Some of the more memorable pieces include "Camp Crystal Meth" with hockey masks from Friday the 13th, "Jesus Bread" with the slogan "He has risen" and "Alley headshots" which showed pictures of actors getting shot in an alley. It is difficult to describe these visual pieces of comedic genius.
The spine tingling moment of the night was hands down Puscifer's cover of "Rocket Man". Maynard slowed the tempo of the song and displayed why he has one of the most versatile voices in metal/rock/etc. A lot of samples from NASA recordings were sprinkled lightly within the song providing a greater sense of atmosphere.
I continue to hear rumors of more Puscifer dates but it has been announced that Tool will be hitting the festival circuit this summer. One can only open a bottle of Caduceus wine and toast all the activity to come from Maynard James Keenan this year.