Puscifer at House of Blues Boston – June 28, 2022
Puscifer, the side project of Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan, released their fourth album, Existential Reckoning, during the pandemic. Now, they’re bringing the album out on tour across America, with noiserap group Moodie Black supporting them.
Moodie Black are hailed as pioneers of new era noise rap. The stage was dressed in near darkness, as one song blended seamlessly into the next. I’ll admit, their music wasn’t for me, but frontwoman Kristen Martinez seemed to be very passionate about her lyrics. Maynard has always been a bit of an unusual performer, and so a group like this made perfect sense as support for Puscifer.
Puscifer’s latest album, Existential Reckoning has a bit of a spooky, supernatural vibe. The whole band are dressed a men in black style agents of the Pusciforce, while on a redacted mission involving aliens, and clones that have replaced celebrities. The album was released in October of 2020, a release that was marked by a performance at Arcosanti in Arizona, an experimental town that itself almost has an alien vibe to it. The entire album was represented tonight, with all 12 songs being played over the course of the evening. That may have been disappointing to some, as that left only 5 spots for songs off their other 3 albums, but the audience loved it.
The night started off with a video of Maynard, dressed in character as agent Dick Merkin, giving an infomercial for Spam. He reveals the secret ingredient in Spam that makes it taste so good is people who are ejected from the show for violating the no camera policy. Their “ignorant outrage” gives the meat the perfect flavor, as they throw them into the giant grinders out back. At the end of their second song, a crew member pretends to be a fan filming on his cell phone is quickly removed by two men in black, as the crowd chants “Spam! Spam! Spam!”
Maynard very much inhabits the character of Merkin as he addresses the crowd. Together with vocalist Carina Round, the band takes us on an audio-visual adventure throughout the evening. This may not all make sense to read, and that speaks a little bit to the playground that is Maynard’s mind. But for those in attendance, Puscifer put on a show quite like no other.