How can the Pearl Theater be celebrating its 10-year anniversary already? Damn, so many great shows (Jackson Browne, Judas Priest, Matador at 21 weekend) swirled in my memory as I parked (still free!) in the Palms Casino Resort garage. I was pumped for A Perfect Circle, but my iPhone told me Trump had tossed Tomahawk missiles into Syria to save children. Entering Vegas’ best rock venue, I was primed for lurching, lacerating goth-metal—hard, grieving songs pulled from the deepest, wraith-lashed parts of the underworld.
Photos by Casey McPerry
That’s exactly what APC executed, starting with the moody, skittering “The Package,” which crescendoed into a riff-bending leviathan thanks to guitarists Billy Howerdel and James Iha (The Smashing Pumpkins). A massive shroud that had veiled the stage and musicians, and cast eerie shadows went away for “The Hollow,” drummer Jeff Friedl’s detonating fills keeping the crowd from sitting in the seats. Delicate yet deadly “The Noose” wrapped itself around our necks, singer Maynard James Keenan (Tool, Puscifer) using his expressive, spectral tenor to deliver the lyric: Your halo slipping down/To choke you now. But the songs that turned my face into a mask of tears? A dissonant and deconstructed cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” industrial doom-dirge “Counting Bodies Like Sheep To the Rhythm of the War Drums,” and the mythic, matricidal “Orestes.” Another decade of live rock, please, Pearl people.