A Perfect Circle rolled through Toronto last week, doing their best to fill the Air Canada Centre with the temptation of a new album after a 14 year wait (sure, they’ve dropped a handful of tracks but no full album). The all-star lineup still sound great, having no shortage of downtime from their other projects to get rusty. Opening the night was The Beta Machine.
With a slight skew towards Thirteenth Step, the set list spanned their limited discography, including their covers album (Depeche Mode’s “People Are People” and John Lennon’s “Imagine”), less known one-offs (“By And Down”) and even their remix collection (“3 Libras (All Main Courses Mix – Massive Attack)”). Three new tracks made an appearance: “Hourglass” has some weird vocoded gang vocals; “Feathers” is in line with the mellower fare of Thirteen Step; “The Doomed” is the standout, marking a clear line in progress, slotting into the set following the stripped down march of “Counting Bodies…”.
Without overt references in the music, like so many touring American bands, politics were certainly present: an apology for the current state of the United States gave weight to their bleak reimagining of “Imagine”, some adoration for Canada, and the photo passes for the night were subtly tagged “Not My Cheeto”. However, I’m still struggling with any relevance for Maynard’s Shake Weight™ workout during “Thinking Of You”. The much-reported photo ban isn’t a surprise for any band Maynard is part of, but was made VERY clear by signs on every third seat on the floor and around the venue. It meant the ballads were saluted by only a smattering of lighters, smokers and firebugs unite.
And the end of it all, a promise was made: in 2018, whatever the state of the world, a new album will become reality.