Rounding out the California leg of the last third of their 2011 tour, Maynard, Howerdel and the rest of A Perfect Circle rocked the hillside outdoor amphitheater in Berkeley CA on Saturday night. Your Bay Area Rabbits Black correspondent caught a last minute GA ticket that sort of fell out of the sky and stood in the pit area to catch the action. The concrete walls and seating of the Greek Theater stand erected on the Eastern boundary of the University of California, Berkeley’s campus just north of the soon-to-be remodeled Memorial Stadium where the CAL Bears will resume their home football games in the 2012 season. It is one of the better outdoor venues in existence that strikes the perfect balance between size, design, and location in being at the base of a hill. This geographic arrangement keeps the sound over the crowd while the open air above keeps things relatively cool amongst the patrons in attendance, even at a pretty much sold out APC concert.
The show itself was a wash. If I am at a rock show, I want to rock out, period. Quality produced sound and groovy visual stage antics can really only take a show so far. A Perfect Circle tested the boundaries of those limitations at their Berkeley performance. I mean, seriously, who wants to hear Maynard’s signature stretched syllable mid range vocals, although epic, absolutely butcher great past produced tracks such as Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks,” John Lennon’s “Imagine,” and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?” Well, if you take a look at the set list from Saturday night, you will see that exactly 8 out of the 19 tracks performed were cover songs of some legendary compositions that APC should, quite frankly, leave alone. Maynard and the rest of the all-star creative talent of the band should do just that, create, as in, put together something entirely new that fits within their musical style and scope.
Now, that is not to say the other tracks were not awesome. When APC stuck to their original guns and performed great tracks from Thirteenth Step, their second studio release, I was blown away. The mid song breakdown in “Gravity” hit me like a ton of bricks and I thought —this is what I came to see. Check it out here: A Perfect Circle: “Gravity”. Same thing with “The Noose.” However, my favorite track of the evening was “Orestes” off of their first album Mer De Noms and that video made it into the post:
This was the APC I knew and liked, I just wish these types of tracks were the dominant force in their performance. I guess I figured that Maynard knew that the Berkeley crowd wanted to hear as much of their heavy stuff as possible. I spoke to a few other fans after the show and we seemed to agree on that point. Overall, it was a pretty good show, awesome venue, and a good crowd. My preference in live rock concerts was just not quite aligned with the line up on this particular night. If you are the type of fan that likes everything Maynard and the gang does, then I am sure you would have loved it.