Story and Photos: Spencer Fleming
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Stories from the Crowd is an independent media outlet. Please help support local journalism by hitting the yellow donate button at the top of the page. Every dollar counts. Thanks!
Now back to the story....
As a Tool fan I was familiar with Puscifer but never really went down the rabbit hole of their entire catalog. However, when I got the invite to shoot at the newly remodeled Admiral I jumped at the chance.
I was talking to a friend and he mentioned that out of all of Maynard James Keenan's musical endeavors Puscifer was his favorite. "I get the sense that Puscifer is really fun for Maynard, but it's Tool that keeps the lights on". Considering that Tool played a sold-out CHI Center just a few months ago and the Admiral is much, much smaller, some of that sentiment may ring true.
Like most trips to the Admiral I had to park a little ways away because the streets were packed. On the trip over it was raining sheets on the interstate and still going as I made my way into the neighborhood. Luckily I waited in my car for a bit and only got a light sprinkling by the time I got to the doors. I need to talk to Marc at 1% about some media parking spots, but I won't hold my breath.
As I made my way inside the place was pretty packed for a rainy Tuesday. I met up with Adam from Revenant Media and Dean from Go Venue. It's always a pleasure shooting along side these gentleman.
Puscifer brought along an opening act Moodie Black. Knowing Maynard I was expecting something off the wall. Sure enough, Moodie Black delivered. They were a three piece consisting of guitars, drums, and vocals. With a projector behind them rolling footage of bees, gospel choirs, and other various found footage they pummeled the crowd with loud, jarring noise rock for a good half hour. My fellow photo buddy Dean described them as "Shoegaze acid-rap", which I could agree with.
After Moodie Black the curtains were pulled to reveal an elaborate stage setup with scaffolding and several LED screens. Before the lights went down a voice came over the house speakers. "Ladies and Gentlemen, we would like to remind you that this evening's performance prohibits the use of cell phones and all cameras. Anyone violating this policy will be removed from the venue".
As the lights went down the LED screens started playing a video. Maynard appeared wearing a wig, sunglasses, and lipstick. His message for the people was once again about banning the use of cell phone cameras. "If you take photos with your phone you'll be removed from the venue, put through a meat grinder and packed into SPAM. Footage of sausage being ground into SPAM played on the screen. So... Soylent Green contains people? It was a funny way to get the point across.
The band stepped on stage but stayed in pure darkness. A single light shined onto keyboard player Mat Mitchell. An alien-like synth rang out. The crowd cheered like crazy for the space-age opera that was about to begin. Puscifer played through their first song "Bread And Circus" standing still and hanging in the back shrouded in darkness. After the song ended Maynard and Carina stepped forward into the spotlights.
They were dressed in black suits to resemble FBI agents or in their case, a government agency on a mission to catch aliens. Maynard addressed the crowd "Hello Omaha!" We are here to... (Carina whispers in his ear) well why we're here is classified".
The band's music definitely reminded me of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind so the outfits made sense. After the first song some brighter lights shown down and I did my best to snap as many good shots as possible since we were only allowed to shoot the first two songs.
Towards the end of "Postulous" a guy stepped into the photo pit. He was clearly part of the act. I did my best to get some of photos of him as he pretended to take a video of the band. Some additional agent-type guys stepped to the front of the stage and pointed at him. The crowd chanted "Get him, get that guy!" They grabbed him and took him off towards the back of the stage. The fans cheered at the hilarious theatrics.
Puscifer's space-age opera continued as Maynard and Carina made their way to the top of the scaffolding. I stood in awe as Carina tapped the buttons on her Nintendo power glove and it played synth notes! How cool.
Another awesome near-sold out show for The Admiral is in the books. If you get a chance to check out Puscifer I would highly recommend it.
Thanks so much to Puscifer's management for allowing photo access and not grinding me into SPAM.
Check out the gallery below. If you like our content please take a minute to support our efforts by clicking the yellow donate button at the top of the site. We're a completely independent media outlet so every dollar helps. You can also follow our socials which only takes a second and is completely free! You can find us on Facebook and Instagram @storiesfromthecrowd. We're on Twitter @crowd_stories
Like that one? Check this out next: