LIVE REVIEW: A Perfect Circle @ O2 Apollo, Manchester (12/06/2018)

Credit: Promo

Date: June 12th 2018
Venue: O2 Apollo, Manchester
Support: Talos


There are few bands in rock today who are as elusive as the long-serving and also until recently long-hibernating supergroup, A Perfect Circle. After fourteen years away, save for the odd and very brief reformation for a show here and there, the quintet are finally going again with full cylinders.

They’ve returned to the UK again for the first time in a decade and a half, and with a new record in tow with ‘Eat The Elephant’, it goes without saying that their cult-like following has surged to sell out their first shows on our shores in so many years.

Warming the crowd up before their long-awaited return, Irish rockers Talos [6] have been enlisted the honourable duty, and they head things off with an explosive start. Their grandiose style of indie rock is almost like an amalgamation of Radiohead‘s more accessible numbers blended with some Lonely The Brave.

‘Tethered Bones’ raises goosebumps, but it’s not long until it starts to sound all a little too pretentious, and the Florence + The Machine-esque wailing from frontman Eoin French gets old pretty quickly.

It only takes a short while for A Perfect Circle [9] to unveil themselves from the shrouds onstage, and burst right into the set opener and title-track from their latest record, ‘Eat The Elephant’. Indeed, most of the set consists of cuts from the fresh full-length, with ‘Hourglass’ and ‘So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish’ being just two highlights.

What is by far the most impressive thing regarding the band and their first show in the UK in over fourteen long years is just how fine-tuned they all are as a unit despite their extensive and prolonged downtime from any serious dues on the road. The band don’t miss a beat all evening, even during older numbers like ‘Thomas’ and the always haunting ‘The Noose’.

Frontman Maynard James Keenan in particular, who throughout the show is hidden in almost complete darkness on a pedestal, is incredibly impressive, belting out “Get the fuck out of my way!” during ‘TalkTalk’ with such force that the O2 Apollo is on the brink of trembling from the might of his roar.

The lighting and computerised visuals draped across the stage and its fixtures are a definite drawing point to the almost guided experience of the show. With A Perfect Circle explicitly requesting that everyone in attendance keeps their phones away, instead of having to dodge, duck, dip, and dive your head around peoples’ small screens or being subject to the distraction of lights, everyone is immersed and in full participation of the journey in front of them.

It raises the question; in an age being increasing flooded with new technology and digitising your life and experiences, is it in turn taking away the full gravity and impact of them?

There’s an old and arguably overused saying that is “Good things come to those who wait,” yet no matter how cliché it may be there’s no better summarisation of A Perfect Circle‘s return. No matter how agonising the wait, it remains that the Californians can pick up from where they left off, and continue to be one of the only supergroups that display any element of super.