Boston Avalon Ballroom

What else could we possibly want?...

It could all go horribly wrong. It’s the first night of A Perfect Circle‘s first US headlining tour. As Maynard James Keenan puts it, people that wear “dark black” are together with people that wear “greyish black”. Metalheads and goths await their chance to scream, “fuck your God” in unison. So who put Portishead‘s ‘Sour Times’ and Radiohead‘s ‘The Tourist’ on repeat?

When the room goes dark, and a game of girl-on-girl, strip “War” starts onstage, the crowd, confused, yet oddly aroused, starts getting antsy. APChave exactly one hour and 20 minutes. People in shiny black are also waiting anxiously for something. They’re queued up outside – Paul Oakenfold is spinning here tonight.

Finally, the band hits the stage with a charged version of ‘Magdalena’. It’s clear, everyone here to get their rocks off and their Rawk on, will be satisfied.

A Perfect Circle are a curious beast. They’re studied, subtle, and full of poetry and melody as fragile as it is fierce, but also as much about head-banging double-lead riffage, hammer-of-the-gods rhythms, and a sweaty sex appeal. Special sexy points go to bassist Paz Lenchantin‘s enthusiastically flirty bump and grind and Troy Van Leeuwen‘s stylish indifference to it.

Keenan, like his fellow crooner Chino Moreno of the Deftones, knows the guttural, phlegm-hurling bark is a good trick, but that actually singing is a divine talent. They also share a secret on the subject of ass. Don’t be afraid to show some crack. On stage, Keenan, day-glo tights, platinum-blond wig [I]et al[/I], shakes his ass like a haywire hula girl and/or stalks the crowd like a hungry jungle cat.

“This song is not about anal sex,” he says, waggling his finger before turning his back for some faux masturbation while the band pounds of a coffin-spike through ‘Thinking of You.’ The yin of Keenan‘s more sordid moments are offset by a yang of deliciously vulnerable versions of ‘Three Libras’ and ‘Brena.’

The band play all of ‘Mer de Noms’ (minus ‘Renholder’) and a twisted combination of Ozzy‘s ‘Diary of a Madman’ and The Cure‘s ‘Lovesong’, dubbed ‘Ozzy’s Cure’. They skip the typical formalities of an encore, making the most out of their short time. We all shout, “Fuck your God” for closer,‘Judith’, and go home with Holy shit-eating grins. What else could we possibly want? Someone could tell Oakenfold he has to wait.