Preview: A Perfect Circle at the O2 Apollo, Manchester

By Planet Slop
Tue 10 April, 2018

A Perfect Circle tours are uncommon, the only thing less common is a new album to go with them! Joseph Cullen’s got all the details. 

A Perfect Circle are returning to Manchester’s O2 Apollo as part of a summer European tour in support of a new album, their first since 2004, Eat the Elephant.

The band previously visited the same venue touring their second studio album, Thirteenth Step, and since then have only released one further studio record, so it isn’t hard to imagine the anticipation whetting the appetites of APC fans when a new album and tour were announced last year.

? See What Other Gigs Are Going On With Our What’s On Calendar ? 

Teasing fans with sneak peak singles like The Doomed, TalkTalk and Disillusioned before the album’s full release on April 20th, A Perfect Circle have stoked the fires for the new record even further. The songs so far are individual, each with a unique sound; rhythmic, heavy-at-times, and repeated mantras embedded in Maynard’s lyrics. Themes on the songs are reflective of the world around us now. It’s not difficult to find references to Trump, social media addiction and political extremes in the lyrics, not that APC have ever shied away from political commentary, after-all the band’s 3rd record eMOTIVe accompanied the 2004 Presidential Election in the US and consisted mostly of reworked cover songs with political connotations.

APC initially came on to the seen with the rambunctious Mer de Noms in 2000 while Maynard’s other band, Tool, were in the doldrums of a legal battle with their previous label. Thirteenth Step closely followed in 2003, with eMOTIVe even quicker in tow before the band took a hiatus that lasted until their initial reformation in 2010.

Another few years of hiatus followed until the band’s reunion in 2017 under a new record label (BMG) and promises of touring and recording became a reality. The current members Matt McJunkins (Puscifer, Eagles of Death Metal), James Iha (The Smashing Pumpkins) and Jeff Friedl (Puscifer, Ashes Divide) have been with the band since 2012 along with the permanent members Maynard James Keenan (Tool, Puscifer, various wine-making ventures and Joe Rogan podcasts…) and Billy Howerdel (one-time guitar tech for Tool and founding member of Ashes Divide).

On what we’ve heard from Eat the Elephant so far, APC have kept the core of their sound intact, though not as heavy as Mer de Noms but equally not as subdued as Thirteenth Step. Maynard has previously described the song-making process with APC to be fundamentally different to the process of music-making with Tool. The process with Tool is described as more research-driven whereas with APC it’s intuitive, emotional and mechanical. For me personally, Tool is the physics to A Perfect Circle’s chemistry; one is all right angles and calculating and the other is about blending and interacting.

To see A Perfect Circle up close and in the flesh is rare, to see their new album on the live stage is truly a thing to be savoured.

A Perfect Circle play the O2 Apollo, Manchester on June 12th, 2018. Tickets are on sale now. 

  • Photo taken from artists Facebook page.