Maynard James Keenan — our favorite middle-aged misanthrope. His show Saturday at That Tent was a deranged performance art project, a portrait of portent and arch theatricality set to vulgar, misogynistic post-industrial rock. Seriously though, there were literal portraits. Wearing a navy airline pilot’s uniform replete with golden cuff bands, a captain-style peaked hat over a shaggy Ron Burgundy wig, polarized aviators and a fake de rigueur pilot’s mustache, he stood behind a portrait frame with elaborate, Renaissance moulding, mugging and leering into a video camera that projected his unmistakable, aquiline nose onto a screen, like some antic, funhouse acrylic.
Puscifer, with their grinding, sinister guitar and Keenan’s keening yowl, doesn’t sound altogether different at times from Tool or A Perfect Circle, to be honest, just with shit-tons of Id. Keenan sat back on his haunches, his highwater trousers exposing immaculately white socks, and lunged as he delivered the lyrics to “Vagina Mine,” (“This vagina mine teach ya patient diligence / Keep the chain-gangs waiting, make a cat-bird sing”) his words as always a bit nonsensical and impressionistic. He played crowd-favorite “DoZo,” vowing to show us “the difference ‘tween my gun and my pistol,” and crowing “Jesus” while his hands fluttered like a megachurch preacher’s baptismal entreaty.
In between songs, he passed the crowd a basket of packaged peanuts, scolding acerbically, “I’m gonna rely on you fuckin’ hippies to share, because you’re great at sharing other people’s shit,” as the gleaming wrappers soared through the air — his fitting repudiation to glowsticks and Bonnaroo’s granola gauntlet.