Open YouTube, then search for whatever Woodstock 1994 Concert video. The first thing you’ll notice is the complete absence of mobile phones among the audience. Such an uncommon detail for a concert nowadays. While we were waiting for Maynard James Keenan and his band on the stage last 19th of December, in Rome, we’ve been informed a couple of times that the use of any technological apparel to take snapshots or record videos, is strictly prohibited.
Most of the people complies with the unexpected request and what comes out is a form of musical experience which was a bit lost in recent years. Billy Howerdel and the rest of the band jump on the stage and take sides on the front while Maynard stays all the time a little back behind. No light on him. We can only experience his voice and his dark silhouette on the background.
The concert assumes a form of great intimacy and flows from the beginning to the end in elegance. Someone recently joked on the notorious Andy Wharol’s sentence changing it in “In the future everyone will be anonymous for fifteen minutes”. Probably what APC have tried to do during their recent Eat The Elephant tour is to accomplish exactly this goal.
Beginning with the new tunes (“Eat the Elephant”, “Disillusioned”), then moving to the main hits from Mer de Noms and Thirteen Steps (“The Hollow”, “Weak and Powerless”), the show starts in a “light” way but ends with in an explosion of power (“Counting Bodies Like Sheeps”, “The Package”). Only while playing the closing song “Delicious”, Maynard comes toward the light and reveals his face to the public in some sort of a final catharsis.
The whole concert turns itself in a tasteful game of mistery and growing expectation, where music seems to be the only real protagonist in this choreographic frame of faded lights.
The only black mark is the acoustics in the venue (Palalottomatica): it is so bad that some songs can’t be even recognized and this will unfortunately affect also Chelsea Wolfe‘s opening act, due to the powerful distorsion that lies in her songs. Rome still suffers the lacking of an appropriate location for such events like this. Auditorium Parco Della Musica seems to be the only alternative, but for a European Capital, not having right facilities is becoming a discouragement for great bands to come and play here.