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As Act 3 wore down, a video during “Man Overboard” showed scenes of a toy Godzilla attacking a city, luchadores fighting in the streets, spaceships flying towards Earth, a woman shooting at a creature, and a Chihuahua wearing a sombrero while flying. This was by far the weirdest part of the Puscifer show at Albany’s Palace Theatre, and that is saying a lot. Maynard James Kennan and his band of merry misfits put on a spectacle like no other band can or could try to. The concert was more than just a place to listen to music, it was an experience to take in and remember.
The night began with a 20 minute wrestling match involving five luchadores and was quite an impressive match. The five individuals involved were really going for it, with back drops, pile drivers, arm bars, and submission holds occurring regularly. There were even two dancing drinking disco breaks for the luchadores during the match, adding more to the absurdity of it all. To end the match one of the luchadores jumped out of the ring onto the other four from the top turnbuckle taking them all out at once. The audience had nothing but smiles on their faces the entire match. Who knew that not only would we get some great music, but some good old fashion professional wrestling at the show as well. The storyline continued throughout the rest of the show and after each match a new act would begin.
Within minutes of the first match’s end, drummer Jeff Friedl, who was front and center all evening, came out as videos of Maynard in various characters talked to the audience on the screen. The subjects varied from how to appropriately take in the concert, no taking pictures or videos, to the state of the world today, as the character progressively took more drugs and drank copious amounts of liquor. The rest of the band then took the stage with Maynard and Carina Round inside the ring singing. Maynard was very relaxed all evening and blended into the back as he so often does to let the rest of the band take charge and drive the show forward.
“Vagina Mine” showed off the beautiful blending of the voices of Maynard and Carina, while “The Arsonist” was the first real thrill of the night both musically and visually. The luchadores began fighting right in front of Friedl during “The Remedy” and it was odd to watch what was pretty much a theatre production happen directly at the front of the stage while the band was in the middle of tearing the roof off the building. “Grand Canyon” was one of the darkest song of the night, having tons of empty space within the song for Maynard to sing over and showcasing the great guitar playing of Mat Mitchell. “Breathe” was another barn burner and had the luchadores actually fighting in slow motion on the stage. It was quite the sight to witness as these fighters were very talented and made it look realistic.
Ending the set with a triple dose of “Money Shot”, “Man Overboard”, and “The Undertaker” brought a flurry of musical beauty. The entire band was on fire and the crowd ate it up. Once the band was introduced Maynard spoke to the Albany crowd candidly about he was happy that those who came were there, but disappointed that we didn’t get the word out about the band. Though he was preaching to the choir, he said make sure you bring more the next time we come back around since those that were here kicked ass, but more people could only kick even more ass. After two more songs the band waved good night and slowly exited the stage as what can only be described as Mexican dance music filled the theatre. The weirdness never stops with Maynard and company and nor should it ever.