Home » LIVE REVIEW: Puscifer at Mahaffey Theater in St. Pete, Florida on May 19, 2023

LIVE REVIEW: Puscifer at Mahaffey Theater in St. Pete, Florida on May 19, 2023


Photos and Review by: Joanna Foster

Lineup: Night Club and Puscifer

Venue: Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg, FL

Date: May 19, 2023

Puscifer made their first headlining tour stop in St. Petersburg, FL on Friday, May 19th, and they played to a nearly sold out crowd at the Mahaffey Theater. Fans were at the venue early and ready for doors to open as some were anxious to grab the limited edition poster and vinyl that the band released for the specific tour date in St. Pete. The line for the merch table was so long that venue staff said they had never seen such a turnout for a show before, and the crowd was buzzing with excitement for the event to start.

There was a bit of mystery in the air as multiple signs decorated every entrance door and pillar telling the crowd that there should be no video or photos taken at any time during the show. After doors opened into the seating area, every aisle seat and one middle seat down every single row also had paper signs stating there would be no video or photography allowed.

There was such a large crowd that came out for the show, not everyone could get in the building in time which caused a slightly late start for Night Club, a band that is often described as an electronic, dark goth duo. Emily Kavanaugh, lead singer for the duo, came out on stage and immediately grabbed the audience’s attention with her evocative stage presence. With there being only two people in the band, she is the only one on the stage that is left to communicate to and engage the audience, and that’s often a challenge when there’s multiple other band members to help support. Emily wasn’t challenged at all and successfully was able to deliver the set with high energy, reaching out often to the audience and beckoning them in to the performance. This is a band that I would love to see headline a tour one day.

Puscifer made their entrance to the stage surrounded by a relatively elaborate industrial set piece and backed by three large screens. The first song continued in a mysterious way, leaving most of the lights down with the band in silhouette against the screens behind them. The audience toward the front of the venue were immediately on their feet and remained standing for the rest of the show. Maynard introduced us to the “Agents” after the first song Bread and Circus. Agent Carina Round and Maynard James Keenan then led the rest of the band and the audience through a very theatrical performance of songs from their catalog. There was a constant comedic undercurrent throughout the show as Maynard and Carina would prance around the stage with microphone units strapped to their bodies or put on mini skit style physical performances while the rest of the band backed them on drums, guitars and keyboard.

The show is a fusion of a theatrical stage show along with a musical concert. Several times, the band stopped playing and the big screens on stage showed pre-recorded material that…will be kept shrouded in the mystery the band created. We were visited often by aliens on stage, sometimes simply to dance to the music, other times to act out a plot to take out the lead singer. These alien visitors left me laughing every time, especially when they came out in shorts and fanny packs instead of their “traditional” alien suits. The audience was fully into the performance and often dancing to the music, everyone still on their feet in the front despite having seats on the floor. Some people were visibly laughing at the comedic elements of the show and appeared to be fully immersed in this hard to describe event that simply must be seen to be believed.

Puscifer Setlist 5/19/2023
Bread and Circus
Fake Affront
The Underwhelming
Grey Area
The Remedy
Personal Prometheus
A Singularity
Momma Sed
The Humbling River
Bullet Train to Iowa
Vagina Mine
Conditions of My Parole

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