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Puscifer // Live @ Brady Music Center // 11.10.22

Article & Photos by: Linda Carlson

Cincinnati, OH – The Andrew J Brady Music Center was at near-capacity for Puscifer’s Existential Reckoning Tour Part 2, in support of the band’s fourth studio album, Existential Reckoning (released 2020).  The stage was outfitted with a simple but effective scaffold arrangement that allowed band members to move between different locations and heights throughout the night.


Indeed, the show was something of a theater experience, complete with actors (both band members and extras) who moved about the stage, and an intermission.  On either side of the centrally situated scaffolding were large screens that piped in trippy, colorful imagery and filmed segments that advanced the alien-themed storyline.

Puscifer stage

Each band member (vocalist extraordinaire Maynard Keenan, vocalist Carina Round, multi-instrumentalist Mat Mitchell, bassist Greg Edwards, drummer Gunnar Olsen) were outfitted in a dark suit and sunglasses, with serious expressions that meant business.  Keenan’s alter ego, Agent Dick Merkin, donned a black wig with distinctive cartoonish white stripes, and red lipstick that only he can pull off with such panache.


The overall experience was a quirky yet playful take of “Men in Black meets Maynard Keenan.”  What started as random actors milling about the stage with oddly peculiar-shaped heads that vaguely suggested an alien nature, progressed to full-on aliens in suits as the performance unfolded, complete with an on-stage abduction.

Puscifer alien

Filmed segments sprinkled throughout had Keenan reveal the infiltration of aliens into the celebrity community, with clever references and photos of some specific affected celebrities that elicited laughter from the audience.

There were clear messages of maintaining awareness (“Do Not Shut Down”) and skepticism of what we are visually fed through our ever-present media.  A warning delivered with quirky charm.


The overall experience was all Keenan, and the assembled fans were clearly well-established devotees.  Subtleties were not lost, messages were applauded, and the performance was roundly cheered.


No audio or visual recording by the crowd was permitted (except for the last song), which allowed the fans to immerse themselves in the music and visual experience without the distraction of their small screens.  After all, shouldn’t we be there to feel the moment, let the experience infiltrate us and move us?  Screens distract, and detract from that opportunity.


The full setlist:

  • Bread and Circus
  • Postulous
  • Fake Affront
  • The Underwhelming
  • Grey Area
  • Theorem
  • UPGrade
  • Apocalyptical
  • The Remedy
  • Personal Prometheus
  • Horizons
  • Momma Sed
  • The Humbling River
  • Bullet Train to Iowa
  • Man Overboard
  • Flippant
  • Conditions of My Parole
  • Bedlamite

Night Club started the evening in good form, with a synthetic pop vibe set.  Emily Kavanaugh, wrapped in black leather from head to toe, exuded a persona that was part schoolgirl, part provocateuse.

Night Club

As with any Keenan band concert, go!  Puscifer’s current tour is coming to a close soon, but keep an eye on their website for upcoming shows:

Check out more photos in the carousel below!

Linda Carlson
Linda has been photographing people since she was ten. Forever intrigued by the complex beauty of the human form, she brings the eye of a portraitist to the unpredictability and spectacle of the concert scene.