A Perfect Cirlce's profile has been growing for the last couple of years. When their debut album 'Mer de Noms' was released they were generally considered to be a much more underground band than they are now. It is a couple of years after they toured the UK with their debut and having played a few shows last year supporting Deftones - it is time for their own headline tour.
The band has had a number of changes since the original line up - but you could not tell. They sound like one of the most polished and tightly-knit bands that you will ever come to see it is as if they are thinking and playing with one mind and you can tell this in their performance.
Outside Birmingham Academy the queue is still twisted round the building as the support band starts. I have been informed that this is because the band have requested that every single person is informed of the special rules for tonight's performance - no smoking and a very high emphasis on the no photography rule. Everyone is also questioned as to whether they have a camera phone and whether are then given a full search. Certainly not the usual for such an event - one can only imagine that it is all part of Maynard James Keenan's quirks that he has decided to implement for this tour. There are no objections to the rules and everyone is quite content, the atmosphere is already building up and half the crowd have yet to even enter the building.
As the set starts, Maynard is on a raised platform behind a screen so that only his silhouette can be seen. When this was done at Wembley Arena last year the platform seemed lost in the stage but with the more intricate size of this venue it somehow works and does create the intrigue that rock's most secretive star wants.
Once the screen drops, the set proceeds with Maynard raised and the backlighting leaving him looking to what I hear some fans describe as "deity-like". The crowd is totally eclectic in all but one respect - they are here for the music. It shows. It seems that every single member of the crowd knows the words to every song and they are more than happy to sing along and seem to put as much feeling in to the songs as the band itself.
'Orestes' begins and the emotion in the room is actually tangible - it is a rare experience but you can honestly feel what every single person in this room is. The song concludes and the rest of the set continues - with the same emotion and power that it has begun with.
Tonight has been an exceptional performance of musical talent and emotion that will stick with anyone who has been to see them. This set justifiably deserves 5 stars as it was truly outstanding.