Perfect Circle Performance Electrifies Crowd
By Romann M. Weber, The Miami Herald

Saturday's eclipsing moon had no chance to be seen from under the lightning-spitting blanket of clouds that wound up soaking the crowd at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater. But the weather that preempted that celestial show couldn't prevent A Perfect Circle from staging an open-air concert that was nothing short of electrifying.

The enthusiastic near-capacity audience, wading in puddles under a crackling sky, braved the elements and a crass, tuneless set by openers the Icarus Line in a show of faith that was duly rewarded.

''It's wet and you're still here,'' said vocalist Maynard James Keenan to the waterlogged fans. ``Thank you.''

Keenan and company -- including touring guitarist James Iha of the Smashing Pumpkins -- showed their gratitude with a perfectly executed and fast-paced set that delivered introspective, melodic material and thunderous hard rock with equal impact.

The first notes of Vanishing summoned the rain, which fell like emeralds in the eerie glow of the stage and didn't let up until the last note of the powerful closer Judith.

In the atmosphere set by the band, it seemed like a prearranged special effect, and no one in the audience seemed to mind.

Keenan delivered his vocals from behind a screen at first, emerging only to remain on a riser at the back of the stage, wearing a long dark wig and obscured by back-lighting.

The suggestion was that A Perfect Circle is more than just a side project for Keenan, who also fronts the band Tool. Billy Howerdel, who had been working as Tool's guitar tech, is responsible for the majority of A Perfect Circle's songwriting, even if it is Keenan's vocals -- and not his actual body -- at center stage.

The lineup of Keenan, Howerdel, Iha, drummer Josh Freese, and bassist (and former South Floridian) Jeordie White demonstrated excellent chemistry and enjoyed some playful moments onstage, despite some reported disagreements over the direction of their superb recent release, Thirteenth Step.

But the best chemistry was between band and audience, who left with ringing ears and dripping clothes after a show that was worth every drop.