Perception vs. reality.
It’s a topic that is on my mind more often than not. The way other people see you versus how you see yourself. The way you see people versus who they really are. The way you think something is going to make you feel versus how it really does. Expectations, first impressions, ideals, truths….and how this is all constructed in the mind. How it’s based on what’s happened to us in the past coupled with our desires for the future. How there are elements we can control and others that are completely out of control. And how quickly it can all change when the perception becomes enlightened and morphs into reality.
The most interesting thing about it all is that, in a society that is constantly searching for the truth, the lie is often much better.
When I lived a stable, pseudo-married, normal job lifestyle, I read the news every day. I could tell you what was going on, what was important, and how I felt about it. Then, over a year ago, that started to change. The first to go was world news, then U.S., and then even music news. By the end of the summer, I’d completely retreated into my own head. I couldn’t bear to weigh the problems of the world into my own. Living this nomadic, gypsy lifestyle means that the only consistent place I have is the depths of my own mind.
The third and final night of A Perfect Circle‘s LA stretch would feature a performance of eMOTIVe. An album made up primarily of cover songs very political in nature and drastically departed from the DNA of their original compositions, it was, in perception, the night people seemed least excited about. It even seemed as though the band knew this, as the Vegas shows are limited to the first two albums only.
The venue is slightly less abuzz as we score our same spot as the two nights before. I have mixed feelings about the album, but I do know that I want to be here. There are some bands that you just ‘get’, and in return feel that they ‘get’ you somehow. And this is one of those bands for me. So regardless of the material at hand tonight, I was here to see one of my favorite vocalists, one of my favorite drummers, and to experience the vibe and tone that this band emits.
Tonight’s pre-show music was themes from TV shows, which I actually enjoyed as I danced around and sang along to them as we chatted with the security guards we’ve become familiar with over the course of the week.
When the band came out, I was immediately hit with sadness that this is the last show. I don’t know why it’s never enough for me. At this point in my life, I’ve followed several bands around for stretches of shows, and the last one is always emotional. It’s just such a specific moment in time that will never be experienced again. I know I could never live in a permanent state of being in the audience in front of my favorite bands, which is probably why I spend so much time trying to capture the feeling here.
Cover songs are often so controversial. People hold originals sacred. The coverer can fall victim either to a karaoke rendition or a sacrilegious reinterpretation. APC’s covers teeter towards the latter, and for me, that’s what a cover song should be about. ‘Imagine’ seems to be the most controversial. While I like it, I do have a tough time with ‘When the Levee Breaks’. The song has been softened so much; I think I prefer translations that go the other direction.
You could tell that this was only the second time the majority of these songs had been performed live. A certain level of comfort seemed like it was missing. I would have to say the highlight was hearing ‘Passive’, which originated from the somewhat mysterious collaboration between Maynard, Reznor, and others called Tapeworm.
At one point in the evening, Maynard made a comment saying that if you weren’t here the other two nights, you missed out. I would agree to a certain extent; each night was very unique, like three pieces of a puzzle, three sides to the story.
I was really happy about how it ended. With ‘Imagine’ out of the way now, what two songs would be the encore? We got the remix of ‘3 Libras’ again and then ‘The Noose’. It was the perfect note to end on.
“Your halo slippin’ down to choke you now”
The words kept echoing through my head as the minutes ticked by on my last night in LA. I didn’t want to leave. Not only had this been the ‘tipping point’ trip for me, where I have all but decided to live there at least on a part time basis, but I was also becoming filed with dread for what I was going back to.
As I walked past the Sunset Marquis pool with my luggage, hopped in the car and said goodbye to the valet, and drove to the airport, I mourned for this part-time life in LA that I have. How it feels like a better reflection of me, filled with opportunity and happiness. How it helps me forget that in my other part time life, I’m a lost little lonely girl.
As I boarded the plane, tears streamed down my face. I’d be spending the next four days at The Compound alone. 200 acres in the middle of nowhere, with my mother’s grave a hundred yards from the house, I would continue to live inside my head to save myself from myself.