Sessanta In Atlantic City: A Celebration Of Maynard James Keenan’s 60th Birthday

2 mins read
Photo Credit: T. Cody Strubel

In the heart of Atlantic City, amidst the neon glow and the relentless hum of slot machines, the Hard Rock Live Etess Arena became a sanctuary for the disciples of hard rock on April 6th. The occasion? Sessanta – a tour stop showcasing the music of Puscifer, A Perfect Circle, and Primus. This wasn’t just any concert; it was a celebration of Maynard James Keenan‘s 60th birthday, a milestone that brought together three of alt-rock’s most acclaimed bands under one roof.

Sessanta, Italian for “sixty,” was more than a birthday bash; it was a testament to Keenan’s unmistakable mark on the music industry. The event was part of a tour that not only celebrated Keenan’s six decades of life but also showcased the Sessanta E.P.P.P., a unique musical experiment that intertwined the sounds and souls of the three bands. This tour was a rare opportunity for fans to witness the collaborative spirit of artists who have shaped the contours of alternative and hard rock.

Act 1

The evening kicked off with A Perfect Circle’s “The Package,” a track that immediately set a tone of introspection and complexity. The band’s performance was a masterclass in tension and release, with the dark lit stage and Maynard James Keenan’s vocals cutting through the mix like a knife through silk. “Disillusioned” followed, its poignant lyrics resonating with the crowd’s collective consciousness, while “The Contrarian,” featuring Carina Round, added a layer of haunting harmonies that elevated the set’s emotional feel.

Primus then took the reins, injecting their signature brand of quirky bass-driven rock into the mix. “Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers” was a frenetic celebration of the band’s technical prowess, with Les Claypool’s bass lines weaving intricate patterns that both grounded and propelled the song. “Too Many Puppies” and “Sgt. Baker” continued the high-energy onslaught, while “Here Come the Bastards” closed their set with a playful yet biting commentary on societal elites.

Puscifer’s segment was a journey into the avant-garde. “Galileo” and “Horizons” showcased the band’s ability to blend electronic elements with rock, creating soundscapes that were both delicate and grounded. “Indigo Children” ended their set on a high note, its driving rhythms and Keenan’s commanding presence leaving the audience spellbound.

Act 2

Primus returned with “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver,” a song that never fails to get heads banging with its infectious riff and Claypool’s virtuosic bass playing. “My Name Is Mud” and “Tommy the Cat” continued the momentum, with the latter featuring Keenan’s birthday cupcake being given out to a young fan.

Puscifer’s “Flippant” was a standout, with its biting lyrics and pulsating beat. “Momma Sed” and “Bullet Train to Iowa” were delivered with a raw intensity that only Puscifer can muster, while “The Underwhelming” provided a moment of introspective calm amidst the storm.

A Perfect Circle’s return to the stage brought with it a wave of nostalgia and power. “The Hollow,” featuring Tim Alexander, was a reminder of the band’s ability to craft songs that are as emotionally potent as they are musically complex. “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish” provided a moment of levity, while “Weak and Powerless” and “The Outsider” were performed with a ferocity that underscored the band’s darker themes.

Act 3

Puscifer’s “The Humbling River” and “The Remedy” were performed with a vulnerability that pierced the heart, while A Perfect Circle’s “The Noose” and “Judith” were delivered with a raw power that shook the soul. Primus’ “Southbound Pachyderm” was a psychedelic journey, its meandering melodies and Claypool’s surreal lyrics creating an otherworldly atmosphere that perfectly set the stage for the evening’s climax.

The newly released Sessanta E.P.P.P. tracks “Kindred,” “No Angel,” and “Pablo’s Hippos” were a showcase of the collaborative spirit that defines this tour, with each band contributing to a sound that was greater than the sum of its parts.

The grand finale, “Grand Canyon,” saw all three bands unite on stage, delivering a a collaborative effort that allowed the crowd to photograph and record, was nothing short of epic. The song’s expansive sound and message of unity and resilience served as a fitting end to an evening that celebrated not just the music of these three bands, but the enduring and ever-evolving spirit of hard rock itself.

Photos from “Grand Canyon”
Puscifer Tour (Sessanta Tour Through May 4th)

T. Cody Strubel is the founder of Rock Documented, a platform he established in September 2015. As the Lead Photographer, Writer, and Editor, Cody has been instrumental in shaping the site's content and visual aesthetic. His exceptional work in music photography was recognized by the Central Pennsylvania Music Hall of Fame, where he was voted "Best Photography" at their inaugural event. Cody's equipment of choice includes two Nikon D850s, a Nikon 22-70mm 2.8 VR, a Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 VR, and a Black Rapid Shoulder Strap. His passion for music and photography, combined with his commitment to promoting local talent, makes him a vital voice in the Central Pennsylvania music scene.

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