During the very strange time that is the Covid quarantine era, livestreams have become quite popular over the last year. Having seen a few of them, they are well produced and are meant to feel as if one is at the show, albeit with no one else around, and have been quite popular. Having said that, the latest Puscifer livestream entitled Billy D and the Hall of Feathered Serpents featuring Money Shot is on a whole different level! Starting off with Billy D (portrayed by Maynard James Keenan) ending up in an underground luchador bar with “bartesians” serving up experiences in a glass, each drink served up is named after a track from the Money Shot album.
In the first act, the band plays tracks ‘Galileo’, ‘Augustina’, and ‘Grand Canyon’ in a dark lit room with amber/golden lights with a backdrop of what appears to be ancient Aztec ruins/tombs. MJK and Corina Round stand side by side, as per usual, while wearing luchador masks that emulate the infamous Medusa. The rest of the group (Mat Mitchell, Greg Edwards, Gunnar Olsen, Juliette Commagere, Claire Acey) are adorned in black suits with a thick bar of face paint going horizontally across their eyes. In the second act, after a soliloquy from Billy D, the group is now in and around a wrestling ring with a gathering of luchadores in attendance witnessing the songs ‘Simultaneous’, (sans the spoken word intro) ‘Money Shot’, ‘The Arsonist’, and ‘The Remedy’. While the Aztec backdrop is still very much there, the lights are much more vibrant and directly behind the wrestling ring is a collage of different luchadores adorning their masks. There are also moments in some tracks, namely ‘The Arsonist’, where Billy D is being chased by the luchadores and then later carried out to the wrestling ring for some punishment during ‘The Remedy’ for some lite comedy. The final act now shows a lack of wrestling ring and luchadores surrounding the band as it is just them once again. ‘Smoke and Mirrors’, ‘Flippant’, ‘Life of Brian (Apparently You Haven’t Seen)’, and ‘Autumn’ wrap up the music aspect of the stream. The ending credits then play as Billy D is seen walking off into the distant desert, seemingly about to be abducted by aliens.
This production/livestream/whatever you wish to call it, may go down as a turning point in the music industry, for the better. This was more than just a band playing a set of songs live on the internet in front of a camera crew. It was effectively a short film to further build on the lore behind a band/concept of an album while also supporting the album itself. Could we see more like this from Puscifer? Perhaps from other bands as well? Currently, we do not have the answer to those questions, but I would not be surprised that the minds of Keenan, Round, and Mitchell are already storming together, concocting their next experience.