I celebrated my birthday at LA’s Greek Theatre with a proper probing by Puscifer as ‘The Existential Reckoning Tour’ rolls on this summer

PusciferBy Josh Herwitt //

Puscifer with Billy Howerdel, Moodie Black //
Greek Theatre – Los Angeles
June 12th, 2022 //

California has already felt its first heat wave this year, and we’ve only reached the middle of June.

For those of us living in the Golden State who are more familiar with the notion of June Gloom than triple digits, that should only serve as a warning sign that the next three months could be unfavorably H-O-T.

While the high temperatures might play well for the live music industry with this summer marking the first since it returned to full form due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the coronavirus still remains a major part of daily life in the U.S. For that reason alone, it’s these long days when the weather is warmer (than usual) that can feel particularly reserved for us to safely catch live music outside before the days become short and a chill fills the air again. Call it “outdoor concert season” if you’d like. Either way, it’s certainly one of our favorite times of the year.

In my own case, being invited to cover Puscifer’s show at the Greek Theatre seemed like a cool way — even if there was some “work” involved — to celebrate my birthday. After all, what could be better than watching your favorite vocalist perform on your special day at one of LA’s most historic music venues?


Maynard James Keenan has long been known as the frontman for the critically acclaimed rock bands Tool and A Perfect Circle dating back more than a couple of decades ago, but the third project that the 58-year-old multi-hyphenate — which includes his acting and winemaking ventures over the years — considers to be his “creative subconscious” has been making music for almost 15 years with its latest LP Existential Reckoning dropping toward the end of 2020.

Puscifer, in many ways, feels inspired at least in part by Keenan’s brief stretch in Green Jellÿ during the early 90’s that saw him sing those high-pitched backup vocals as one of the pigs on the 1992 hit “Three Little Pigs” (you might recall the song’s classic claymation music video, too). Half comedy rock and half joke metal, the trio that also consists of Mat Mitchell (guitar, bass, keyboards, synthesizers, production) and Carina Round (vocals, guitar, percussions, keyboards) as permanent members has found a niche among MJK fans who don’t always take their rock ‘n’ roll so seriously. As you can see from our photos below in fact, there were actually a couple of spectators sitting near us who dressed up in costume as Keenan’s “Billy D” character and special agent Round complete with a metal briefcase.

That’s, of course, all part of the fun at a Puscifer show. Never short on theatrics, the group often plays pre-recorded videos during its live performances that only provide the audience with more laughs and further entertainment over the course of two hours. Even those who aren’t familiar with Puscifer’s four studio albums like “V” Is for Vagina and Money Shot should get a kick out of agent-in-training Keenan trying to play a strange game of celebrity lookalike on screen at one point in the evening.

Yet I would be remiss to not mention that when Puscifer announced “The Existential Reckoning Tour” in February, the slogan for the 21-date run was “Prepare To Be Probed.” And despite the message’s erotic undertones unsurprisingly, it does feel rather fitting as our world becomes more uncertain by the day. No one can know for sure if Planet Earth will be overtaken by extraterrestrials in the future, but with Keenan opening our eyes to the possibility while still managing to make us giggle, spending a night with Puscifer isn’t just an escape from reality whether you’re blowing out candles or not.

Act I
Bread and Circus
Fake Affront
The Underwhelming
Grey Area
Vagina Mine (Remixed)

Act II
The Remedy
Personal Prometheus
A Singularity
The Humbling River (Nagual del Judith Mix)

Act III (Billy D on vocals)
Bullet Train to Iowa
Conditions of My Parole

Green Jellÿ crash Winter’s Tavern in Pacifica

Green_JellyPhoto by Robert Bejil // Written by Scotland Miller //

Green Jellÿ with BRUBAKER, Bitter Loa, FUKM //
Winter’s Tavern – Pacifica, CA
March 21st, 2014 //

The Punk Rock Puppet Show, brought to you live by Bill Manspeaker himself, descended on Pacifica last weekend and sent unsuspecting patrons of Winters Tavern fleeing for the sake of their eardrums. In case you didn’t know … Green Jellÿ sucks!

For those who are unfamiliar with the Green Jellÿ story (actually pronounced “jello” despite the spelling difference, which stems from trademark infringement lawsuits from the name-brand jiggly treat) you might want to do a quick Google search and find out. Completely ridiculous, totally absurd, and accompanied by curious videos, Green Jellÿ is the creation of Bill Manspeaker and is described as one of the worst bands in history. But don’t worry, that’s the idea!

The show started with an empty stage and blown-out voice blaring through the microphone from the parking lot…ahem, excuse me, I mean dressing-room. “Green Jellÿ is an audience participation band! The more you act like an asshole in front of your girlfriend, the more funner it will be for all of us!!” After announcing the members of the band like at a boxing arena, which by the way are nothing more than recruited fans who can play instruments, Manspeaker took the stage in a t-shirt, boots, and his underwear. “If you are not drunk, or stoned on medical marijuana, this will be the stupidest fucking thing you have ever seen, and you should leave now!” I watched several folks do just that.

He then asked 10 people to become part of the show and to proceed to the dressing room. Outside, there were a dozen giant foam and duct tape puppet heads of evil clowns, dead rock stars and other weird characters from the band’s oddball claymation videos. These things were twisted. I couldn’t help myself and chose Layne Staley Frankenstein. I was introduced as the first puppet and made my way inside. He put me on top of a large box in front of the stage and they began to play the Alice in Chains classic “Man in the Box” … ha … ha … ha.

From there, the night became a hot mess of drunken, sweaty, yelling and screaming puppets crashing around the bar, knocking over drinks and people having a blast — not to mention the crazy antics of Manspeaker and his own outlandish costume changes and bar dancing.

Green Jellÿ didn’t disappoint when it came to song selection. The band’s 1993 album Cereal Killer Soundtrack dominated the set with tracks like “Electric Harley House (of Love)”, “Obey the Cowgod”, “Anarchy in Bedrock” (yes, this is a Sex Pistols cover) and of course ending the night with “Three Little Pigs”. I fully enjoyed participating and making a fool of myself in the name of punk rock and have been wearing the gash in my forehead with pride all week.

“Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin!!”