Toyota Music Factory hosts Maynard’s Birthday Party

Maynard James Keenan Performing in Irving, Texas. Photo by Craig Youngblood

It was a fabulous Friday night in Texas as thousands of fans descended upon the Toyota Music Factory in Irving, Texas, to enjoy the festivities of Sessanta. Upon approaching the venue, you could see all the traffic with the cars looking to park and lines of fans everywhere lining up, waiting to get in and grab their merch and spots for the night. Once we located our spots and got settled in, there were several reminders about the strict no-cell phone policy that was in effect for tonight’s show. Minutes before they kicked off the night’s first act, a video began playing with Maynard explaining the ingredients of the mystery meat, and he let us in on the secret ingredient. He said if you failed to observe the phone policy, you would be removed from the show and put into the grinder to be a part of the mystery meat recipe. The fans all began cheering, the lights went down, and it was time to kick off the night’s first act. 

The first act of the night kicked off by none other than A Perfect Circle, and they chose the song The Package to welcome everyone to Maynard’s 60th birthday party. However, shortly during the
first part of the opening song, some technical difficulty arrived, and the vocals cut out on Maynard for a brief moment. During that brief moment, as soon as his vocals went out, you could suddenly hear the thousands of fans singing along. They never missed a word and continued singing until the crew sorted out the difficulty. Maynard sang again for everyone to hear, and the fans erupted with yells and cheers. After the first song, Maynard welcomed us to his birthday festivities. He asked how he was doing in Texas, and the crowd responded, but it was as loud as he would have liked them to. Maynard shook his head and said I know you can do better than that and said how about it, Texas fans, in unison, yelled, and he began shaking his head and said now we’re home! He asked everyone to remember the phone policy and told the fans it was time for us to go on a trip together, live in the moment, and enjoy this birthday
trip together. For the first act of the night, A Perfect Circle sang 3 of their songs and then exited the front of the stage. From there, some of them went to the top of the risers, where they had a nice lounge area set up for the members to sit out there and watch the other bands that were performing, waiting for their next time to play. 

The second band to play during the first act was legendary Primus, and they kicked off their set with Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers. As soon as the first notes struck, the crowd began moving around back and forth, dancing around. Seeing and hearing Les Claypool and his powerful Bass playing in person was terrific. We were sitting on the lawn, and you could feel every note struck on the ground under you as they performed. As Primus continued playing through their opening set, they gave us some incredible moments and sang 4 songs, and you could see the fans getting into the groove and just having fun at this big birthday party bash.

The final band to play for the first act was one of Maynard’s other band, the amazing Puscifer, and as soon as the screen showed they were about to take the stage, all the fans began screaming with anticipation, waiting to see what they would kick the night off with. As soon as they hit the first chords
Galileo, everyone jumped to their feet and began cheering and singing along with the band. Puscifer continued playing their night’s opening set, playing a few more songs from their albums over the years. As they wrapped up their last song and the final song of Act One, fans wondered what was in store for such an amazing lineup and celebration for Maynard, who would be performing double duties tonight, singing for two of his bands. 

There were 3 acts for the night, which was an excellent and exciting concept for how the show would run.
All three bands could take turns and be the opener and the closer for one of the acts. Each of them would take turns and play in different spots in each act, and they would play some of their most popular songs and some deep cuts. The fans enjoyed this setup as they could hear songs they had either not ever heard live or had not heard in a long time played live. It was a nice change of pace from other shows I have been to, as you continued seeing each band perform throughout the night. The other fun parts to watch were all the band members’ interactions with each other as they were sitting side-stage watching and having some fun. They even set up a ping pong table and began playing a table tennis match as other bands performed. At the end of the night’s final act, all the bands joined together on stage and played their new song, which is on the Sessanta E.P.P.P., which was available on vinyl at the show and is out everywhere for your listening pleasure. As the final curtain call song for the night, all three bands performed at once and played Puscifer’s Grand Canyon, and the fans loved every minute of the song. As the song concluded, the bands waved to the crowd, took a bow, and began hugging, talking with each other, and interacting with the fans.

Words and Photos by Craig Youngblood

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