Feature: 10 Reasons You Need to See Tool Before You Die
Wed, 26 Mar 2014 09:53:29
If you haven’t seen Tool, you should probably turn off your computer and fly to wherever they’re playing right now. Their shows are that phenomenal, and anybody who has witnessed one will likely tell you the same thing in so many words ad nauseam. That’s just a given.
ARTISTdirect.com Rick Florino had the privilege of seeing Tool once more on their current jaunt when it stopped at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX. It had a profound effect on him and everyone there, to say the least. So, he compiled a list of the 10 Reasons You Need to See Tool Before You Die.
10 Reasons You Need to See Tool Before You Die
10. Firstly, there are lasers. During a heavenly heavy "Lateralus", lasers shot down from the ceiling, bounced off reflectors on the stage, and turned the entire arena into Tron for nine divine minutes. Tool can pull off lasers in a classy fashion that further immerses attendees within their world—literally boxing them in. When was the last time you saw lasers used this effectively? Thought so…
9. Tool have a penchant for inviting incredible and memorable support acts out with them. Tomahawk, Isis, and Meshuggah all instantly come to mind...Last night proved no exception as the mighty and recently resurrected Failure took the stage for 45-minutes of pure space rock bliss. Ken Andrews’s unmistakable croon echoed through the venue as his distinct chord chunk roared during “Sergeant Politeness”. Tool gave them the opportunity to transport listeners to another place altogether before the main event. That’s a rarity for a headliner to do.
8. The visuals remained utterly entrancing throughout the entire evening. One of the apex moments came when a translucent screen lowered from the ceiling during “46&2”, and the musicians performed behind an eerie crimson creature that channeled H.P. Lovecraft in all the right ways. These elements create an experience that, if paid attention to, can be truly transcendent. That’s the purpose of all great art though.
7. Danny Carey’s drum solo redefines the very idea of a drum solo. Carey manipulates these crazed tech synths to set the stage cinematically before pounding out an off-time symphony of his own in the middle of the band’s set. It’s a testament to his rhythmic prowess, and it solidifies his status as the ultimate 21st century drum god. That’s right! We said it. Who’s better than Carey?
6. Tool consciously encourages total immersion. Put the phone down, open your ears and eyes, and allow these four musical masterminds to take you on a two-hour ride with no distractions. They even throw in some confetti because that just makes everything better. You’ll have it stuck to your shoe as a reminder you don’t need to be glued to your phone.
5. The unpredictable set list keeps even the most fanatical of diehards guessing. Try to predict it, and they’ll just pull the rug out from under you. Last night, a vicious “Hooker With A Penis” initiated the festivities as Adam Jones riffed out an apocalyptic buzzsaw groove punctuated by Justin Chancellor’s otherworldly interstellar funk and Keenan’s wail of, “Fuck you buddy”. Moreover, an early “Sober” in the set reminded everybody of the moment Tool became alternative rock’s true saviors.
4. They’ve got an uncanny sense of humor. Keenan rocked a cop walkie-talkie like he was directing traffic for “Hooker With A Penis” and “Stinkfist”. Danny Carey proudly sported a Houston Rockets jersey. The frontman also checked his phone at one point stating, “Sorry, just got an alert. Apparently, they found the plane. Oh no, they found a guy who is going to tell us they haven’t found the plane”. He added, “Houston, Texas...almost as cool as Arizona, and here’s why” before launching into the love letter to Los Angeles falling into the ocean, "Ænema".
3. Guitarist Adam Jones and bassist Justin Chancellor are out front in numerous ways. During an utterly epic “Pushit”, the duo each treaded into thrilling psychotically psychedelic prog like no one before them as. Jones sped up “Schism” with an almost thrash-style intensity, while Chancellor infused “Intension” with a dark heft. These two gentlemen stalk the edge of the stage at the forefront physically, but their contributions to the sound remain flawless and inimitable as they jam while upholding each composition’s integrity.
2. Maynard James Keenan is the man. “Hooker With a Penis” even announced that. Still, it’s on the vulnerable yet vital “Jambi” that his talent truly shines the most. He pleads, “I would wish it all away” with the kind of sincerity poets die to find. He can be dynamic in terms of range, pulling back for “Intension”, or he can scream his lungs out on “Stinkfist”. He also manages to throw in an obligatory bow and do some killer dance moves thus being able to impress even Napoleon Dynamite.
1. Well, it’s fucking Tool. Enough said. Just go see them. Everything will be better. If it’s not, that’s your fault for staring at your phone the whole time! —Rick Florino
Do you agree? What’s your favorite Tool song?
See our Top 10 Adam Jones Riffs here!
See our most recent interview with Maynard James Keenan here!