|Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly|July 19, 2010
Tool fans exhibit militant devotion. Even the official fan club is denoted as the Tool Army. What would stimulate such rabid fanaticism? Ask anyone who has witnessed Tool live and they will state it is their sensory assaulting live performances. Even though their last album was released in 2006, Tool easily sold out two nights at the Nokia Theater. In an age of short attention spans and disposable bands, it is no wonder that Tool is going on 20 years strong.
|Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly|
Slithering in the shadows, Maynard James Keenan was decked out in a
police officers outfit complete with a baton using a microphone
attached to a megaphone for the distorted vocals of "Third Eye." While
each musician in Tool offers their unique abilities, the summation of
their talents and chemistry is undeniable.
Jones stepped up to the microphone to unleash a demonic talkbox guitar
solo for "Jambi" while the band played flawlessly behind him. Danny
Carey was surgically slicing his drums apart all evening with his hi-hat
strategically placed directly in front of him to accommodate his
ambidextrous drumming abilities.
|Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly|
static gave way to crushing detuned riff of "Stinkfist" as the
disturbing visuals of the video floated on screens surrounding them.
Moody passages of synthesizers devolved into the odd time signature of
"Vicarious" with Keenan moving his hand like a mouth to inspire the
crowd to scream at the ending of the song.
a joke about the movie "Back To The Future," Tool went deep into their
past by playing "Intolerance" from their 1993 album Undertow.
Justin Chancellor forms the backbone of "Schism" with its all over the
fretboard bass line. After taking a peak at prior setlists from other
shows locally, most Tool fans were surprised to hear the rumbling riff
of "The Pot" which also features some fancy fretwork by Chancellor who
made his bass sound like a missile launcher.
was extra noisy as the members of the opening band Dalek added washes
of static and feedback to the drum flourishes of Carey. Keenan dedicated
his brand of Arizona wine to the "Politically savvy throughly informed
hollywood types," "Aenema" closed the book on Tool's tour. Hopefully,
the next time Tool hits the road, it will be to support a new album.
Bias: My best story about Tool is when I used a fake ID to see them
at a strip club in Anaheim called "California Dreams" in 1993 around
the release of Undertow.
Apparently, one can wear a Tool shirt at their concert without being
Overheard in the Crowd:
Multiple chants of "Tool!" came from the inebriated portion of the
crowd. Just in case you forgot who you came to see.
Notebook Dump: Adam Jones was one of the first guitarists that I
spotted to use Diezel amplifiers back in 1996. Within the past few
years, Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins and Matt Bellamy of Muse
have also started to use Diezel amplifiers.
Tool photopass had Arabic writing on it which translated means
"Infidel." What are they trying to tell me?