Jam – First Avenue and 93x present Tool with special guests The Acid Helps.
Review and photos by Kyle Hansen
So many things to say about tonight so I will break it down into Fans – Stage and Band.
First up the fans. There are fanatics about bands, they all have them but some go to great lengths to get anything from a band, meet them or just be around them. Tool fans are right up there with the best. I got there early, about an hour before doors to grab an event shirt and poster. They always have these at every venue so make sure you get there early if you want one cause they go very fast. I was lucky enough that there was a merchandise table right by the door we went in. As I went to another table to see if there was any other stuff I ran into a friend who was a huge fan but did not know this big. He and his wife got there at 3:30am the day of the show and waited in the main line until being let in at 6pm. They wanted to grab the signed and rare items. As I learned they have a main merchandise booth which is huge but has signed drum heads, signed posters, signed lps, signed tour books, signed cds, and rare items. OK that’s cool. Spendy, but cool. They both got the drum heads they wanted and were then going to try and trade with a friend to get the drum heads from tonights show. Cool idea. I love the dedication.
Durning the show the fans are not allowed to use cell phones. The band simply puts it they want you to experience the show and not stare at it behind your phone. Don’t worry they let you use them last song. This being said they are serious. I saw many people get kicked out cause they would not put it away. Some guard are more willing to give you a break and some are not. So just don’t pull them out. I saw four warnings around me and no one got kicked out. But after all the money these tickets cost why push it. Just enjoy the show. Well that’s what the fans were doping. It was a weird mix of head banging, hippie dancing and one person on the floor shaking their whole body all night long. Also the number of couple around me just dry humping all night long got real old. Who wants to rub all over their significant other for the whole world to watch. I say this cause a few were way out of hand. But over all everyone was in a festive mood as this was one of the first no covid restrictions shows for two years.
The stage is absolute amazing. For the first 40 minutes or 5 songs there is a curtain of strings that are used to show videos on in front of the band to create this massive 3d effect. Kiss it works much better this way. They tried a 3d thing on their 1998 Psycho Circus tour and failed. There is also massive screens behind the band to help with all the video. Band stage is pretty much Danny on drums in the center – Adam on guitar stage right – Justin on bass stage left and Maynard on his two stage on each side of Danny. They stay pretty much standard all night but Justin and Adam do switch a couple of times. Plus there are lasers, tons of lasers. The 80’s would be very proud. I think this show should be experienced back far enough so you can see the whole thing. The stage changes for every song. It is an unreal experience in the visual arts.
The band is as spot on as they have ever been. Tight!! They have been out for a few months which helps in live music. It gets the machine rolling and can be a better experience then the first week while all the bugs are worked out. They are unbelievable musicians, talented beyound belief. I was watching closely and they make it look so easy. To have 9-13 minute songs and remember every arrangement and chord and note just blows me away. Maynard seems to be in good spirits tonight. He addressed the crowd a few times, which is nice don’t babble all night. Let the music do the talking. He did compliment us on the night saying we were top notch. Meaning not many cell phones. He then said everyone can bring them out for the last song, and made fun of people stating we were all like meth heads with those things, go ahead and film away and annoy your neighbor. It was a pretty funny statement. The setlist surprise was Undertow, which they just played for the first time in 20 years just a few weeks before. The setlist is 6 songs from their latest release Fear Inoculum which is an amazing album. If you have not listed to this it is a must. I must say I listened to it when it first came out but when I hear they were coming I have been listening to it a lot. You would think after thirteen years it would not be this goo, well it is. There is also a treat from each of their other albums.
I would like to thank the band and PR for the amazing seat. It was a real treat for me to be this close, shoot the show and experience a Tool show. There are a few dates left do not miss this show. And remember shut your phone off and enjoy.