They may have been a day late, but soon enough, it was time for Tool. The band were last in Australia headlining the 2011 Big Day Out, and even though there hasn’t been a new release since then, the turnout for their Adelaide show was massive. Tool is as much a visual experience as they are a musical one. Being immersed in their spectacular light and video show adds so much to their performance, making well worthwhile the effort to see them at a headline show rather than a festival.
Opening with ‘Vicarious’ off of their fourth album ’10,000 Days’ the band wasted no time in sending the crowd into frenzy. If there’s one thing that can be said of Tool fans, it’s that they’re a passionate bunch. The GA area of the Entertainment Centre was packed out, with thousands forcing their way to the front as the opening bars broke out. Those who have seen Tool before know they are not a band who are big on crowd interaction. There’s very little banter between front-man Maynard James Keenan and his audience, although he did have the good manners to apologise for being “late”.
The set was a proverbial ‘best of’, featuring fan favourites such as ‘Pushit’ and ‘Lateralus’. After a short intermission, Danny Carey welcomed us back with a thunderous drum solo. Carey truly is one of the greatest drummers to ever grace the stage. His endless energy and unique style makes what could be a tedious interlude, an exciting and enjoyable addition to the show. The remaining members of Tool (plus a chicken on Maynard’s arm) returned to the stage to perform a crushing rendition of ‘Jambi’, followed by ‘Forty Six and Two’ and ‘Ænema’. As the show went on, the visual aspects grew more spectacular. A giant disco ball hung in the middle of the mosh pit, lasers pierced through the darkness, and smoke filled the room, as the bizarre imagery Tool are known to be associated with played behind the stage.
After an encore of ‘Stinkfist’ Maynard waved his farewells and left the stage, while the remaining three members of the band stuck around to thank the crowd for their attendance and enthusiasm.
Tool do not do anything by half measures. The lack of crowd participation and stage antics is more than compensated for by the fact that everything else going on during the show is a visual feast. The quartet sound as good as they ever have, and by the end of the night, there wasn’t a sour face to be seen.
Let’s hope next time Tool visit, they have a new album to wow us with.
Review by Sofie Marsden and Rebecca Grant