Starting off the festivites was Steel Beans, who was a rather unique opener because he was a one-man show, which you see like once in a blue moon. First off, he had a rather interesting outfit. He was dressed in silver from head to toe, including a silver wig and face paint and knight shoulder armour. Regarding his performance abilities, the ability to multi-task and play 3-4 things at the same time is astonishing. Sitting behind a drum kit, he kept time with his feet on the kick and hi-hat and played a back beat on the snare with his right hand, while strumming chords on a guitar, all while singing and playing keyboards. As far as his multi-tasking abilities, he can give Geddy Lee a run for his money. While his multi-tasking abilities were astounding, his songs lacked any memorability. To me, it felt like I was watching a single-man version of The Grateful Dead.
Now, it was time for the main event with Tool. Their 11-song set included 6 of the 7 songs from Fear Inoculum, with the exception of "7empest", which is odd because it was their Grammy winner, while the other 5 were classics. Sound-wise, you can tell that Tool puts a lot of effort into making sure their sound is of the highest pristine quality as they can get it. Adam Jones' guitar tone was simply gigantic, while Justin Chancellor's bass tone was thundering and Danny Carey's drums were nice and crisp. Beginning with the Fear Inoculum title track, the slow heavy riffs combined with the trippy psychadelic visuals on the giant screens seemed to send everyone into a trance, and I mean that in the good way. With the visuals and even the high quality laser show, it felt like we were watching a metal version of Pink Floyd. As the set continued, we were treated to new tracks like "Pneuma" and "Descending", and classics like "Rosetta Stoned", "The Grudge" and "Intolerance". The moment of the set that was a wet dream for prog nerds was the guest appearance of Alex Lifeson from Rush, who came on stage to guest on "Jambi". Needless to say that with Rush being my favourite band of all time, I lost my mind. Speaking of Rush, this was the first big show since Rush that I've seen where the set was split with a 20-minute intermission.
With Maynard being the oddball that he is, it was no surprise that his banters were in that lame humour category, but it was entertaining nonetheless, because let's face it, he's Maynard James Keenan. Of course, everyone knows about Tool's famous no-phone policy during the show, but you did see the odd phone being snuck up here and there throughout the main portion of the set. However, it was rather refreshing to see a crowd with pretty much no phones, because it brings us back to the good old days when no phones were to be seen in the crowd at a show. However, as anyone knows, he lets the people bring the phones out at the last song. I never saw people pull phones out of their butts as quick as they did when Maynard gave the crowd permission to film during set closer "Forty Six & Two". One interesting thing we learned from the show was that Danny Carey is capable of also playing guitar, which was seen during "Culling Voices" as all four members sat down on stage, and confetti rained down.
To reiterate what I said earlier in conclusion, a Tool show is the definition of a pure experience rather than just a regular concert. The show lasted for about 2 hours and 20 minutes, but it was the fastest 2 hours and 20 minutes I've ever experienced, proving that the show was captivating to the max. Anybody that has not seen Tool yet, do yourself a favour and do so when you get the chance, as you will get immersed into another world with high class musicianship and trippy psychadelic visuals.
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