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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: FLOW online

Date: November, 1996

Transcribed by
Peter Coe (repeater@cats.ucsc.edu)


  page: 5
 title: Too Many Tool's at the Show
author: Peter Coe

Too Many Tools at the Show
by Peter Coe
	It just so happened that I was connected to an online service (we 
wonít mention the name of this hell spawned company) when I first got 
wind of Toolís dissent on San Francisco.  ìThe California shows start 
in Pomona on the 16th, youíd better get your tickets,î my friend from 
Texas informed me.  I was very excited, considering the L.A.-based 
band had not toured officially for about 2 years.  But now with their 
third album ìAenimaî debuting on the billboard charts at #2, Tool, 
those purveyors of heavy guitar chords, intricate drum fills, 
beautiful yet haunting vocals, lachrymology, and lotís of weird 
things, are back on the road.  Generally less then festive on a Monday 
night, I was more then thrilled while driving up highway one with my 
Jewish ally, conversing about how much this show is going to rule.
	After evading several vagabonds on Market Street, we entered the 
Warfield theater giddy as fornicating elephants.  To my dismay, I 
noticed several fans sporting apparel related to other bands I donít 
like; ie: Korn Metallica, Slayer, etc.  ìJust typical metal warriors 
at a heavy rock concert,î I pondered.  This little observation would 
later prove more significant, however.
	Upon entering the floor area, and chatting with a friend from back 
home, I noticed a a sweat shirt and beanie garbed man standing at the 
mic.   It was Maynard James Keenan, Toolís vocalist!  ìAre you paying 
attention?  This is Failure,î he announced before he turned to leave 
as abruptly as he had appeared.  ìI hardly recognized him with that 
sweatshirt on,î I said, recollecting Maynardís propensity to go 
shirtless on stage.  I guess he hadnít noticed that I had shaven my 
head before the show as sort of a tribute to him. (Maynard formerly 
sported a long black mohawk, but now shows off a freshly shaven dome).  
Failure then burst into their repertoire for the evening.  Failure, 
from L.A., are apparently on the same record label (Zoo) as Tool, but 
certainly not as interesting or musically gifted.  They plodded 
through their alterna-rock, power-shord drenched set, bravely trying 
to maintain their composure in between shouts of ìyou suck!î and 
ìTool!î  After they exited, I found myself contemplating many other 
bands that could have easily had been a better choice for an opening 
act.  I felt sorry for them.  They sounded like Bush on a good day.  I 
hate to say it, but some bands are just way too aptly named.
	After much panty-wetting anticipation, Tool finally appeared with 
shirts off.  They broke into ìStinkfist,î the swirly yet driving track 
which opens ìAenima.î  Maynard, with two mics in each hand (one being 
used for effects purposes), hunched over into his typical monkey-like 
stance and greeted the crowed with the opening line, ìsomething has to 
change..î  I was in heaven.  After seeing performances of these new 
songs on bootleg video, it was quite another experience being able to 
see it in person.  ìForty Six & 2î followed, featuring some most 
impressive drum work by Danny Carey.  
	Right about around this time I really started to build some spite 
against moshing and crowd-surfing.  Having grown out of my metal-ness 
about 4 years ago, I began to realize once again how foolish moshing 
really is.  However, since I was handed a general admission ticket by 
the ever so informative Santa Cruz ticketmaster outlet, I was stuck 
fighting for my life in the floor area.  As Tool forged ahead in their 
set, with extraordinary performances of ìEulogy,î ìJimmy,î and 
ìSober,î I shoved people aside looking for a better standing area.  
	I found myself having to get rough once again, as Tool bursted 
into ìHooker with a Penis,î a questionable song, with an even more 
questionable title.  This song is probably the most metal Tool has 
ever achieved since their first album ìOpiate,î and of course, was 
plenty to get all the boneheads on the floor running around in a 
circle hitting each other.  I found myself running around with them 
playing air drums and mimicking their teen-angst filled facial 
expressions.  I found it soothing that two girls were laughing at my 
teasing.  At least some people understood.  The metal brigade, 
however, didnít think I was very funny.  Tool then plunged into the 
title track of their second album, ìUndertow,î while I avoided being 
pummeled by large unshirted drunkards yelling, ìGet your fucking bony 
elbows outta here!î  Apparently I was ruining their fun.
	I finally found distance from the pit during ìPushit,î a stand-out 
track on ìAenima.î  It featured all the musical accuracy and intensity 
of the album, and once again, I thought Maynard was channeling some 
sort of telekinetic message to me with his trademark cold stare.  I 
think he was saying something to the effect of, ìI like your haircut.î  
And look, In the background!  Fornicating elephants!  And Iím not even 
on acid!  
	After the show ended, I staggered out to the lobby and waited for 
the crowd to dissolve a bit so a trip to the bathroom would be easier.  
While I was waiting, one of the girls who had noticed my ìmosh mimeî 
during the show came up and thanked me for entertaining her.  I 
thought it was very nice of her to notice.  I couldnít help but feel 
defeated, however, as I inspected my ìbattleî wounds.  Had I had known 
reserved seats were available, I might have thought twice about 
purchasing a floor ticket.  A flawless performance by one of my 
favorite bands had been tainted by idiots who couldnít see the point 
in simply watching in awe.  I left San Francisco feeling okay, but not 
like a fornicating elephant as I did when I first arrived.  I only 
wish I was able to sit in the balcony like my Jewish friend.  Perhaps 
then, I wouldíve been able to enjoy Maynard in all his splendor.  
Alas, we will never know...


Posted to t.d.n: 05/05/97 15:12:05