Publication: FLOW online
Date: November, 1996
Peter Coe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Peter Coe (email@example.com)
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