Date: November, 1999
Adam Knight (email@example.com)
Adam Knight (firstname.lastname@example.org)
page: 38 title: Desert Sessions! author: Joshua Sindell Pretty good review of Tool/Rage festival slot (suprisingly good especially for Kerrang!) Tool Rage Against the Machine Coachella Valley Music Festival California Sunday, October 10 KKKK (out of 5) It was a grand scheme. 'Build a festival out in the Californian desert. They will come.' Around 35,000 sun-worshipping rock fans actually did come, and they deemed it good. It's just a pity that it was a horrendous 112 degrees in the shade. Created in the same spirit of diverse entertainment as the UK's Glastonbury Festival, more than 80 electronic and dance acts have tried, mostly in vain, to persuade a heat-stricken crowd to rock their bodies. So it is indeed a relief when cool night falls upon this vast expanse in the Coachella valley, and two home-grown rock bands show a roaring audience how to energise their sagging joie de vivre. As those lucky few were reminded a few weeks ago at The Astoria, Rage Against the Machine are simply one of the most rivetting live bands in the world today. Tonight offers the quartet another opportunity to unveil tracks from their hotly-anticipated third album, 'The Battle of Los Angeles', and the band open with its first track, 'Testify'. At the song's conclusion, firebrand vocalist Zack de la Rocha has an announcement to make. "I've got a fucked up case of laryngitis," he says, with a noticeable rasp. "So I'm gonna need all of your help tonight." But when there's guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Timmy C and drummer Brad Wilk providing the backing, karaoke doesn't get more fun than this. The crowd shouts the words for such favourites as 'Bonbtrack', 'People Of The Sun', and an absolutely monstrous 'Bullet In the Head' as if they have the lyric sheets in their hands, and when Tool's Maynard Keenan emerges from the shadows to sing on 'Know Your Enemy', they go bonkers. It's a shortened set tonight, due to Zack's poorly throat. But with 35,000 Californians strenuously asserting that they won't be doing what they are told, on the anthem 'Killing In The Name', it's safe to say that few are grumbling about the brevity of the show. Next, it's 'Tool Time': the bug-zapping noises of '(-)Ions' alert us to their presence. Drummer Danny Carey, guitarist Adam Jones, and Bassist Justin Chancellor keep their forms hidden from the lighting rig, while above them video screens burst into activity. Maynard Keenan crouches and rocks back and forth as the band strike into 'Intolerance', from their 'Undertow' album. Simply put, it's as if they never left. Tool's sound is clinical and crushing, with Maynard's voice a startling siren of confusion and bilious hostility. The set continues with the spiteful 'Hooker With A Penis' followed by a blistering 'Forty-Six + 2' and the first of two covers from bassist Chancellor's one-time band, Peach. The Melvins' Buzz Osbourne appears on guitar for both of these songs to hammer home their angry message. Tool then unleash the familiar 'Prison Sex' to mass hysteria. They might have been gone for a while, but clearly they've not been forgotten, as a girl who wears a customised T-shirt with the song's lyric 'I have Found A Kind Of Temporary Sanity In This' can attest. Maynard dedicates 'Eulogy' to their "dear friend", Scott Reeder of Kyuss and Unida. But don't worry, desert rock fans, the bassist is very much alive, and as the song is one of Tool's finest, it's easily the highlight of the set. Tool are truly cooking now. The title track to their third album,'Aenima'(sic), finds Maynard praying for a giant earthquake to rid the world of California. The revellers sing along merrily, but it's still quite eerie, located as closely as we are to a volatile fault line. Six days later a huge 7.0 quake will hit this very region. Spooky. Concluding the set with 'Sober' and 'Opiate', Tool leave the audience breathless and utterly spent. it's been three years since we all took a dose of 'Aenima'. It's high time Tool took us on another bad trip.
Posted to t.d.n: 12/06/00 17:44:37