Publication: Georgia Straight
Date: October, 1996
page: title: Teen Army Finds Tool Intense author: By Shawn Conner TEEN ARMY FINDS TOOL INTENSE Industrial-strength rockers not afraid to venture into melodic terrain Tool at the PNE Forum (Vancouver B.C.) on Friday, Oct. 25 It didn't take a genius to figure out where the teenage boys passing around a mickey of Wiser's Deluxe on the eastbound #14 Hastings bus were going on friday night: the backwards baseball caps and Tool T-shirts gave it away. Several thousand fans converged on the PNE Forum that night for the Tool concert, and many made a brief stop at the merchandise table for more T-shirts. Tool is one of those bands that seemingly got huge overnight, leaving you wondering what you've been missing out on. If the reception at the Forum was any indication, Tool has a large and ardent group of admirers among young males. As they waited for the band to appear onstage, the excited devotees began chanting "Tool" in a manner that recalled Springsteen-crazed fans chanting "Broooce". Tool answered the call by playing a 90-minute set of songs culled from it's latest, Aenima (pronounced "enema"-get it?), Opiate, and they're first album, Undertow. Fan favourites - perhaps even "hits" in some alternative universe I don't know about - included "Prison Sex" and "Sober". (I know all this stuff because I asked the Tool fan sitting next to me. Thanks, Tom.) I have no idea what the bands lyrics are about, although genetic engineering seems to be a favourite topic, but I can tell you that Tool is your basic four white guys playing heavy, industrial-strength rock on bass, guitar, and drums. What differentiates the band from the pack is it's songs, which are long, intricate affairs with different time signatures and bits that sometimes border on melodic. The songs were, at least for the first hour, interesting, and they were delivered by a lead singer, Maynard James Keenan (painted blue for the occasion), who actually can sing. Audience response was enthusiastic, to say the least. There was lots fist-waving and a giant mosh pit got going on the packed floor of the airplane hangar-like Forum. The sound was good, and for those who care about such things, a hallucinatory video featuring images of reproducing amoebas and naked guys jumping up and down was projected on the screen behind the band. Tool put on a tight, dynamic show, and Keenan was a charismatic and intense figure in his boxer shorts and blue body paint. The Cows, the warm-up band, were not given nearly as warm a reception as Tool. In fact, the audience seemed to hate the Cows, yelling for Tool, giving the four-man punk band the bird, and generally behaving like high-school students with a substitute teacher. The Cows gamely played on, and the lead singer-trumpet player, dressed in a sailor suit, responded to the hostility by eating a cigarette and doing a handstand for what seemed like several minutes at the end of the set. It was as though he was daring the crowd to knock him down. Keenan was so disgusted by the reception given to the Cows that, in the middle of his band's set, he reprimanded his followers by saying, "We like the Cows; that's why we brought 'em" and "You guys get the prize for the rudest fucking audience to an opening band I've ever seen."
Posted to t.d.n: 05/03/97 16:55:29