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A TOOL-Related Article

Publication: Rocket Magazine

Date: October 1996

Transcribed by trance@isomedia.com



           A review of the show in Seattle on October 24 1996
                                  --

After blasting a restless crowd away with the opener, "Stinkfist," Tool
frontman Maynard James Keenan apologized for the hour-long delay between
sets saying, "We were backstage playing Monopoly and totally forgot there
was a show." Keenan--painted from bald head to toe in blue paint--and his
bandmates must have been playing "strip" Monopoly, as they played the
entire set sporting only boxer shorts. No matter--their hour-and-a-half
set pretty much transcended all earthly concerns once they began churning
out wave upon wave of the emotionally gut-wrenching, complex, and highly
rhythmic hard rock that has become their trademark. 

Their songs frequently relied upon unusual time signatures to add to the
swirling, boiling frenzy. Keenan moved across the stage in such a way that
made him appear to be made out of rubber, his voice soaring above the
building fury of the music. Keenan's angsty, melodic vocals and the
progressive, swirling music waged a constant tug-of-war of tension,
pulling it back and forth, always keeping the audience salivating for that
release when the music explodes and Keenan spiritually eviscerates
himself. 

Much of the set came from their latest release, AEnima, highlighted by
"Eulogy," "Jimmy," and the bludgeoning "Hooker With a Penis." Though many
of Tool's songs are long and drawn out into several parts, they never once
lost the crowd's attention. They merely had to strike the opening chords
of "Undertow," and the audience cheered with approval. The highlight of
the set occurred, perfectly timed, near the end when the band quietly,
patiently brought "Sober," from Undertow, to a spine-chilling climax. The
crowd was singing every word, and the packed floor of the fieldhouse was a
seething mass of dancing, moshing bodies. 

The Cows were out of their element, and their 45-minute set of noisy,
dysfunctional punk was met with resistance and derision from the crowd. 
Though The Cows were troopers and took the abuse, they ended up being
little more than warm-up music for the anxious mosh pit. 

(c) 1996 Adem Tepedelen


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