concert reviews firsthand, immediate, from the heart

Review written by: Beth Winegarner (
Review posted on: 08/11/01 07:29:43 ET

This was this reviewer's 2nd Tool show

I'm sorry that I didn't write down the set list tonight... I'm sure someone else has already done so and will post it shortly. This was the first time I've seen Tool perform since their Aenima tour in 1996 or whenever it was. Even though I couldn't see at that concert, because I was stuck in the back of the audience at the Warfield and I'm only 5'2", I had a great time and have been looking forward to seeing Tool ever since. What can I say? The show was amazing. You all know this, or will soon. During the performances I found myself thinking a variety of things, but the main thing is this: One of the things I love about Tool so much is how they make the audience feel. They create this safe space where guys can be vulnerable and women can be strong, and of course vice versa. Within the paradigms of their music it's ok to be a freak, to be smart, to be nerdy, to be emotional, to be struggling. It's not okay to be ignorant, selfish, or closed-minded. Just before they performed "Lateralus," (and maybe Maynard's said this at every show) Maynard said, "Whatever kind of experience you had tonight, whether it was a good experience, a bad experience, an indifferent experience or a patchouli experience, take it home with you, and in the coming weeks, create something positive from it." The amount of cheering that came out of that statement gave me a lot of hope and faith - when recently I have lost much of my faith regarding other people's willingness to be positive, compassionate, productive, progressive, and hopeful. This is really why I was looking forward to seeing Tool tonight. After hearing "Lateralus" (the album, but the song too) many times, I really felt that its message of interconnectedness could really make a difference. The fact that a million people have purchased the album and listen to it often, and sing along with such lines as "swing on the spiral" and "we are eternal, all this pain is an illusion," I think, really changes the collective mindset after a while. If you can get 5,000 people in a room singing those things simultaneously, that's even better. As we all know, music has the power to uplift and to change people - I believe it can change them on a fundamental level. Ten years ago we were chanting "I'd rather die than give you control" and now it's "Spiral out, keep going." I think it's a sign of the times. And it WAS powerful to hear so many people singing along to the songs tonight. (To their credit, SF Tool fans can both carry a tune and keep a rhythm, although some people did lose their patience listening to Robert Fripp's interlude before the encore. Fie on those who would shout at Robert Fripp.) People left the theater tonight whooping and hollering. The people I shared a BART train home with were smiling and happy. Tool does this to people. They make people happy. Those people go on and make other people happy. The energy changes hands, changes form... and for a while positivity has this kind of ripple effect. So, for those of you still waiting to see them play, have fun, be good, and don't forget to smile. :)

Review written by: toolie (tool@tool.tool) Review posted on: 08/11/01 07:31:13 ET

This was this reviewer's 2nd Tool show

Wow...just returned home from the berkeley show tonight. I had one hell of a time just getting a ticket to this show (ended up paying $150 for one stinkin ticket to a broker), but it was worth all the effort. These 4 guys are simply the best thing going on in music right now. The berkeley community theater is an incredibly small venue - I did a double take when I first walked in. There is not a bad seat in the place. The sound level and acoustics were perfect. The set list was pretty much the same as in the previous show reviews except we got the parabol - parabola combo instead of just parabola. Highlights: Danny's drumming towards the end of reflection, holy crap! I can't believe they didn't break. The entire crowd singing along with parabol, then exploding when it went into parabola Supercharged version of Aenima The visuals, especially during sober, parabol/parabola, grudge, and lateralus. The Grudge, which to me sounds about 10 times better live. Justin really digs into it. The band doing a mini huddle in the first part of lateralus. I left the theater with the feeling I had witnessed something rare and special - 4 immensly talented artists who by some gift of fate happen to be in the same band, performing at the peak of their careers. To all who couldn't get tickets: if you can cough up $100, you can get a ticket. Either go to a broker, or just show up at the venue tommorrow and walk around. Scalpers and other people with extra tickets were all around tonight. You WILL find something if you are willing to drop $100 per ticket. It is SO worth it.

Review written by: Arnie Plowe ( Review posted on: 08/11/01 07:37:10 ET

This was this reviewer's 9TH! Tool show

I first saw Tool in up-state NY in 94... Seeing how this band has set off on it's mission to alter the face of Music, Art and Understanding has been one of the biggest gifts life has ever offered me. It has been a soul moving experience. THANK YOU TOOL!!! Justin, Danny, Maynard and Adam! YOUR ART HAS CHANGED MY LIFE MORE THEN I COULD ASK! That was truly a breath taking/life-changing performance... Arnie Your Days Are Numbered, Dinosaur...

Review written by: Andy C. ( Review posted on: 08/11/01 08:02:52 ET

This was this reviewer's 4th Tool show

I just walked in the door after viewing Tool for the fourth time. Most importantly, the set list: The Grudge (-)ions Stinkfist

Review written by: Andy C. ( Review posted on: 08/11/01 08:09:03 ET

This was this reviewer's 4th Tool show

I just walked in the door after viewing Tool for the fourth time. Most importantly, the set list: The Grudge (-)ions Stinkfist Undertow!!! Mantra Schism Pushit Disposition Reflection *salival spinning man intermission Sober Parabol Parabola AEnima Lateralus I wish words could somehow describe how wonderful it is to see Tool in such a small setting. Hopefully the upcoming Arena tour will be just as enjoyable!!!!

Review written by: Chris Mosqueda ( Review posted on: 08/11/01 08:10:24 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

This show was the most important event in my life to date. I know it might make my life sound really boring but it's not. This was just an unbelievable show. I could only imagine what TOOL would be like in concert and let me tell you. They are as great as you think. The songs are all around you. The crowd singing along and every so often yelling out "Maynard" and other words. TOOL FREAKING ROCKS!! THIS SHOW TOUCHED ME IN A WAY MUSIC HAS NEVER BEFORE. I THOUGHT THIS NEW CD WAS SPECIAL BUT LIVE THE SONGS BECOME THAT MUCH MORE ALIVE. TOOL IS THE BEST SO DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND GO SEE THEM, BY ANY MEANS NESCESSARY...

Review written by: Jammy Jam ( Review posted on: 08/11/01 08:11:06 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

what can I say about this show except WOW, this show tonight was awesome, I got their around 8 and managed to see how good King Crimson is and I might check them out soon. anyways, here's what I can remember from the setlist. The Grudge Stinkfist Undertow Prison Sex Pushit (Album Version) Schism Band Takes 10-15 minute break Sober Dispostion Reflection Parabol Parabola Ĉnema Lateralus ....and maybe some more, I don't remember.

Review written by: trevorstuart ( Review posted on: 08/11/01 09:11:31 ET

This was this reviewer's 11th Tool show

Just got back from berkeley night one. Wel here it is: 1 The grudge 2 Stinkfist(with new breakdown and new singing during the "feel this feel "this part) 3 Undertow(stoked they played this, Maynard did a longer scream at the end) Maynard says "thank you very much" to the crowd 4 Prison sex(with breakdown) Maynard says "its been a while ,seems like there are less hippies now, thats good" to the crowd 5 Schism(Maynard played guitar and sang) Interlude(Adam,Justin and Danny free jammed with feedback) 6 Pushit(original version with a slightly extended build up coming out of the break down also Adam plays the new Pushit intro over the break down bass delay part) 7 Disposition(Maynard with guitar) 8 Reflection(Maynard with guitar) Intermission(Salival man on the screens with Crimson-esqe music, Justin had some techniqle difficulties and Maynard whispered under the music softly while they were fixed) 9 Sober Maynard says "after hearing King Crimson now you guys know who we have been ripping off all this time, them and Metallica.....esspeicially Metallica" to the crowd 10 Parabol/a Maynard gives the do something positive inspired by this experience speech and "how many many of your smiling faces are gonna be here tommorrow night" 11 Aenema 12 Lateralus THIS SHOW WAS INSANE!! Tool never dissapoints me, every time I see them its a different experience, this time was one of the best. Stinkfist was essepecially good as well as Pushit. The band has reall tighetened up since I saw them in Chicago and Detriot in May. Can't wait for tommorrow and Monday and Tuesday and Wenesday. Anyone who likes music needs to see this band. See you at the shows.

Review written by: Bernadette ( Review posted on: 08/11/01 09:21:36 ET

This was this reviewer's 2nd Tool show

I have a slightly different orientation toward this band. I note that there are very few people of color at the Tool shows I've been to, and I am a forty-year-old black woman with a nuclear family and a job in the computer industry. My introduction to the band was a synchronic accident! Well, I'm sprung on them now! Other people have posted the setlist, so I don't have to. There were a couple of vocal "bobbles", most notably on 'Schism' (Maynard, see if you can find a way to hear yourself better so you can find your note), but the music was incredibly tight (Danny, you are a drumming god!). Let me just say that I know something special is happening when I feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and that happened for me tonight at least three times. Thanks, Tool, for your progression as a band and your willingness to expose yourselves for your art. I am really looking forward to tomorrows' show...

Review written by: amir ( Review posted on: 08/11/01 09:54:07 ET

This was this reviewer's Tool show

Paul is a bastard, he's the one who walks around with a sweatshirt and his hood on and bosses fuckers around, but the show was great, the setlist was i dont give a fuck, all i can say is that maynard picked up a guitar, and justin sang back up vocals, it was incredible, i was sitting right next to the projector, camella was about 5 feet away from me hte whole show, all i can say is that when maynard picks up a guitar and their english bassist does back up vocals, it's incredible, my friend thought she was on the guest list, but she wasn't, anyway, we suckered the tour manager into giving us some free tickets,, they gave us back stage passes, adn at the end of the show, we went back there, and we got to meet maynard, but htey didn'te ven let us go backstage, that kind of sucked but anywa, it was a bad ass show, for now, L8

Review written by: Michael G. ( Review posted on: 08/11/01 10:03:15 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st Tool show

What a show. Me and a friend showed up in Berkeley around 2pm, got to the venue about 3-3:30. Met some great people(not great with names, the guywho saw Phish on NYE, the guy we talked to all afternoon with the spiked collar, and the guy who runs Sitting outside, we got to here alot of the soundcheck: Undertow, Stinkfist, The Grudge. When I got in, seperate from my friend, he had an aftershow pass, he was grateful to the guy with the website mentioned above(To be discussed later). Crimson put on a good set, although I was familiar enough with the music to get to into. After the intermission, the lights dimemd and the Grudge began. I won't bore you with another setlist, Trevor Stuart's was the only correct one. I will give high points: Stinkfist with added lyrics and more near the end. Undertow, which suprised me even though I heard the sound check. After Undertow, I was sure that was going to be it for early stuff(except for sober and maybe opiate), made some crack that there was no chance we'd here Prison Sex, or the OTRM part, and then it kicks in. Watching Danny on Schism. Pushit with extra, which is the one song that I needed to hear, and Maynard hit the last note just like on Salival. Parabol/a rocked the house, as did Aenima. Lateralus also rocked, and Maynard dance like crazy. I was a little dissapointed when Sober got the biggest applause of the night, it's a good song, but c'mon, it shows what a true fan you're not when the biggest cheer of the night is for the biggest single of the night, when there were so many better moments. It still sounded great, though. Anyways, my friend got backstage afterwards, and I had to hear about it all the way home. Maynard walked up to him, asked him how he was doing, and they bullshit awhile. And M introduce Brena to the group, making an APC joke. Anyways, I'm sure he'll post about it, and I need to get some sleep, it's 3am. Great show, great venue, damn, I can't wait for the arena tour. Mike

Review written by: Kevin ( Review posted on: 08/11/01 17:33:11 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st Tool show

So, as mookie mentioned before, I did meet maynard, which was the high point of my evening.... the guy who gave me the pass is my hero. but anyway..... the show kicked dick...definitely intense during lateralus, but even more so was pushit...seeing that, with all the strange video stuff that they played during the song made my night. When the band kicked into prison sex, it was quite a surprise, being that we had just seen undertow....which was a surprise in itself. I'll end it there, but my good friend mike forgot to mention another high point in the day....walking right by justin, who was sitting on the curb chatting with some people, and us not sure if it really was him or not untill after he had left....then we realized that we were standing about 5 feet away from justin.....that was badass.

Review written by: Adam A ( Review posted on: 08/11/01 17:43:12 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

Wow this was one of the best live shows I have ever seen. The venue in Berkeley was really nice and small. The lighting was excellent and the sound was incredible. Maynard mentioned how there were a lot less hippies compared to last time they were there and "thats a good thing." Tool performed excellent verisons of 3rd eye, Push it and Aenema. The played a lot of songs from the new album including the Grudge which they opened with and Lateralus the closed with. Maynard closed the show with asking everyone to take something from this show and do something positive. The show was awesome and I will see them again when the arena tour comes in.

Review written by: Greg G Greg ( Review posted on: 08/11/01 19:41:48 ET

This was this reviewer's 3rd Tool show

A previous reviewer posted the things that Maynard said during the show. He said that Maynard had said, "King Crimson is who we have been ripping off all these years. And Metallica, especially Metallica." That's not what I heard. This is what I heard: "If you guys showed up early then you already know that King Crimson is who we have been ripping off all these years. Don't tell anyone. Especially them." Didn't hear any reference to "Metallica" at all.... just trying to clear that up. Anyway, the show rocked as always and the venue was great. Not sure I will be going to the arena tour because I am sure it can't compare to the intimate setting of this show. We shall see.

Review written by: biff ( Review posted on: 08/11/01 20:02:39 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

Sorry about this, but to the people who are selling recordings on reviews and the people who are commenting on said people selling reviews: I think mjk could tell you all where to send your money.

Review written by: nippular (youmama@bitemyass.butt) Review posted on: 08/11/01 20:45:46 ET

This was this reviewer's 3rd Tool show

very interesting. i love tool, you loves tool, everyone loves tool, so i guess i don't need to go into all of that. very interesting show though, more low key, almost low energy. very strange to actually have SEATS. i mean, hamlet was probably shown on that stage at some point. pretty interesting little venue though. lights projecting from the stage were beautiful. king crimson played a really good set. i actually thought that they wouldn't be well received, because they can be a tricky beast at times. but they played their asses off, and got a standing ovation when they closed with RED (i think their best album). so the set was good. it's strange because i still haven't quite adjusted to the new album. i have all of these strong memories to attatch to all of the older songs, and nothing to hold on to when i listen to lateralus, so it almost seemed as though half the set was another band. however, all i really needed to do to bring my attention to it was pay attention to the drumming and something new would come out. danny is an absolute master of his craft, and seeing him play drums live is an amazing experience. details: i don't think maynard was actually playing guitar. it was hard to tell, because there was no light on him when he played whatever it was. i'm pretty sure it was some version of a synth, because i never really heard two guitar parts. there were parts when he was involved and i did hear a synth though. the neck was way too small for it to be a guitar anyway. then again i was in the back of the orchestra and i was stoned, so it's a bit difficult to say. during stinkfist, maynard started singing that one eighties anti-drug song "WHITE LINES" (running through my mind). it actually really worked for the extended version. robert fripp played a "soundscape" during their psydo intermission. kind of interesting, kind of boring. kind of weird. want to go again tonight. too expensive though.

Review written by: Hal ( Review posted on: 08/11/01 22:02:52 ET

This was this reviewer's 8th Tool show

Wow. Even after 8 years of Tool shows it's still a spiritual, euphoric, mind bending experience. Only negative aspect was the horrible mix. Adam's guitar drowned out everything else. Maynard's vocals weren't loud enough and Justin's bass was almost nonexistant. During the first few songs the drum mics didn't seem to work and after the lengthy intermission Justin tried playing the intro to "Sober" but his wireless system went out. The only reason I probably notice these things is my experience as a stage hand and working a sound board. Regardless, it was awesome. The visuals were amazing and further enhanced the perfection of the Tool experience. Tool provides something that is a rarity in my life. Happiness and pure unadulterated bliss. I can't thank them enough.

Review written by: david piekarski (no Review posted on: 08/11/01 22:44:03 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

Hey you! Read reviews already posted for your show to see if somebody already posted the setlist. If nobody has, you ought to. The less duplicated info, the easier it is for everyone to read these. Especially your mom.

Review written by: Cory ( Review posted on: 08/11/01 23:35:04 ET

This was this reviewer's 4th Tool show

Absolutely blown away! That was the best show I've seen yet. Even my wife was impressed. I don't want this to come across as gay or anything, but when a person can get goosebumps from a concert, it just goes to show the level of depth and the intensity that the band is performing at. This may be often said but still true, TOOL has a way of making you feel the meaning of the music and not just hear it. What else can I say.....They left me speechless. Oh, by the way TOOL fans, there is more than just Lateralus and AEnima. It drives me nuts when someone can rock to songs from those albums but as soon as anything from Undertow or Opiate comes up, they are clueless. Expand your knowledge of TOOL to totally appreciate the live experience

Review written by: dave ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 00:42:51 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st Tool show

everything about the show has aready been told, so i will just share a moment with you. during the end of parabola, when the flower of life was spinning around in the hand, for about 5 seconds i experienced an emotion that i have never felt before. i dont know how to explain it other than that it has changed my life and i have such a more postitive outlook on things than i did before. thank you tool.

Review written by: Catacombs ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 01:35:33 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

I was in the second row; holy shit. This was the best show i have ever seen oh my god. They played a lot of and a lot of new stuff with some added parts to songs like prison sex and stinkfist. Aenema was damn cool. The last song lateralus was the best I thought; Danny Carey went nuts. I am still psyched i saw bins that said D. Carey Tool on them; I liked his bronze drumset. very nice. i am pretty sure i was sitting behind Blair; the guy from only because he looked old, didn't act to interested, sat down a lot (there were like press box seats so we had to stand cause they did), and he acted like he had been to many a tool shows. He thought reflection of the best; and stood up for that. there was also some hippy guy that reminded me of dennis hopper in easy rider, everybody seemed to know him and thought he ruled. maybe he was frank zappa or something. oh my god; tool is great.

Review written by: Blindreepr ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 04:15:02 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st Tool show

This was the most awesome experience that I have ever had. I will probably be totally calloused to any other concert I ever go see. I got there about an hour early, hung out in line. I was amazed at the diversity of Tool fans. I was expecting to see a bunch of doomcookies. King Crimson was awesome, that guy playing the bass notes, was incredible, i couldnt figure out if he was playing a 12 string, 6 string, bass guitar or what, it looked hecka funky. Some jerk yelled "play more metallica" and he was promptly put in his place by most people that heard. Then Tool came on, the entire place exploded. With most of the people singing along on Parabol and Aenema, it sounded kinda cool and kinda cultish. I really liked the whole Screen in back of maynard thing. You cant really see him and all you see is a shadow outline, but it looks pretty cool. I was trying to figure out what kinda guitar that was. I looked like a Headless B.C. Rich Bich kinda. Whole lotta pot there. It was awesome to say the least

Review written by: d0wner ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 05:28:36 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st Tool show

This was my first TOOL show, and for some reason, I wasn't that excited about it. I've been to a lot of shows and I kinda thought I had seen it all. Well, I was wrong; I shat myself and I'm still in the process of cleaning it up. The setlist for this show has already been posted, so I just thought I'd clear up what mjk said, since someone already posted much of it incorrectly. I'm pretty sure what I heard is right, cuz I wasn't that fucked up. All the placement of where they were said are as in trevorstuart's review. "It's been a while." (crowd goes ape shit for two minutes) "There are a lot less...there are a lot less hippies than last time. That's very encouraging." "Robert Fripp creating the soundscape. As those of you who showed up early already found out, King Crimson are pretty much who we've ripped off over the years. Don't tell anyone. Especially them." That last part I'm sure of - Maynard did not say that they ripped off Metallica. And then the postive experience thing which I guess everyone already knows.

Review written by: Mike ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 19:14:06 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

Holy Shit!!! Nothing in this world could have prepaired me for what I witnessed friday night. It was incredable. The Set list was: the Grudge (-) Ions Stinkfist Undertow (OH FUCK YEAH) Prisonsex Schism Pushit (Studio version) Intermission (No Schism Video) Sober Parabol Parabola AEnemia Maynard's Posative Experiance Speach Lateralus When Maynard gave the speech, the way the crowd responded was just awesome. Never have I left a concert feeling almost spiritualy enlightened. Another thing was that when me and my friends arived at your hotel, we saw a large bus out in the parking lot. So my friend went to check it out and it was Tool's bus!!!! Tool was in the same hotel as we were. unfortunatly we didn't get a chance to met the gods themselves, but we did manage to get their bus driver to at least say that he would give them a note we wrote to them. Anyways thank you Maynard, Adam, Danny, and Justin for all the inspiration, and the awesome show.

Review written by: aaron ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 21:25:09 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

i saw the first show at berkeley, this is my first time seeing tool live, though ive been a fan since 93. i wish i could have gone to more of there concerts but they last time they were touring i was a broke ass high schooler and really wasnt going to concerts. this is by far the best concert ive been to in the last 4 years. visuals were great. everything went smoothly but justins bass amp fried then his cords went out right in the beginning of sober but the band played on as the techs were srambing to fix it. setlist from my herbally damaged memory was (in no particular order) grudge,prison sex(with some extra versus), sober , eon blue, push it (aenima version, however they did play the salival version the next night), eulogy, stinkfist, schism, reflection, parabol,parabola, lateralus, disposition from what i rember they played for nearly two hours with a ten min intermission. also, king crimson played very well considering its been a while for them. i was glad to see tool fans being professional and cheerin king crimson on, they closed out with a greatlive version of red nightmare. tool on the other hand played excellently, danny carey fuckin went off all night, he was playin so hard you could see the look of pain on his face as the concert went on. maynard wore what looked like a old tan clothe monochromatic prison suit, or like what houdini used to wear. he had a huge black stripethat went from the back of his neck to his chin righ over his eyes nose and still tring to figure out what the hell he was holdin a guitar of sorts the same one he brougt out at a perfect circle show, but at that show he said he didnt want to play it cause hed look stupid in front of his great guitarists. as i was watching through my binoculars his fingers never moved on the fret board so i dont know if he actually played this time from the best of my knowledge he didnt. justin and adam took the normal position standing with there heads down. they fuckin nailed the material all night. i cant wait for the arena tour so i can fight my way to the front of the stage, seating was cool though cause everybody just sat back and enjoyed. it was very strange that it was at a high school but the theater was a perfect size, even maynardsaid welcome back to school.... all and all great show...what the fuck you expect....

Review written by: Matt ( Review posted on: 08/13/01 01:46:38 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

Tickets: Orch Row A Seat 59 View: Spectacular Show: Great. What more need be said.

Review written by: Sterling ( Review posted on: 08/13/01 17:16:25 ET

This was this reviewer's 5 Tool show

HI We all know that Tool puts on the best shows. Maynard singing from the back. it was a powerful experence. During this show Maynard sang a few lines from the song WhiteLines from Grandmaster Flash. This was a two thumbs up show.

Review written by: Cameron ( Review posted on: 08/13/01 18:40:55 ET

This was this reviewer's 9th Tool show

It's been a couple of days since the show, so if you've made it down this far to my review, kudos to you for being that interested in the opinions of one show. I won't waste your time with the already-posted details. Here's what I thought: There really is nothing quite like a Tool show. Nothing at all. I haven't seen them since the last show on their '98 tour in San Jose (well, I guess few people have), but three years is a long time, and it was so energizing to get reacquainted with their live sound. I've been going to see these guys every chance I get for the last seven-plus years, and every time I walk out, I am reaffirmed that I've just seen the greatest live act of our time. There's so much to take in that your senses are overwhelmed. You can space out on the visuals or just focus on the invisible-but-ever-present chemistry taking place on stage. As good as the visuals are, watching the band is more satisfying, which is why I think my favorite shows of theirs are the ones that are not as heavy on the visuals, because there's less to distract you from the real show going on in front of you. Not that this wasn't an excellent show, both visually and sonically. Chalk up another triumph for Tool, no doubt about it. No other band can send shivers up my spine like Tool has, and always will. And yet, there's a somber note to all of this, because I know it's unlikely that I'll ever see them in a venue this small again, and I missed the intimacy that I'd experienced in similar venues, notably The Warfield in San Francisco back in '96 (the second show, mind you), which was easily the most explosive live experience I'd ever had. That night, my spot was perfect: level with the stage, dead center, staring out across the pit, completely unobstructed view and probably less than fifty feet away, almost eye-to-eye with the inimitable Mr. Keenan, with no video backdrop of any kind (until midway through the show). Just the band, tighter than I'd ever seen them before, or have since. I miss that electricity, and I'm kind of resigned to the fact that what I saw that night was something very special that will most likely not be repeated for me. I should be thankful and realize that I'm spoiled for having seen it at all, and for having seen them as many times as I have, and being far- beyond-satisfied every single time. Again, that's not to say that this show was anything less than brilliant, and I'm envious of everybody who attended that had never seen them before, especially a girl who was with us who walked out with that starry-eyed, shocked and speechless glow, that I have seen and felt so many times before. If you have never seen them, drop everything at the first chance, including serious cash, if necessary, and make the effort. You will not be disappointed, even if it is at the Enormodome or whatever venue, large or small, they happen to play. I'll be there in November, when they come around and play the Oakland Arena, or the Cow Palace, or whatever big, echoing place they decide to bless with their presence, and if you've never seen them before, I'll look for you there, and when we all walk out, I'll know you when I see you, and once again I'll envy what you're feeling...but not too much, because I'll still be feeling it, too. That's something I can never let go of, and if they never played again, I'd still have it for as long as I breathe, and if any band can give that to you, you owe them a debt of gratitude forever. - C. Keith P.S. - Not to betray Tool, or anything, but another live act that comes pretty close (and yet, so far) to this kind of experience is - you guessed it - A Perfect Circle. I can live with missing most bands when they come through town, but when it comes to missing either of these two bands, I have failed as a fan (not just of the bands, but of great music in general). Few things in life do I regret more than missing (only on a couple of rare occasions) either of these bands. Do yourself a favor -- don't make that same mistake.

Review written by: Omar ( Review posted on: 08/13/01 21:32:00 ET

This was this reviewer's 2nd Tool show

Back in May, I was lucky enough to see one of Toolıs 4 shows---in New York City, on May 20. It was amazing, to say the least. It was an unparalleled experience. From the 13-hour wait on 34th street for tickets to the 9-hour wait the day of the show for a good spot inside (I ended up against the barricade right up front), the experience for me was much more than just a concert. That 2-hour set in the Hammerstein Ballroom was the culmination of my entire musical life up thus far. The next day, I packed my bags and left home for the summer; I got on a plane and flew out to the east bay San Francisco area to begin my summer internship at a small start-up company in San Jose. I filled my cubicle with Tool memorabilia, from Lateralus lyrics to pictures of the band and so on. I spent all of my free time at toolshed or toolband, and when I heard the news that Tool would be playing the west coast in august, I almost creamed with excitement. When I found out that Berkeley would be one of the stops, my anticipation only grew. The one stumbling block on my path back to Tool was the fact that I was going to be away when tickets went on sale. I had planned on camping out in Berkeley as I had done in New York, but that just wasnıt possible anymore. I tried calling Ticketmaster about 12 times from a payphone where I was when the tickets went on sale, but then I ran out of quarters. As that last quarter went into the pay phone, and that message came up again ³All circuits are busy. Please try your call again later² my heart sank in despair. The thought that Tool would be so close, doing a show, and I wouldnıt be there. . . I was totally bummed out. For the next couple of weeks I spent a lot of time on eBay, checking out prices for tickets. I sure as hell was not about to pay $400 or $500 for a pair of seats. So as time went on, my hope of finding a good deal on eBay (I should have known better) faded. I realized that I would have to take my chances the day of the show. Sure enough, that day came. I had been so busy that week that Tool was still a far-off thing in my mind; the concert was not something pressing or immediate. I left work at 4:15, popped Lateralus into my car CD player, and got onto the 880-N from San Jose. Traffic was bad, and I knew it would take me a while to get there. However, my determination and resolve just seemed to grow and increase as I drove on the highway. I had left work behind, I was on my way to the show, and there was only the minor detail of a ticket standing between Tool and me. The music blasting through the speakers filled my head, every note, every beat, and every word which had become a part of me this summer. . . . I felt united with the music, one with the rhythm. ³Feel the rhythm, feel connected, enough to step aside and weep like a widow. To feel inspired, fathom the power, witness the beauty, to bathe in the fountain. . .² Driving that car on the freeway, I felt those words like I never had before. I didnıt even notice, but I was moving with the music. My head was swaying from side to side, I was singing along, my hands drum-tapping on the steering wheel. Back and forth, side to side, moving myself in that driverıs seat. I know that people around me were looking at me strangely, some guy dressed in black driving a Honda on the 880 freeway during rush hour, so involved in the music that the road was only an afterthought. I could have stayed like that forever. As I got closer and closer to Berkeley, I began to get worried. I noticed that it was getting late‹it took me an hour and a half to get from San Jose to Berkeley, only 40 miles‹and I was worried that I wouldnıt get tickets. I parked my car in a garage and walked to the Community Theater. I began asking around for tickets. . . but nobody had any. It seemed as if nobody was selling tickets. After about half an hour of walking, I had found one or two guys selling balcony tickets for $100 or $150, but I wasnıt about to go see Tool from the balcony, and I wasnıt about to pay $100. I met this one dude, like some sort of crazy hippie with long dirty hair, dressed in a psychedelic tie-dyed tee shirt and overalls. I asked if he had tickets. ³Oh, dude, like, I got a ticket. One fifty. You, like, show me the money and Iıll, like, get you a ticket, manŠ..² It was tempting. . . he had an orchestra ticket, even though it was near the back and way off to the side. But I decided to press my luck and keep looking. Some professional scalper‹very easy to recognize, since he looked nothing like anyone else at the show‹was also selling for $150, but I decided to pass and move on. One of the guys I had talked to earlier, some kid who was also looking for tickets, was standing around. I walked up to him and asked if he had found anything. He told me that he had a girl waiting on line at the will-call window, hoping that some tickets might become available. He was selling some Œshrooms (henceforth he will be referred to as ³Shroomy²), from Humbolt County, and he told me that if I helped him out in finding some buyers he would let me get on line with him and his girl. Shroomy needed to sell the Œshrooms fast because he didnıt have any money and he needed to pay for his ticket, if he were to get it. I pointed him out to one dude who had asked me before if I was selling‹the deal went through, Shroomy got $25, and I got a spot in line. He was still running around trying to sell one more batch so he could have enough money for a ticket before the last batch went on sale. I told him that I could spot him the money for a ticket, so he could take his time trying to find a buyer, and if he didnıt find one then he could just give me the Œshrooms as collateral. So here I was, standing on line with this girl, shaking with anticipation. We were pretty close to the front of the will-call line. She had never seen Tool before, so she was desperate to get inside. There were some guys behind me from Philadelphia who came out west just to see Tool---no tickets, nothing. They were planning on just finding a way into both Berkeley shows, both LA shows, and the San Diego show. Now, thatıs determination. I wish them all the luck. When the window opened, word spread fast that there were about 15 or 20 tickets back there. The line started moving, but all of a sudden, after a couple of people, the window closed. My eyes opened wide in shock, ³What the fuck?² It was like a door slamming shut in my face. It was not a good sign, but when I heard that the guy behind the counter had just gone back to get singles as change, I perked up a little. Sure enough, the window opened again a couple of minutes later and the line started moving again. Shroomy came back just before we were at the window. He said that he was talking to one of the security guards, who would get a few people in for $10 or $20 each. The girl he was with got out of line and I gave him back his $25, but I decided to stay on line and not risk it. I wasnıt about to miss Tool because some tip didnıt pan out. I did manage to get a ticket, at face value too. I got the last ticket, at that. Holding that ticket in my hand, I was so happy that I just wanted to yell and jump around and cry, but I didnıt. I just looked at the ticket, smiled, and got in line to get in the show. I felt bad that the Philly guys didnıt get tickets, but it didnıt bring me down. I was on a natural high. My ticket said, Orchestra Pit, row UU seat 25. I figured that was probably the last row all the way in the back of the orchestra section, but I didnıt really care. I saw Shroomy when I was online, sitting near a side door with the girl he was with, and I held up my ticket like some sort of bounty. ³You got the ticket?² he asked. I smiled and nodded. He looked at that side door, and I knew that he was going to find a way in. I waited on line with some other guy who had never seen Tool before, and I just couldnıt stop talking about how excited I was. I got past security, and I was inside the Berkeley Community Theater. I breathed a sigh of relief and walked over to the merchandise stand. I bought a Tool/King Crimson tee shirt and walked to the orchestra section. I was standing all the way in the back, looking for my seat. I was pretty far away, but I didnıt care. One of the ladies who worked there took my ticket to help me find my seat, then she looked at me and said ³Youıre all the way up in the front.² That totally took me by surprise. My eyes widened, but all I did was take the ticket and start walking down. I wondered, where would my seat be? Shouldnıt UU be in the back, behind all the other double-lettered seats? Someone else took my ticket and pointed me all the way to the front. Then I saw it, right in front of the stage, the Orchestra Pit. Three rows of chairs had been set up, so close to the stage, right in front. I was sitting in front of the orchestra section; I had a better seat than all of those people bidding $500 on eBay for row L or row V. I was in front of row A, for crying out loud!! I took my seat and just sat there in awe, a huge grin on my face. That had totally made my day; it had made my whole summer, actually!! The guy sitting behind me was in a wheelchair; he was a really cool guy so I talked to him for a while. I told him my story and he knew how lucky I was. ³You must be floating right now,² he said. He was right. I was so happy, I was floating. As opposed to NY, where I had waited on line for like 20 hours and slept on the street to get a ticket, here I just showed up an hour before hand, paid face value, and got one of the best seats in the house. I knew exactly how lucky I was. I also noticed that another guy sitting behind me looked strangely familiar to Adam Jones. I had heard that Adamıs brother was at some of the recent shows, and this guy looked EXACTLY like Adam, and he was sitting in a spot where he would get a perfect view of the master guitarist. He was by himself and he was quiet. I didnıt know for sure if he was Adam Jonesıs brother, and I didnıt ask. I did try saying whatsup, but he just sorta nodded and kept to himself. Ah well. I also noticed the guys from Philly sitting in row B. I walked back there, and they saw me. ³You got in?² they asked. I smiled. I asked if they got tickets and how much they paid, and they told me that they got in for free. Supposedly the promoter had walked around after mostly everybody had gone inside, quizzing people. These guys answered his question correctly and got in. Supposedly it was a piece-of- cake question, like ³Whatıs track #9 on the new CD?² or something like that. The lights went down and I went to my seat. King Crimson came onstage and I sat and watched in awe. Robert Fripp and co. totally delivered. And, man, their bassist is sick! He was amazing; I donıt even know how many strings his bass had. It was the coolest-looking thing I had ever seen. I donıt know how long their set was, but the next thing I knew, they were off stage and the stage was being set up for Tool. Dannyıs drums were covered in some sort of sheet and when it was taken off, I just looked at it in shock. This was the new drumset that I had read about in the Tool newsletter, made from melted-down cymbals (supposedly). It shone in its beauty. I walked over to get a better look and just spent about ten minutes staring at the thing. I went back to my seat, the lights went down, and a large screen descended from on top of the stage. The eye-ring and flame from Lateralus appeared, just as they had at the New York show, and soon enough the four men walked on stage. Just like that, they kicked into the Grudge, and everybody went wild. Maynard looked different‹no more Blade-Runner leather gear. He was wearing some sort of weird outfit; I think someone described it as a Houdini outfit or something. At first I thought he had re-grown his Mohawk and then I saw that it was black paint extending from the back of his head all the way up over his head and face and to his chin. It was a very cool new look. He looked kinda like some sort of comic-book superhero with that black stripe running down his face. I donıt know how long the show lasted. It could have lasted all night and I wouldnıt have noticed. I was immersed in the moment, in the music, in the feeling of connectedness that Lateralis mentions. Everybody was on top of his game; the music was flawless. The set list has already been mentioned so Iım not going to re-state it. I went crazy when I heard the first note of Undertow. The extended version of Stinkfist and the extra verse in Prison Sex totally made my night. As in the car, by habit, I started moving. Itıs impossible for me to listen to Tool and keep still, like most of the people around me. I might have been the only one moving. I rocked back and forth, moved from side to side, sang along, and just danced for the entire show. I had no self- consciousness; I didnıt care about anything. I just moved and moved and didnıt stop. The show hit me like a drug; I felt higher during that show than on any chemical-altered night of my life, even though I was totally and completely sober. Later, after the concert, I would wonder why nobody else was as into the music as I was, but at the time I didnıt notice anything. Although Maynard carried a guitar for some songs, I donıt think he actually played anything. I watched his fingers and I didnıt see too much movement. He just sort of stood there, holding his guitar. Aside from that, he was totally on top of everything, singing and yelling, and moving the way he always does. When the Houdini outfit came off, he really started moving. One funny/touching moment of the evening occurred when there was some sort of problem with Justinıs equipment. The music kept on going, but Justinıs bass just wasnıt working. During the next between-song break, Adam went over and gave him a hug. The music was flawless, as I already said. Danny played as magnificently as I have ever seen him before. I noticed some new graphics, during Parabola for example. I also noticed some improvising during Aenema; Iım not sure, but I think I remember hearing ³Fret for your Mohawk² in there somewhere. Maynard said that Oath before Lateralis, and the crowdıs response was truly amazing. I really hope that people actually go and do something positive. The four men huddled around Dannyıs drum-set during the beginning of Lateralis, which was interesting. The song kicked in, and I knew that it would be the last song of the evening, so I danced harder and faster than I ever had before. The last note of the song hit, and I let out a deep breath. The lights went up, and the show was over. It was an hour-and-a-half that passed as quick as a minute. I had savored every second of that show. I felt like the luckiest man alive. And that was it. Thatıs my review; that was my concert experience. See you at the arena tour.

Review written by: Thomas ( Review posted on: 08/14/01 01:05:21 ET

This was this reviewer's 5 Tool show

Having been to several Tool shows i the past, I was eagerly anticipating seeing Tool both nights here in Berkeley. Seeing them in stadiums and arenas is one thing, but it is absolutely different seeing them in a small venue that seats around 2500 people. This show absolutely rocked as they were trying out some new things and toying around with different versions of their songs. Of course since most already knwo the setlists, I will say that the first night offered some definite treats, particularly Aenima and Prison Sex. The new material is amazing live and the older stuff sounded crisp and solid. It was also nice to see King Crimson as Maynard made references to how the band had basically stolen their music and "borrowed: from King Crimson. As for the visuals, all I can really say is that they are extremely disturbing adn graphic, Without giving too much away, the visuals lend a lot to Adam's visionary style and sense. The sound was loud and good, and the crowd was definitely into the show big time. I was really looking forward to the next night as well, as I had been hearing that they were mixing things up for each show. Overall, an amazing Tool experience that was only eclipsed by the following night.

Review written by: your mum (yourmum@likeadog) Review posted on: 08/14/01 08:53:53 ET

This was this reviewer's 97th Tool show

i thought it was cher

Review written by: $teve ( Review posted on: 08/14/01 10:05:32 ET

This was this reviewer's 5 Tool show

Ok Ireckon this is how Its F****n done boys. It doesnt get any better than that. I've been a TOOL fan since day one, and a rather big understudy of the bands direction in theme. I do know the guitar was real.Im acually a musician my self, and I dont doubt at all that Maynard was playing it. Through the time Ive spent picking the album apart Ive from time to time wondered about the agressive doubing on the guitar, and if Maynard might concievably have to play live. And low and behold he played one. the show was great, as allways. the playlist couldnt have been any better. well accually they didnt play one of my favorate songs "TICKS AND LEECHES" or " THE PATIENT " but I think neither one of those songs were in order since they both were songs of not only conflict of intrest but kind of directed at us in a metephoric scence. Its a sad thought but even in the deepest moments of the show I understood "THE PATIENT" and now understand why Im glad they didnt play it. some things are better mentioned but left alone. Hell "TICKS AND LEECHES" aint for us either youd probably hear that at a reunion concert thrown by TOOL for all the shady characters in "AEnima" you know the ones. well thats my review on the songs they didnt play of the new. I really wish they would have played "Maynardsdick'' but oh well .

Review written by: Jennyfer ( Review posted on: 08/14/01 14:15:18 ET

This was this reviewer's 3rd Tool show

Well......What can I say , this was by far the best and most memoriable show that I have ever seen. I saw them back in Lallapalooza 97 and then a few years ago in Sacramento. The set was perfect (from left to right Adam Jones, Maynard, Danny and Justin. I was the 7th row back and saw these god-like musicans perform. I would have to say that being able to see Adam and Justin fingers move along the strings, Danny palying with his eyes close and then to see Maynard's lips move and to see him ply the gutia. That was an incredible site to see. Then Way that this badn can make then fans feel is amazing, I just had this overwhelming happy and excited feeling all over, for the entire concert and for many days after. Tool are the most amazing musicans around and they make the crowd feel the same way. I didnt want it to end and I cant wait to see them again. I am very honerd and grateful that the men of TOOL share their wonderful gift with the world.

Review written by: Justin Pitta ( Review posted on: 08/14/01 14:52:57 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st Tool show

Well... All I can say is this... That was hands down a show I will never forget... The energy and emotion is untouchable by words... If you can explain it in written text, you didn't enjoy the show half as much as I did... -Pitta

Review written by: Ryan Alldrin ( Review posted on: 08/14/01 21:06:28 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show


Review written by: Jeremy Hall ( Review posted on: 08/15/01 19:39:14 ET

This was this reviewer's 2nd Tool show

The venue (Berkeley Community Theatre) wasn't too bad, though I think it fell short for me because I attended the NY show in May at the Hammerstein Ballroom (at which I met Kabir; Hi Kabir). As a result, this show didn't have nearly the same mystical quality that the NY show did. However, the music itself seemed much more grounded and personal. King Crimson's opening was absolutely incredible. They played pieces off of "Red" and "Discipline" and all et all they performed wonderfully. It was an almost entirely instrumental set that left me in a nearly hypnagogic state. Tool obviously opened with "The Grudge" and then continued on into the most wonderful rendition of "Stinkfist" that I've ever heard. In the interlude, Mr. Keenan was singing/whispering "Words are running through my mind." The band maintained the same statuesque composure that they did during the NY show and called the audience's attention, yet again, to the images displayed on the screen behind them. For me, the "bright and blue and shimmering" turn in the show occurred during "Disposition"/"Reflection". The images on the screen made subtle reference to Plato's Allegory of the Cave, and to the ever-present, cyclical triad of life; past, present, and future...birth, life, and death. There was an intermission during which the Salival Adam Kadmon-type figure rotated on the screen while Robert Fripp played his guitar. To conclude my review, I will simply say that this was, without a doubt, the most positive show I have ever seen. I came away feeling a happiness and a joy and a fulfillment that I have never felt after seeing a concert. It was absolutely magnified by Jimmy's final statement: "Take an experience away from this...and in the coming weeks create something positive with it." The band then concluded the performance with the spiritually uplifitng, sefirot-spinning melody of "Lateralus". I smiled and danced along.

Review written by: dabel ( Review posted on: 08/15/01 19:48:38 ET

This was this reviewer's 3st Tool show

well, after refusing to pay $300 per in NYC for the preseminal and being refused to enter Canada for possesion, I finally flew my ass accross this lovely country to visit my relatives. and to catch TOOL!!!!! OK, now the venue was a high school auditorium/ how cool is that... no alcohol served, outdoor balconies for smokers, and King Crimson opening the with songs from their f'n good was Josh Freeze???? real good.... mister Fripp in the black light living a legend I almost shat my pants in row 'D'. All I have to say about the croud is that everyone was in real good spirits. Coming from NY where most people are meat heads and boring, the Berkeley croud was alive and positive, one of the best crouds I've ever been included in. When Tool took their respective stances on stage a moment before The Grudge, a moment of clarity hit me square in the face... This is it... This is what I've been waiting for and trying to do for the past three months............................... and now they're here in front of me to play for me this is what it's all about.............................................................................. ...................................................................................... ...................................................................................... ......

Review written by: Gabe ( Review posted on: 08/15/01 21:02:56 ET

This was this reviewer's 5th Tool show

I was sitting in the Pit, Row TT, seat 2. It does not get much better than the 2nd row, right on the aisle. Since there are so many reviews already written, I'll keep mine short. I'm not sure if it was my location or the sound system, but I couldn't really hear Maynard's voice. If I didn't know the lyrics to the songs, I wouldn't have understood a single word. They needed to amplify his voice a lot more. On the other hand, Adam, Danny, and Justin all sounded amazing. Even though I was basically in front of Justin, most of my attention was directed to Adam. His guitar playing was just amazing. Every note he played was crisp and powerful. At times though it seemd to drown every one else out, except Danny. Ever since I saw Tool at the Warfield, I've followed their music with fervor. Despite some of the small sound difficulties, this is one of the best shows I have attended.

Review written by: Thomas ( Review posted on: 08/15/01 21:31:24 ET

This was this reviewer's 2nd Tool show

Basically I enjoyed the KC part of the show. As for TOOL, I had difficulty hearing maynard in row DD and got bored by the time the Undertow tune came on. Lefte early--like after song 6. Unf, this wasn't the show I saw at shoreline years ago where the orb closed the night. That TOOL show was amazing--this one bored me to tears and quite frankly--the video's left me feeling flat after the 4th one--I mean intensity or whatever--too much is too much and their impact was reduced rather quickly. Having said taht--I realized that w/o the video. There wasn't that much left to focus on--I did enjoy Maynard's _White Lines_ 'cover' when the band did BLOW w/ their instruments. Alas, this show just didn't do it for me. So next it was onto the first night Wiltern show :)