concert reviews firsthand, immediate, from the heart

Review written by: Todd Holscher (
Review posted on: 08/12/01 06:57:08 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st Tool show

Just got back from the 2nd Berkeley show and now I wish I had gone to the first one too! Here's the set list which I think is pretty accurate: The Grudge (-)ions Stinkfist 46&2 Parabola Schism Eulogy Disposition Reflection Intermission (w/ Fripp) Sober Pushit Opiate Lateralus Overall both Tool and KC were better than I had expected (and I already thought they'd be outstanding.) I hadn't heard much KC before and they played a really engaging set; I can see where Tool is influenced by them. Tool's set was out of this world and all 4 of them were really flowing well with each other tonight. Reflection, Parabola and Pushit were my favorite of the night but of course the others were all close. The audience was energized and totally into each and every song. Maynard didn't say much, just thank yous, a speech on KC's influence on them, and the non- conformist's oath bit. The intermission was cool with Fripp of KC providing some neat background music. The video screens and lights added great atmosphere too. Tool are amazing musicians/artists and I really look forward to them coming back to the west coast in the arena tour.

Review written by: danny b ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 07:36:30 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!!!!!!! what can i say but "swing on the spiral". now i love tool. they are my second favorite band. actually i have been listening to basically nothing but them everyday since april. i went into the show without expectations, last concert i went to with high expectations i was let down so i didnt want that to happen tonite. ofcourse nothing even remotely like that happend. i was blown away. they are such an amazing live act. on with the show. king crimson was impressive. my friend went to friday's show and hated them. i will admit they are a hard band to listen to as none of their songs sit in one place long enough for u to digest them but amazing musicians and a joy to watch. i wont bore you with details from the show as im sure there will be review after review saying what happend. setlist was just like seattle 1. The Grudge Stinkfist 46 & 2 Parabola Schism Eulogy Disposition Reflection --Break-- Sober Pushit (Slow Version...Fuck Yeah) Opiate Lateralus i was extatic that they played the slow version of pushit. i was praying for it. great setlist great band. im gonna be in a good mood for weeks. keep rockin, danny

Review written by: Clint ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 08:07:24 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

Tool are unbelievable. They played for a solid hour and a half. To me, Stinkfist was the most well recieved song tonight, although people will argue Sober of course. The 24 second scream in The Grudge was only about half that tonight. Eulogy was my favorite, and Maynard's scream at the end was as intense as the record. Opiate had an intense scream at the end. King Crimson were strange, but cool nonetheless. The ambient synth they had in their songs and at the end of reflection were awesome. Adam actually does the last minute or so of Merkaba before they go into Sober, which is cool of course. Maynard said a couple cool things. He said the whole speach about think for yourself, question authority, and to never repeat what anyone says. He said thank you a lot. He thanked King Crimson, because he said that it is important that we see where the music came from and where it's going. He gave the speech about taking this feeling and doing something positive with it in the coming weeks. I still would like to know, when he picks up his guitar, what he actually plays. He also had some black paint or something on his face at the end. Oh well, enough details, Toole is Coole, and that is all that needs to be said.

Review written by: rybonez ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 08:20:54 ET

This was this reviewer's 3rd Tool show

they played the comfortable vulnerable version of pushit..............nuff said.

Review written by: Anne ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 09:11:12 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st Tool show

I must say that this is the first concert I have been to where I got chills during every song simply from the overwhelming talent and the remarkable performance. This is my first time seeing Tool and now I realize that every other concert I am bound to go to will never be near to equaling Tool. For all those hesitant to spend the money on getting some sold out tickets, don't be. It is worth the money and so much more.

Review written by: trevorstuart ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 09:32:29 ET

This was this reviewer's 12 Tool show

Good lord that was another amazing experience. The sound was better tonight. King Crimson was amazing as ussual. 1 the grudge 2 stinkfist (oringinal version with new verse and same new guitar lick from last night, no new breakdown) 3 46 and 2 4 parabola (no parabol) 5 schism (maynard with guitar again) 6 eulogy (extented ending) 7 disposition (maynard with guitar) 8 reflection (at the end where adam is just playing robert fripp came on and played with him, this was an amazing moment between these incredible artists. its incredible to see this evolve over the tour.) intermission(more fripp and salival man) 9 sober 10 pushit (slow with extended build up in the middle) 11 opiate 12 lateralus hmm what can i say. tool is outrageous, they have definatly raised the bar. I AM DEFINATLY ADDICTED TO THESE EXPERIENCES. Oh ya CAMELLA did a wonderful job tonight with the screens, she is a part of the band. Thank you Tool and King Crimson for sharing this experience with us, we will never forget it. see you in la and san diego.

Review written by: Josť ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 09:58:54 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st Tool show

The auditorium was smokey, and these four figures emerge from the shadows and take the stage. From the minute the circle of eyes surrounded Maynard on his platform like a glowing aura, I had chills. The opening chords of the grudge began and the audience swelled in screams and whistles. These artists, watching them is like magic, or witnessing the birth of Venus. Four bodies, intensely packed with talent and creativity, poured beauty into the acoustics of the Berkeley Community Theater, and flooded it. As we drowned ourselves in the soulful sounds of guitar, our ribs vibrated from the bass, and our heads banged with the drum. This was my first TOOL show, i was a virgin, vulnerable and full of ingenuity. The music grabbed me, shook me, and ravaged me. My skin was tight with goosebumps, my back began to arch as I took deep breathes prior to screaming along with the lyrics. I convulsed and twitched. My fists cut the air;,My hips swayed to the beat. The grudge, a groundshaking introduction. Stinkfist, a twisted seduction, Fortysix & 2, Foreplay. Schism, a hopeful prmose, "Cold silence has a tendency to atrophy any sense of compassion,... I die. Eulogy, I'm resurrected and glazed with happiness as the audience chants in unison: "You claimed all this time that you would die for me...". Disposition, a tantric meditation. Reflection, passionate love making. Followed by an intermission starring the spinning salival being and synths by fripp of King Crimson, the post orgasmic chill. Sober, an violent intercourse. Pushit, my dream come true, the Salival version, an out of body experience, "Alive when you're touching me, Alive when you're pushin me down...." More chills. Opiate!!, a revelation and almost militant sing along. Lateralus, the breathtaking conclusion, the spectacle, the awe-inspiring, the lingering hopeful which makes us come back for more. ANd then it's over... and I want more. Like a psychotic lust, an addiction. I want to feel it again. If only I had gone the night before, I may have really experience ∆NIMA,... the ouch. I prayed for H, but was not disappointed by the performance. The evening was most inspiring and a mentally erotic attack on my 6 senses..... I had a brownie.... yummy! Thank you TOOL. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. I've been touched, and am smiling ear to ear. I'll be feeling this one for weeks. Let's do it again soon. Bigger, Louder, Meaner.

Review written by: what's up? (no email) Review posted on: 08/12/01 13:24:34 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

why the fuck can't tool start playing some different set lists? Same show every fucking night since the show in Atlanta back in MAY!!!!!!!!

Review written by: Carl ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 14:46:05 ET

This was this reviewer's 3rd? Tool show

Well the set list has been posted. For the dude who asked why they are playing the same set since Atlanta... To quote a great band, be patient. Most of us haven't seen that set list yet, especially since this is their first small shows on the west dude. The arena tour is coming. Relax. I loved this show, is there such a thing as a bad Tool show? There were some dirty smelly guys next to my girl and me, from Sacramento. Hey nothing against Sacramento, I'm from there too, but these guys were just screaming and didn't get it in my opinion. Even with their inconsiderate bullshit, the show was religious. Yes they played the slow push it, yes they played Eulogy.... yes he did the non conformist oath... but what shined for me was the new songs. They are all about enjoying our lives here and pushing ourselves to embrace randomness. I felt alive and pulsing with positive energy the entire night. The band I love was performing LIVE in front of me, but more than that they were transferring what they spoke of on the CD right into my body personally. The music and words have such an amazingly beautiful unique caress to your soul. To steal an overly commercial phrase... Oh what a feeling! Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you Tool. Will I be at the arena tour? Was there ever a fucking doubt? For those who missed it, I'm SO sorry. It was everything you thought it was and more. One other negative thing, the sound sucked. It should have been tons louder, and they fucked up Maynard's vocals during 46 + 2. Other than that, a flawless set.

Review written by: Nick ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 16:29:28 ET

This was this reviewer's 13th Tool show

Weak sound on the Grudge...looks like they didn't get it all worked out until "defining, confining". Did anyone else catch that? Tight set, very together, they brought it to the table as usual and left it out there for us to feast on. We as Tool fans probably wouldn't have it any other way. This definitely wasn't the best Tool show I've seen, but do they ever play a bad set? My first one was in 1995, and they clearly have evolved musically, but I do disagree with their setlist a bit. I don't agree that Lateralus is their best and most powerful closer. I mean seriously, did anyone else think that Pushit was by far the most powerful song of the night? We only heard one song off of Undertow and I felt myself faintly hungering to hear 4 Degrees. Nevertheless, it's THEIR show, and that's why they pick the setlist. Hey, to the TRUE toolheads...does anyone else fear that this might be their last album? I mean, they look content on stage and maybe I'm reaching, but if it takes them that long to make a CD, I'm thinking that the next one will come out when MJK is 41. Food for me. TRUE toolheads only please. The way you can tell if you're a true toolhead is if you know more songs than Sober and Schism. No offense of course, I just noticed that their were some 15 year old kids in the crowd last night just sitting in their seats and then getting up to sing Schism and Sober loudly. See you guys at the arena tour. Peace.

Review written by: Nate ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 18:56:25 ET

This was this reviewer's 4th Tool show

Awesome show. I feel very special to have seen this since the ticket agents were allowing people to purchase a maximum of 2 tickets, which meant you only got to pick your 1 special friend to take with you. I have a gripe: T-shirts started at $30 and went up to $50. I enjoy the band and want to support them, but the prices are pretty high for the merchandise. I wish there were some cheaper and maybe more special items, like tour programs, video or CDROMs that we could purchase. I want to see the band do well and prosper financially so they can continue to create their music, but $50 for a shirt? I can't see that. I've been a King Crimson fan for many years and I have 2 overall commets; 1) This was my first KC show ever and I was completely blown away. Wonderful. Solid. Beautiful. 2) I was a bit dissapointed that some fans were actually booing KC. They were either booing or screaming "Tooool" after each song. Either way it was kinda rude. The overall reception to KC was excellent, but those few meatheads who felt small enough to raise their voices above the others just made me feel a bit ill. That's all. Apparently it's my problem. Tool was excellent and the reviews above mine tell you pretty much everything you need to know about the show, the setlist, etc....I'm glad they concentrated on new stuff. "Lateralus" was the high point for me. - the end

Review written by: Lynn ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 19:32:50 ET

This was this reviewer's 5th Tool show

Once again Tool has outdone themselves. As far as any gripes, HELL NO. I find it hard to believe anyone has any. I think we were all very lucky to even be there last night with Tool & King Crimson in such a quaint venue. Thanx Tool...beautiful set.

Review written by: stormy ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 19:57:37 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

Knowing that my favorite band was playing inside, I sat with my total lack of funds all Friday night outside the Berkeley Community Theater with my acrylic ball, entertaining strangers and sharing my energy. With no luck on Friday, outside of crazy conversations and a vast inprovement of my contact juggling, I came back on Saturday with a promise to be a bit more proactive. As the universe would have it, I finally got my hands off my acrylic and on a ticket, answering my desires to witness one of the most phenomenal concerts by one of the most progressive bands existing today. Sorry for the lengthy intro but I need to express the gratitude that entered that hall with me, giving me a buzzing glow of anticipation that just basically left my jaw dropped the entire set. I was pretty far back but i was in the aisle with plenty of space to flail around at my want, but to be honest i often found myself so mezmorized that all of my screaming was internalized and my mouth rather silent. Just when i thought I was as floored as possible, they ended the show with lateralus, a song that represents everything i love about TOOL and the obvious growth of their ideas and musicality. Hearing older songs that i attach so many memories to was of course a blessing, but the message in this new album is so fresh and so inspiring that i feel honored to have been a witness to so much of it, and as i left I tinglied and twitched with anticipation to push everything, all of it, until it collapses. All i can say is spiral out, and i feel it. i'm doing my best. i may just go where no one's been, and i hope we've all been moved to do the same.

Review written by: Gloomboy ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 20:46:43 ET

This was this reviewer's 4th Tool show

I went to both nights-- Saturday was definitely the stronger show. Better setlist, better energy level, better live mix. The band seemed to notice *each other* more (I know it's too much to ask the band to notice the audience once in a while) Danny fluffed the fill in the middle of Sober but otherwise is a total god. King Crimson was frikkin amazing. One of the best live mixes I've ever heard outside of Radiohead & Pink Floyd. Similar setlist to Friday night, except the substitution of Frame by Frame for Theela Hun Jinjeet. I could listen to their music all day. Another plus was they really seemed to be having a blast up there-- all smiles. I'll pass on the arena tour. I had 7th and 8th row seats-- don't want to see them in a barn like the Cow Palace-- I shudder to think what those arena acoustics will do to Tool/Fantomas.

Review written by: A ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 21:15:46 ET

This was this reviewer's 3rd Tool show

I agree with Gloomboy's review above - I was at both shows, and this one was definately more intense with a slightly better setlist. I was estatic to hear 46&2 since it had been missing from fridays show. I had a perfect view of D. Carrey's drum set and witnessed all of his shockingly good drumming. The stage setup is interesting in that danny is the only band member who you can really watch closely. Maynard is mostly a sillohlette and Adam and Justin are usually playing head-down in the shadows - I guess Tool knows who their bread & butter is! I don't think anything more needs to be said about Tool's performance. It was mesmerizing as usual. King Crimson played the exact same set they played friday. It would have been nice if they had played more stuff from their first album, but I felt lucky to see them live since they started out way before my time. I spent nearly $300 to go to the two berkeley shows and it was worth every cent. Looking forward to the arena tour...

Review written by: Jazz ( Review posted on: 08/12/01 21:51:05 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st Tool show

Getting to this concert cost me frantic phone calls and emails, hours of stress, my dignity when I had to constantly beg my boss for the day off, and over 120 dollars. It was worth it. The night before the concert, I come home and check my email. My friend who was supposed to go with me sent me a message, telling me she had the flu and wouldn't be able to go. Not only did I not have another person to go with (and no way would mom and dad let me go alone), I didn't have a ride home either, since her mom was the one who was going to take us home. I called 3 people, asking them to come. One had no money. One "wasn't sure" if they could go. One wasn't home. Things looked very bleak. In the end, I had to buy the other ticket from my firend and give it to the person who had no money so they could go with me. They will pay me back eventually, maybe, lol. So we got to the venue finally. And they wouldn't let my friend in because she had spikes and chains. So we had to wait another 20 minutes to hide all of it in her jacket. And FINALLY, after all the hassles and setbacks, we got in. The show was absolutely amazing. You could feel the emotion throughout the whole theater. Pushit was the highlight for me, Maynard's voice was amazing. Danny's set was beautiful and the way he played it only added to the beauty. No matter what bullshit you have to go through, how much money you have to put out, it doesn't matter, not once you're there hearing Tool play live, not once you hear the music ring out all around you, not once you hear 3,000 people singing Parabola and 46&2 and Reflection, and everything. Trust me, it's worth it.

Review written by: Matt ( Review posted on: 08/13/01 01:52:16 ET

This was this reviewer's 2nd Tool show

Once again a great show. Played Eulogy (my favorite). And I need a shower. Peace out from Nevada.

Review written by: GodIsSatan ( Review posted on: 08/13/01 02:44:30 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

Just wanted to say that this was an amazing show. Tool absolutly blew my socks off!!! They are incredible and weird. Danny rocked ass and Adam was very blase. However, I have heard many people commenting on how great King crimson was. I have to disagree and say that they kind of sucked. I think the fact that they were lame prog rockers sort of confused the Tool fans and tricked them into liking this band. Not to say that they were all bad. The bassist was fucking incredible and this Fripp guy can rock it. dEfinately some talent, but channeled in the wrong direction by an amazingly stupid singer/guitarist. i swear, if those guys kicked him out and became and instrumental band with some electirc violin and another rythym guitarist they would be ultra cool. Anyway, congrats to tool on rocking my ass, and that is all... PS I wish they had played Thrd Eye instead of Stinkfist and Undertow instead of Sober.

Review written by: The cold black water ( Review posted on: 08/13/01 03:18:57 ET

This was this reviewer's 2nd Tool show

allow me to share my tool experience... i actually saw both berkeley shows, and this experience was just as profound each night. during disposition... as the song was building, blue lights began to wash over the crowd. i felt a strange anticipation as the light came near me. as it shone on me, the top half of my body became weightless. i couldn't breath for a moment. after the light washed away, i felt restored, renewed. each time the light passed over, i felt as though i was being revitalized. as maynard was singing, i began to feel as though the music was being instilled in me. i closed my eyes, tilted my head back, and let my eyes water a bit. thank you adam, danny, justin, maynard. i'll make sure i do something positive with that experience.

Review written by: J ( Review posted on: 08/13/01 04:26:26 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

What else to say about Tool at this point..make the effort to get in if you have doubts. Not that anyone is reading this debating whether or not to go, but if you have to pull strings, it's absolutely worth it. It was phenomenal. I have to agree with the minority about King Crimson..their slow stuff was reminiscent of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", except it wasn't good at all. If you want to be Pink Floyd, that's fine..but you need a singer and guitar player that's at least in the same ballpark as David Gilmour. These guys were the rebirth of Spinal Tap with their jazz odyssey at the amusement park. Unfortunately, it wasn't funny, it was really kinda sad. And I'm not even saying that out of disrespect..I'm sure they were great at one time. I also wasn't shouting "TOOL!" or anything nasty like that. I just thought Crimson was out of place for the audience and the atmosphere. Just my opinion.

Review written by: Nik Kannan ( Review posted on: 08/13/01 06:25:04 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

King Crimson is a great band, one of the more progressive rock bands of all time. As far as i am concerned, no Crimson, no Tool, no Floyd, No tool. Take what you will from it, but Tool is the best Rock act today, and maybe of all time, but without the progresive rock bands of yesterday, (1969-1975).... Floyd, Crimson, and Yes, Tool would be an after thought, great bands, influence greater bands, respect them, because without them you don't enjoy the incredible music produced by tool, so ENOUGH with the Crimson bashing, i suggest you listen to, "In the court of King Crimson," any vaible muscian will notice it is a great record, and those of you who feel that KC is a "bad," band, i think you should give a listen as well, you might find something in their that you like. Thank you for your time

Review written by: amir ( Review posted on: 08/13/01 07:50:12 ET

This was this reviewer's 3rd Tool show

alright, i went yesterday, today just blew me away though, last night was good, but i could tell that the band wasn't extremely into it. Tonight it was all different, if you could just see the emotions in maynard's movements and the look in justin's eyes the few times he'd look up was amazing, the show was fuckin nuts, i had balcony seats, but i made friends with some security guards the night before at the first show, and they let me into the main area, after that, me and my buddy walked down to the pit and sat in two empty seats during intermission, the rightful owner of the seats politely asked us to move, and so we scooted over 2 seats, then the other politeful owner came and asked us to move, so we moved over again, this time there were people on both sides of us, although we were in the 4th row, we were sure we'd get kicked out of those seats sooner or later. so i asked the guy next to me if there were people sitting in our seats earlier, he said no, me and my friend went nuts, and we saw the whole tool set from about 15 feet away from them, the energy was incredible, comparable to dusseldorf. the guys in front of us were moshing, they were pissing us off, finally, at lateraluis, when it was already teh end the security guards kicked them out, oh well, the show was fuckin amazing, and the new version of pushit rocked, i'm off to LA, goodbye

Review written by: John Hall ( Review posted on: 08/13/01 17:58:18 ET

This was this reviewer's 4st? Tool show

Tool was great, as always, but King Crimson kicked some major fucking ass!! I had never heard them before, expected nothing, and was totally blown away by the power of their music. Would never in my life have thougt that anyone could outplay the mighty Tool, like KC (almost) did! And the singer/guitarist was great, no Hendrix (RIP), but very good at doing his own thing.

Review written by: Donovan ( Review posted on: 08/13/01 19:09:05 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st Tool show

Beauty in it's pure form. I was breathless for most of the show almost in tears of joy from the songs they have played (see setlist in above review). I was VERY lucky enough to meet justin and danny, and let me tell you, two VERY nice cool guys. The set was beautifull! I just wish that everyone who reads this could see it. Thank you Tool, for inspiring us. Donovan

Review written by: Tyler ( Review posted on: 08/13/01 20:08:14 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

Whats up Tool people. I actually saw the Friday show the day before this one... The only reason i wrote is to tell you people who read this that those people bashing King Crimson are fuckin stupid. Talentwise King Crimson is fuckin increadible. I saw them for the first time at the show and was blown away by some of the shit they pulled off. Fripp their lead guitar and singer plays some funky buttrock licks but his guitar work is absolutely amazing. On friday i think he actually played with his friggin teeth. On to the drummer. I mean hes not superhuman but damn hes good too. And the bassist... HOLY SHIT. I'm talkin like fuckin Claypool. (Anybody who heard Fripp give "Les" a shout-out on Friday the 10th right before the song that sounded like Primus could you tell me if you saw Claypool at the show.) So when you go to see Crimson expect some weird shit... But i liked them enough to pay to see them if they headlined a tour. oh and um Tool was insanely unbelievably increadible... and yeah we got prison sex and Undertow on our night... and fast pushit is better. PEACE!

Review written by: Phixion ( Review posted on: 08/13/01 20:46:38 ET

This was this reviewer's 2 Tool show

Does anyone else feel the pained effort with which these four musicians create and display their music?? How sad it is that so often it's just seen as "Heavy Metal".... Haven't we learned enough about labels??? My lesson came too late...otherwise I'd be on show number 20...... There's a power to seeing Tool live...some say it makes you feel vulverable, some say it's empowering, some say it's honest...I've even heard it's erotic......but in the end there's something for everyone...a chance to be part of a moment.......Maynard is obviously aware of it....hence the "moment" speech.... I wish I could convey how much both Berkeley shows proved this to me... Was it in the few thousand people who showed up, all knowing they were in for an overwhelming experience??? You could feel the energy..I was sick to my stomach with it... Was it in Maynard's outline convulsing as he ripped through verse after verse shouting at US from his shadow??? Was it the way Justin and Adam calmly yelled through guitar and bass?? Or was it Danny's frantic mastery of the drums....? If I played that hard I would surely injure myself.... Im not sure I know...but if you've ever been to a Tool show you know exactly what Im talking about...... Enough of my rant......thank you to Tool for their willingness to share....thank you to Kabir for keeping this forum available to us....and thanks to the other Tool fans (you know who you are) for sitting next to me and singing along to all the lyrics that I was sure only I was starting to understand.......strength in numbers.... Why write about the setlist and how awesome the show was when you already know....????? See Tool...Pay the Price......It's Worth Every Penny.... "Listen to my muscle memory..." It's telling you that Tool feels good...... See you in Chicago 9/9....

Review written by: marc ( Review posted on: 08/13/01 22:20:29 ET

This was this reviewer's 2nd Tool show

It pays to camp out for tix. I was 2nd in line & the girl in front of me got the only 2 available tix for the first berkeley show.(the first show sold out in what appeared to be 2 minutes. Thanks to Tool's website i was informed about then 2nd show in berkeley, & was rewarded with two tickets. When my wife & i got into the auditorium, the usher told us you're all the way in front, 4th row as a matter of fact. That was the closest we've ever been without litterally having to fight for it. The lights dimmed & King Crimson came out. i had never heard about them but now i understand. the guy with what appeared to be a 12 string was awesome. They all were awesome. now i understand. As the equipment was being exchanged, i got a good look at Danny's drums. Awesome. all gold & bad ass looking. A small screen was wheeled into place in front of a stage where Maynard would sing from. Then a big screen was dropped from the rafters. Finally the lights went out, & the guys came out one by one. adam, justin, danny & maynard. Everybody was dressed nice, maynard wore somthing like it came off of the set of The Matrix. The playlist was the same. The Grudge, 46&2, parabola, eulogy, sober, pushit, etc then wrapping up w/ Lateralus. All the songs sounded just like the cd, but better. stinkfist will always be one of me & my wifes favorite songs. pushit is high up on my list too. listen to pushit on the Salival cd. it's the same as it was when we saw them live. Out of all the shows I've ever seen, Tool is the best. a Perfect circle is pretty good too. but not to be confused w/ Tool. Thank you to all you people who slept in on sunday when tix went on sale. In closing the visuals were great. Tool was great. The whole band played hard. Thank you Tool for a wonderful & "positive" evening. marc in sacramento

Review written by: John Fausone ( Review posted on: 08/14/01 00:25:08 ET

This was this reviewer's 4th Tool show

So yeah, I had waited a good 3 years to see Tool again, and almost didn't get to see them. Our tickets were lost on some other plane of existance, and by the time we got some tickets of someone outside, we had missed KC (which I was deeply saddened by, since I want to hear what one of the main influences of my favorite band sounds like.) Tool took the stage and met every expectation I had of them. I was suprised a few times though. First, the arrangement of the group members struck me as odd. In all my previous tool shows Maynard had always been in the front, contorting himself while singing and overall providing awesome stage presence for the band. In the front were Adam and Justin. Both of whom have evolved their playing styles nicely, especially Justin. Danny was behind Mr. Chancellor, further cementing the fact that he is undoubtably the best rock drummer in the world. Maynard was to the right of Danny (from his perspective) behind Adam in front of a smaller, mirrored image of the video display screen that was above the band, mainly shrouded by darkness (especially from my vantage point). To see Maynard positioned there struck me as odd..perhaps they want to give more recognition to the lesser known members of the band (i.e. Adam and Justin), or maybe that's just preference, who knows. Also I was suprised to see Maynard pick up a guitar. I couldn't tell if he was playing though, still a pleasant surprise. The band played a wonderful set, they played Sober, Stinkfist and Schizm of course (all the popular songs begin with S and have two strange..perhaps Blair will twist that little tidbit into some kind of strange story involving Crowley, Aliens and Numerology.) I was glad to hear Pushit, Reflection, and Eulogy, it would have been nice to hear 4 Degrees or Undertow though, oh well, I can't complain. The visuals during the show were great as well..I especially liked the one during..reflection? i think? Camille (I believe that is the person who does the graphics) did a great job. Thats about it. I look forward to seeing Tool at least two more times on the arena tour. Keep up the good work guys (if you read this). Thanks! Joh

Review written by: Thomas ( Review posted on: 08/14/01 01:08:06 ET

This was this reviewer's 6 Tool show

After seeing Tool the previously night, I was really stoked to see what they would do the next night and what songs they would mix up. Basically, it was a different show altogether as the songs were in different order, and there were several treats that were played. I especially liked "Eulogy" and Opiate, as these are two of my favorites. I only wished they had played Third Eye, but perhaps for the Arena tour. Anyway, overall another great show and the band definitely looked as if they were enjoying themselves during the show.

Review written by: L.C. ( Review posted on: 08/14/01 01:12:03 ET

This was this reviewer's 2nd Tool show

The show was fantastic. The last time I saw TOOl was out in a parking lot on the 2nd stage of Lolapolooza 1993. They were great then, even better now. It was also good to see that King Crimson was well received. A truly awesome band is finally getting some well deserved respect. I wish they would have been a little louder, but the overall sound was good for both bands. To see people's jaws drop open when Robert Fripp started tearing through the solo section of "Larks Tongues in Aspic - PartIV" was worth the price of admission alone. Thanks to Tool for a great show and for bringing around a band like K.C. to a new audience. The live version of "Pushit" rules.

Review written by: Bryan ( Review posted on: 08/14/01 01:40:01 ET

This was this reviewer's 6th Tool show

Well shit, I've finally gotten a chance to sit down and write something, after the drive back from Berkeley to Santa Barbara. First off, as Judge Schmales would say, "top notch! top notch!" The show kicked some serious ass. The Grudge makes for a badass opening song, and Useful Idiot was a nice touch (it was indeed Useful Idiot, not negative ions, as per the first posting). This was the first time I heard Stinkfist without Buzz playing on it... no offense, but, didn't notice a difference; still good. Without a doubt the highlight of the show was Lateralus, followed closely by Pushit. And, in the words of William Miller (Almost Famous), "[Adam Jones]'s playing during [Lateralus] was insidiary." The middle part of Lateralus, where everything falls back onto just Justin playing those four, rhythmic, chanting notes delivered even better live than on the CD. If you don't have tickets to a show, go anyway; there were much more scalpers than I thought there'd be. (but be careful!). Thank you Adam, Justin, Maynard, Danny, and the rest of the crew. Late, -Bryan

Review written by: LEO ( Review posted on: 08/14/01 01:43:17 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

This was not just a concert, it was a religious experience. This concert was closer to a revival than a rock show. The followers are worked to a fever pitch and the band guides them through tales of triumph and tribulation no religious leader could hope to attain. By the time the last chords of lateralus echoed through the hall the group is left stunned, speachless, and wanting more. My veins begged for more like a junkie needing a fix. I couldnt believe it was over. Reluctantly I left and went back to my miserable existance, realizing that I had been affected in a way that few men could ever understand. I have been to many concerts and have never felt as wholly affected by the performance as I was by this one. When Maynard speaks of taking this experience and building upon it, its not just filler between songs, it is the true purpose behind Tool. Anybody who didnt get it didnt belong at the show. I feel as though I have witnessed greatness, and now live to spead the gospel according to tool.

Review written by: Jack Frost ( Review posted on: 08/14/01 17:22:29 ET

This was this reviewer's 8th Tool show

As per usual, the band played an outstanding set that was well worth the drive from Orange County to see them. Unfortunately the tickets to LA and SD were fucking impossible to acquire, so this was the only show I was able to get to. I went to LA on 8/13 to try and get into the Wiltern but there were NO scalpers that I could find, which is funny because people were almost literally giving away tickets in Berkeley. One guy was even selling two tickets for the face value of one ticket, which seemed pretty desperate. But I digress... Unfortunately there really aren't any words to describe the show, and attempting to would only diminish what my actual feelngs are. I could say they were great and all, but would that mean anything to you? I will say that if you like their music on the recordings, do yourself a favor and go see them and hear it come alive. Also, the videos they run for the songs are mesmerising, even if you weren't tripping, you'd probably feel like it with the combination of the music and the visuals. TOOL live is magic. One thing I gotta say is about you rude motherfuckers who feel it necessary to scream 'MAYNARD!' (as if the rest of the band wasn't doing anything) or bark song titles whenever there's even a remotely quiet moment (you know who you are). Did it occur to any of you that on several of these occasions THE BAND WAS STILL PLAYING? For example, right after finishing Disposition, you could hear the band slowly gearing up for Reflection. During the build, someone up front felt it necessary to shout "Cold & Ugly! Cold & Ugly!" until Maynard told him to shut up. That's pretty fuckin' sad. And then during the extended outro for Reflection, the crowd would periodically cheer and clap before Adam was finished, almost as if to say 'Okay, Adam, you're done now, let's move on, we're bored with this.' Bad form, people, being both inconsiderate to the audience and the band is really shameful... I think these rude idiots might have an effect on the show itself, too. I could hear the begining of Parabol starting up right before Parabola, but as the crowd continued to make too much noise, the band glanced around at each other and then abruptly started Parabola. Some people seemed really angry that they weren't playing the music that would result in a violent pit at the front of the stage. Some, it seemed, were there only to release agression on others. Can't you people find something more constructive to do with that overabundance of energy? Just a suggestion.

Review written by: Kelly Kermode ( Review posted on: 08/14/01 21:00:30 ET

This was this reviewer's 2nd Tool show

Totally awesome show. I wish they would have done more off of UNDERTOW, but an amazing show none the less. Maynard was much more intense than the first time I saw them. Music was very clear. Being only a three thousand + seat arena made it very intimate. It is well worth it. GO !!!!!

Review written by: Hillary ( Review posted on: 08/16/01 19:04:25 ET

This was this reviewer's 2nd Tool show

The theater was beautiful. Just being there set the mood for something other than a "rock show". I already knew this would be more than that anyway. First of all, King Crimson blew me away. I had no expectations of them, so I was totally open to the experience. Their sound was full and crisp and ethereal much of the time. I found myself thinking, "Why would I even bother to turn on the radio and listen to the over- processed garbage that inundates the airwaves; why waste my time with bands that are only good at what they do, when they don't do much at all - in comparison to these guys?" But if everyone played so exquisitely, if all bands pushed limits and boundaries of conventional songwriting and playing and structure, these experimental/prog bands would not be as precious, I imagine. I was very moved by their performance, as was the audience, who gave them a standing ovation. I must admit, I was a bit disheartened by some of thus around me who just didn't "get it". Their loss, I suppose. Danny Carey new kit was brought out, covered, as the stage was set up. Eventually, it was revealed in all of it's golden glory. One hell of a kit - Oh My GOD!! We didn't have to wait too terribly long for the set change. The lights went down. A screen came down at the back of the stage and the colorful, circular flaming eyes from Lateralus appeared against a black background. A single eye in the middle waved as a flag would. Let's just say everybody freaked out.... "The Grudge" erupted. So did all of us. They sounded so real, so overwhelmingly real. I got the chills. I forgot where I was in the sense that nothing outside of that moment mattered. Maynard stood to the left and behind his band mates with Adam Jones at the front left, Justin Chancellor to the right, and Danny Carey slightly off center. "Stinkfist" followed. It was very surreal. I was so overwhelmed I had a hard time staying in the moment, holding on to it. Finally I stopped trying so damn hard and closed my eyes and let go... It was meditative. I left myself which made room for the power of the music to enter, fill, swirl within me. They were not on the stage to be observed, they were there to share their music, to create an experience. I took advantage of it. I felt myself enter such a heightened state, I was euphoric. Listening to their cd's is always an emotional and mental journey for me. This was emotional, mental, physical... maybe even spiritual. All without drugs! This is the first time I have seen a show and been truly satisfied with the length and contents. By the time I had reached this point, there was still at least another 45 minutes that they played. I still feel as if I am in the heightened state. At one point Maynard said, "This moment is not about this band. This moment is about all of you and us here tonight. I want you to take this feeling with you and in the coming weeks keep it with you and do something positive with it. ...just a suggestion..." Later he asked the crowd if we were ready to take the non- conformist oath. "Repeat after me," he began. "Think for yourself." The crowd repeated. "Question authority." Again. "Strive to be different." "Strive to be unique." "And never, ever repeat anything anyone says." heheh... I left feeling full and peaceful and content and still quite overwhelmed with the whole experience. I have kept this feeling, I have taken it with me... .