A Review of the Fall 1996 Tour

Date: October 18

From: Shift619@aol.com Tool with Failure and Inch SOMA Live October 18, 1996 If you were looking for musical intensity and didn't attend this Tool concert, then you missed out. Big time. Playing just the second date of a new tour celebrating the release of their third and latest release, "Aenima," Tool delivered a stunning and powerful display of elaborate, multi-faceted hard rock. Following opening acts Inch (voted the top alternative band in the 1996 San Diego Music Awards) which gave a melodic, Husker-Du-esque performance, and the very guitar-laden, yet oddly poppy Failure, Tool let the crowd warm up by dimming the lights and playing a loop of synthesized sounds. When they appeared five minutes later, Tool wasted no time ripping into an arresting version of "Stinkfist," the first single off the new album. What quickly became apparent was how magnificently Tool replicated their songs from the album, yet at the same time added so much punch to the mix. Fronted by bald and bare-chested lead singer Maynard James Keenan, Tool focused almost exclusively on material from their exceptional new album. Along with drummer Danny Carey, new bass player Justin Chancellor, and lead guitarist Adam Jones, Keenan roamed the stage with a strange, staring presence. His vocals, while not among the most powerful, are distinguished by a higher range and razor sharp pitch which is a great compliment to the often heavy, driving foundation of their music. Tool exhibited new and expanded dimensions as evidenced by the songs "H." and "Useful Idiot," which displayed a somewhat mystical, Eastern percussive ambiance not heard from this band before. Proceeding with machine gun-like precision, they perfectly delivered "Eulogy," "jimmy," and "Hooker with a Penis" from "Aenima," before playing the crowd, radio, and MTV favorite "Sober" from their second album, "Undertow." They closed the show with the title track from the new release in a fitting end to one of the most penetrating and brilliant concerts to come to San Diego recently. [This review was written by Scot Tempesta and was published in SLAMM on 11/6/96.] Jeremy shift619@aol.com