A Review of the Fall 1996 Tour

Date: October 21

From: ILUVTOOL@aol.com TOOL The Warfield, San Francisco October 21, 1996 Failure finally showed up as the opening band, ending a month's speculation on who would be advertised next. Originally it was advertised as the Young Gods (who are they?), then it was Failure, then it was Frenzy, and eventually it was Failure. They played a good forty-five minute set, at least for those that like them. I'm not one of that number, but for those who are I apologize for being unable to identify anything on their set list. Tool came out swinging, flanked by two projection screens behind them which played various clips for each song. For those who plan to see them on this tour, I won't spoil it by describing them. For those than don't plan to see them, what do you care? (I'm sure soemone else will write about it). They started with Stinkfist and Forty-Six & 2, and moved on into Intolerance. By this time it was easier to discern what the crowd was like, since there's a different kind of crowd at every Tool show I've seen. It was mostly Tool fans of varying degrees, with a healthy helping of the curious and the hopelessly addicted headbangers, who would be somewhat disappointed in tonight's dose. The crowd's mood seemed to match Tool, who seemed pretty relaxed. They sounded great, and gave a sonically powerful show, absolutely mezmerizing aesthetically as well. They launched into (not in quite this order; see other reviews) Eulogy, Hooker with a Penis ("This song is about our new T-shirts" which were $23), Undertow, Prison Sex (yes, with the new section, and it continues to improve), followed by "sort of a sequel to Prison sex" (MJK), jimmy. The only song played from Opiate was Opiate, which has been touched up subtly but smoothly. Many of their older stuff, in fact, has been brushed up a little bit here and there. The new stuff, incredible as it is, hits another dimension live, as you should have come to expect by now. Sober was next (they started with what sounded like Third Eye, but it turns out it's a new Sober intro), and then on to Pushit (which I love; it has evolved into one of their best songs over the last two years). Then they called it a night and announced their last song, prefaced with Maynard noting that a lot of people find this song singular in meaning, thinking that it's simply about L.A. "But I've got news for you, San Francisco. If we go, you go." The boys launched into AEnema, hammering it out for a final shake to end the evening. Tool was just short of being as riveting as they were at the New Year's Eve 1995 show. As I said, they seemed somewhat relaxed, but not quite as intimate as you might think. Maynard claimed that the only thing different about the next week's show would be whatever shoes he wore. I had my ticket already, and that seemed fine to me. He opened the second show by introducing the Cows (who had been advertised all along) with, "Boy, are you guys in for a treat tonight." He wasn't kidding. See my next review for that show. - Cameron Keith