A Review of the Fall 1996 Tour

Date: October 28

From: ILUVTOOL@aol.com TOOL The Warfield, San Francisco October 28, 1996 This is the second of two shows, the first at the Warfield the preceding Monday (see that review first) Introducing the Cows, Maynard opened the show with "Boy, are you guys in for a treat tonight. This is The Cows." I've never heard the Cows before. I was pretty ambivalent through the first couple of songs, I then I finally started to really hear what they were doing. I now have a great appreciation for the Cows, and I will seek their album. They're good, trust me (and if you can't trust me, Maynard likes 'em). Wholly prepared to see a repeat of the previous week's show (see review), I wondered where the projection screens were. The lighting was different, too. I had a fucking heart attack when the house lights went down and Maynard followed the band out painted blue from head to foot, clad only in boxer shorts. The heart attack became a stroke when they blasted off with Third Eye, which I never expected to see live and is much differently arranged live than on the album. Third Eye is absolutlely stunning, and it became clear that the boys were in top form tonight. The energy was supercharged and the crowd consisted almost entirely of devoted Tool fans. The intimacy somewhat lacking from the first show was present and alarming at the second. Something set them off within the last week and whatever it was prompted an intensity I've never seen before, at least not as urgent as this. This was better than New Year's Eve. They continued with Forty-Six & 2, which Maynard announced to be their next single. This was followed by a welcome Swamp Song (Maynard flailed his new toy, some sort of aliem lgiht on a wire that he swings around over his head; look for it, it's cool), and an even more welcome H., which was mssing from the first show. Eulogy was the best I've ever seen it, and jimmy became a classic that night. Then the screens were unveiled, and the clips started running. They lighting remained different from last week, but with the blue paint, Maynard mixed with the lighting and looked at times to be a disturbing reminder of Kurtz from Apocalypse Now, which I'm sure was not the intention. I assume he was portraying the "Third Eye Guy" from the album sleeve. Anyway, the dude was fucking eerie, and the lighting at times made his eyes glow white, and occasionally red. Creepy. Again, these songs are not in perfect order, but close. Sober was great (it has a new intro), but a nice surprise came out of left field with a much-revised Sweat, which I wish they had put out for Escape From L.A. Hooker with a Penis was nothing short of violent, and then they wrapped up with a turbo Opiate and AEnema. They ended their set, and started walking off the stage but stopped halfway and started deciding what they should do. Finally they agreed and Maynard came back to say that we wouldn't quite be the first to see it (that would be the October 26 show), but we'd be the second and they'd let us see the new video for Stinkfist, which they played as we watched it on the screens behind them. It's beautiful. It's not all animated, there's some live action, but nothing at all conventional. This is staggering. The first show was great, but the second was the best I'd ever seen. Ever. I walked out dazed and drained from the sonic pounding I'd just taken, and I know I was not alone in thinking so. I swear to fuck if I ever see them play that well again I'll be the luckiest motherfucker on the planet. Don't miss them, you bastards. It's your own fault if you do. - Cameron Keith