A Review of the Fall 1996 Tour

Date: November 15

From: "Rev. Mark VanFleet" (vanfleet.2@postbox.acs.ohio-state.edu) Tool Newport Music Hall November 15, 1996 Columbus Ohio This is part of an E-mail message that I sent to two friends. Ignore the more personal sections. There are two quoted sections by my friend Awsta (om8755@wheeler.northland.com). >Nate was supposed to go home again (he didn't, but that's another story) so he had pawned his Tool ticket off to me. I pawned it to my roommate, Craig. Lisa took off (out to eat wit da family), We geared up, and left. >>whatwusup with wusup at the tool show. >It was freezing cold outside. I had on my pre-requisite green pants, a t-shirt, and my blue nylon windbreaker. Good thing the venue is only about a 5 minute walk from my dorm [Mark goes na-na--na-na--NA-NA at both of you as he sticks his tongue out. Livin in the city is rad.] The line is insanely long. We wait. We freeze. Crowd seems cooler than KOrN. This would turn out to be something of an illusion, but more later. >Inside: Newport is a pretty nice place. Old Theatre. Blah, Blah, like the Odeon, a little bigger, blah. >We wait until about Eight. I knew we would. Psychotica comes out. 6 people. Guitarist. Bassist. Percussionist. Lead Vocals. Back-up vocals and all around bonus member. Electric celloist. Cello starts it all out. I'm thinking cool. Vocalist jumps on stage. He's dressed in a white vinyl body suit. Female back up vocalist jumps out. She's got two dread horns growin out of the side of her head. To Psychotica's credit they were energetic. They were good performers. However, their music sounded like a hardcore-freak version of Rush or Foreigner or something. Given your fondness for Rush, you guys might dig em. A sort of Prog rock for the 90's if you will. It was alright, I think I even liked it more than most of the crowd. Anyway onto Tool. >Again, this is the way it's gonna work. I'll tell you my overall feelings, try to remember the set list, and then hit highlights. That sound fair? >It was an alright concert. Not bad by any means, but not in the top five either. Tool is one of the tightest, best sounding bands I have ever heard. They are awesome musicians. The bass was not very prominent, but this is something I've noticed overall on the new album. A lot of people think the new guy is better, I'm not convinced. It's certainly a different style. Whatever. He's still good enough to be in Tool which is saying something. He plays with a pick. The drums were awesome. Coolest set I've ever seen. Two giant Black bass drums. 4 wood stained (like Rob's) Toms. Two smaller ones, and two mounted Floor toms. He had four drum pads to play some of the non-organic sounds (intro to Eulogy, those glass breaking sounds in one of the songs, etc.), two snares (I think, he had what looked like a snare but may not have been in between the smaller toms and the two floor toms), a couple of different cowbells, and about a billion cymbals. What I thought was weird was that the drums were low and the cymbals were high. He had two of those inverted style effects cymbals at each end of the set. They were really big. What are those things called. China boys? He had a lot of cymbals and he's fond of using them as you probably know. Maynard came out painted head to toe in blue. I was expecting that based on some internet stuff. He's really built. I didn't expect that. He's like really built. Almost Rollinesque except without the neck. The show started out kind of slow, but it did build. I don't know, I can see the appeal in that, but I like it when the band just grabs you and punches you right from the beginning. If it has to slow, the best place for it is in the middle. The crowd was too tight, I wasn't in the pit, I was off to the side of it. Kinda hard to explain, you'd have to see the place to understand. There were too many people. I hate that. It was really loud. So loud it gave me a head ache. I didn't really dance too much. I think Tool is hard to dance to without a lot of room to move. You don't really jump up and down to Tool. Know what I mean? I was right near the speakers at the beginning. Some dorks behind me started moshing. Remember I'm not even IN the pit. After elbowing them repeatedly I decided they were on crack and got out of the way. I moved back towards the soundboard, and watched the show from there. Good vantage point. The band is pretty motionless which is maybe why I wasn't REALLY impressed. Even Maynard. Sometimes he starts convulsing on stage which is kind of cool though. He is very precise in his movements. It was different certainly. He sometimes ducks down and then pops back up, swaying. It was cooler the more I think about it. Very unique. Onwards. One last thing: They had a screen. It played parts of both the prison sex vid and the sober vid and all this other weird stuff. >The Set as I remember it. I think I'll get it all though I'm not sure in order. >Noise (with Aenima cover on video. Noise similar to useful idiot but longer and louder) >Stinkfist >46 & 2 >Swamp Song >Eulogy >H. [I think they played this. I can't remember how it goes. I know it's track 3. I remember him saying something long winded about this song. He ended it with: This is called H.) >Hooker with a penis >Prison Sex >Jimmy >Undertow >Feedback Solo went into... >Sober >Opiate >Aenema [encore of sorts: Maynard and Bassist actually never left stage] >Shit, I know I'm forgetting something. I got all the ones from "Undertow" and they only played "Opiate" from Opiate. New album. Think. They didn't play "Pushit", Third Eye, Useful Idiot, Message..., Ions, VOn satan or whatever. Maybe I did get em all. These are not in order. I butchered the order horribly. >>did anybody yell "chickenweasel" after they played stinkfist. i read on the >web that the band does something cool if they hear the crowd say that. >I didn't hear anyone yell it. I couldn't remember what to yell so I didn't. Like I said, it started out kind of slow. Maybe I was just annoyed with the people around me at the beginning. Packed in like a sardine, getting pushed, and not even in the pit. I dunno. During Eulogy, Maynard played some sort of birdcall device. That was cool. During Stinkfist he had two mics. One for chorus (Distorted) one for verse. He was swaying around with both. One in each hand. He did this cool kick thing too. It was the only time. His leg shot up and down real high and onto the floor 5 or 6 times at one of the fast parts in time with the music. I really liked "Hooker" which I think is one of the weaker songs on the new album. Everything picked up after this I think. Prison Sex may have been the highlight. No, Opiate was. There was an extra verse during Prison Sex. I remember hearing about it on the internet, and they did it this time. It was just really good. Undertow I was not expecting, but this is one of my favorite songs, so I was happy. Opiate was the best, and then Aenema was great too. Some of Maynard's banter: >Before they started: "CO-LUM-BUS" right into Stinkfist after stinkfist: "Ya know, I'm from Ohio originally". Crowd cheers. "Are you cheering because I don't live here anymore?" crowd cheers. aafter prison sex: [Paraphrased]"Let's talk about that song, Prison sex. Most of you have done your research, you know it's about cycles of abuse, working though the abuse, identifying the cycles. The first step to recovery is identification the next is doing something about it, working through it. This song's called Jimmy." They played Jimmy. BBefore Opiate: "This is our last song." Crowd boos. "From our first album!" Crowd goes fuckin crazy. "Choices always were a problem for you..." BBefore Aenema: "we decided to indulge you" He starts slapping his stomach and intoning "Pain, Pain, Pain, Pain..." Both times Maynard's vocals started the song (Opiate and Aenema)it was really cool. >He said more good things, but I forget them. When he does those really long screams he sort of braces himself and just lets loose. It's amazing. Almost Chino-like. Maybe equal to Chino just different. That's about it. The show lasted about an hour and a half. I ran home. It was freezing outside.