concert reviews firsthand, immediate, from the heart
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Review written by: Rich (
Review posted on: 06/09/01 18:55:56

The Grudge Stinkfist Forty Six & 2 Prison Sex Schism Pushit Disposition Reflection Sober Parabol/Parabola Aenema Lateralus Cortizone were pretty lame. Average nu-metal bollocks. Don't quite understand what they were doing supporting Tool. Got split up form my friend cos he had bought tickets at a different time and had to go into the circle whereas I was at the front, so he got the best sound and I got the best experience. None of this matters though, cos the show was excellent. Can't complain about the lack of Opiate or Crawl Away since we got Pushit, but mainly they do seem to be playing just new stuff and old singles. Mistake spotters may wish to know that Maynard sang "this may hurt a little but..." at the end of Stinkfist as well as in the middle and he also swapped "Fuck L. Ron Hubbard..." with "Fuck retro anything..." at the end of Aenema. Justin seemed to be having a little trouuble with his bass at one point too, but apart from that they were as formidably tight as usual. Hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did; also that it's not four years before they play in this musically blighted country again.

Review written by: J.Cameron ( Review posted on: 06/09/01 19:08:00

Setlist: The Grudge Stinkfist Forty-Six & 2 Prison Sex Schism Pushit Dispostion/Reflection -- Intermission w/ Schism video -- Sober Parabol/Parabola Ĉnema Lateralus The support, Cortizone, were okay, nothing really special, though. Besides the main video screen fucking up for The Grudge (The only graphics were directly behind Maynard) and a load of menus covering up the beginning of Stinkfist, Tool were fucking amazing. Oddly there was no Opiate like some of the other shows. No real change to the setlist, of course Third Eye, The Patient and some other stuff off Undertow would be nice, but hell, you can't have everything. I was near the front, and there wasn't much in the way of any moshing or such shit. The only bit where I got annoyed was when people got bored at the end of Reflection, there's no way they could've played Triad, with some people's attention spans. Most of the people were fine, though. Nice not to see any Limp Bizkit or any other shit band T-Shirts. Maynard held a guitar during Schism and Pushit, didn't seem to play it, though. The backing videos were amazing, The Grudge's were fantastic (even if they were only on the tiny screen). Prison Sex and Stinkfist used images from the videos (Prison Sex had the Undertow ribcage animation too), but Ĉnema and Sober had original stuff, Sober's was some sort of weird arm thing attacking two people. Crazy shit. Relfection had the toilets and slugs... Brilliant. I think it's pretty clear in my mind now that Tool are one of the greatest bands ever.

Review written by: kickstand7 ( Review posted on: 06/09/01 19:40:56

Hey, Guess i'm first on the review list with a review! Awsome, phenomenal, exceptional, unbeleivable - all pretty accurate descriptions of tonight I've been waiting to see TooL for about 5 years now and was really dissapointed with missing Ozzfest coz of exams but thankfully i got tickets to the Manchester and London shows so i woke up this morning eagerly anticipating the night ahead. I went with my friend stew, ( who had been lucky enough to see them at ozzfest and so was pretty keen to get there early! ) and we arrived at about half four. The wait was cold and wet so when seven o'clock finally came we were glad to get past the security, who seemed determined to keep us outside for as long as possible. we got in and bypassed the shirt stand to head straight for the stage. It was unbeleivable-my first TooL concert had finally come and beyond all expectations i was stood directly infront of adams deisel amp with a clear view of Dannys shrouded drums. All that was left now was a couple of hours between me and musical paradise ! Cortizone ( Kane ) came on at about 8 and played a good set but it was clear the audience was there for tool and they knew it. Justin watched from the side and seemed to be quite into it. The loudest cheer they got was when we were told to "enjoy tool " as they left! Finally after what seemed like forever TooL came on at about 9 and the most surprising thing was Maynard. No black leather outfit, no body paint or wigs and no breasts. Just a pair of jeans and a blue shirt !?! he looked the most normal one in the band when i was expecting the usual unexpected. The equipment was set back quite far from the audience and Maynard was at the far left of that- was this yet another of his steps toward anonimity ? EIther way i hoped it worked coz i really didn't think the young femal perfect circle fans who were stood next to us needed any encouragement to scream MAYNARD any louder !! As far as i can remember the setlist was the same as the us shows with the omission of opiate and swamp song but thankfully the equally amazing pushit and AEnema. At first Maynard didn't really seem that impressed with manchester as he spent most of his time facing the screen ( which didn't work throught the grudge ) and didn't say anything ( not that unusuall i guess! ) but as the night went on he did talk a bit- most notably explaining why no one bandmember had a central position on the stage- very diplomatic. What more can i say- Adam didn't dissapoint, Justin threw himself into every song and truly looked like he was having a good time and as for Danny...... ....... what can you say. I honestly think he is either an alien, robot, extradimensional being or something ! I have no idea how someone can hit so many drums at once, he truly is the most awe inspiring musician i have seen in a long time. And as for the band as a whole ? - ___________ Thats right. there really arn't any words to describe it. Thank you so so much to the parents of each band member- "Without you none of this would be possibe" S one other thing - i never thought i would see the day when Tool were selling pendants, keyrings and baseball caps ?!? they never cease to amaze !

Review written by: Ryan Pickett ( Review posted on: 06/09/01 23:30:54

Set list (pretty sure itıs right) The Grudge Stinkfist 46 & 2 Prison Sex Schism Pushit Disposition / Reflection Schism video Sober Parabol / Parabola Aenema Lateralus My first Tool experience. We made our way to Manchester from Coventry, 71Ž2 hours on the bus in total today! Judging by the fact that 50% of the people on the bus going up there were going to watch the gig, I reckon we just doubled Manchesterıs tourism for the day. We got to Manchester at about 5:30, and as we drove past the Apollo there were about a dozen people outside. Incredibly by the time weıd walked up there the queue had wrapped right round the building. Some masochistic ticket touts were standing in the middle of the dual carriagewayŠ sadly, I donıt think any were hurt. Weıd felt gutted at only being able to get seating tickets but, as it turned out, we clearly had the best seats in the house. Slap bang in the middle of the front row of the gallery; we were closer to the band than some of the pit. The equipment was set up for the support act Cortizone, but the menacing-looking enormity covered with a black sheet in the corner was clearly Dannyıs drum kit. There was a big cheer from the audience when the sheet was removed. When the lights dimmed, a few seconds of Mantra-esque ambience were played before the band members casually strolled on, stood around silently for a few moments and then launched into The Grudge, which was absolutely devastating: louder than God and tighter than a virgin hamster. The band was perfect throughout, with Danny hitting the fast bits just like on the record, and Maynard performing the scream at the end phenomenally. Strangely, there were no visuals to start with, though the reason for this became very clear when error messages and response dialogs started appearing in foot-long letters on the screens. Thankfully they sorted this slight technical hitch out before it got too far into the next song, Stinkfist. This was another highlight. Again, Maynard performed impossibly well, hitting every note in the screamed pre- choruses with apparent effortlessness. 46 & 2 was similarly intense, with the ending riff being possibly the most grossly powerful thing Iıve ever heard. It was about now that Maynard uttered the first intra-song babble of the gig, which went something like this: ³ErrŠ hi.² Articulation had evidently taken a few moments off. Not that anyone seemed to care once Prison Sex had started, leading onto Schism (I think itıs that way round), which Maynard introduced as ³a song about survival.² After Justinıs opening bass chords had reverberated around the venue, and the amazingly inspired riff kicked in, Maynard, complete with guitar (?) started singing an octave higher, presumably either because he thought his voice would carry more or maybe he just damn felt like it. Either way, the highlights of this song were the breakdown (Jesus Justin, THATıS how you do that!) and of course Dannyıs monstrous what-the-fuck drumming at the end. At this point Iıd like to add that the dozen people in the middle of the floor with Fear Factory shirts that were moshing like twats and pushing everyone around who was trying to enjoy the subtler aspects of the music ­ well youıre all cunts, and I hope you grow the fuck up. That aside, Pushit followed which, unsurprisingly, was where Adam had his biggest moments of glory for tonight. I love that song! What I was most anxious about before the gig was how the Disposition / Reflection thing would work out, and how the band would cope with playing it live. Disposition was absolutely beautiful, and Danny led it on to Reflection like on the record. Reflection went on as normal for a few minutes, and yet again I found myself staring in wonder at that damn wrestler behind that gargantuan drum set. The weird eastern instrument effect that appears on the album wasnıt echoed live (perhaps unsurprisingly, given theyıd run out of musicians) but was replaced by incoherent mumbling pseudo-vocals from HRH The Short Bald Bloke, yet again clutching guitar but not looking remotely interested in actually playing the damn thing. It was all a tiny bit messy, but a pretty good substitute, and all worries were cast aside once Maynard started singing on the verses proper. This song had some pretty bizarre visuals that I wonıt even pretend to relate to: a computer generated location with vile toilets, headless people waving and strange maggot-like things. After the song hit itıs beautiful climax with the whole crowd wailing ³before we pine awayŠ² Adam played that quiet one-hand riff again, and againŠ and again, as the remaining band members walked off one at a time around him. He must have played it about 20 times. It was a blissful ending, and could only have been better if certain members of the crowd stopped bloody shouting through it. The Schism video followed while the roadies assessed the damage, after which the band walked back on stage and launched into an incredible Sober. Just the bass riff on itıs own seemed likely to take the roof off, but once Danny (!!!) and Adam came in I happily envisaged hordes of townies running around Manchester covering their ears in horror. The videos beamed onto the screen during this song were exceptionally disturbing, even by Tool standards, with images of utterly terrified naked women being surrounded by this horrifying, spiny entity; and also of what looked like some sort of eye-surgery. Unpleasant and yet fascinating, these images were incredibly provocative and perhaps helped us gain a little bit more insight into the Tool collective psyche. As for the songŠ a masterpiece. But you all know that. Next up was Parabol, and the most heart-achingly beautiful performance of it imaginable. So ambient and emotive, Maynardıs vocals hitting their targets spot on for every note, the inspired simplicity of the guitars and the gentle gliding of cymbals made this an unforgettable moment. When the feedback and grotesquely heavy riff to Parabola came in, it was suddenly so clear why these songs complement each other so inextricably, and just why Tool are so clearly the best band in metal today. Inventiveness doesnıt necessarily have to be the by-product of complex time signatures. Durst et al, you have a lot to learn. Again, Maynard hit every note perfectly, the most memorable of which being the scream of ³Alive!² after the first chorus. It wasnıt until now, right at the end of the show, that Maynard said more than a few words to the audience. He said that heıd like to thank us for our support, that it had been a long road but that Tool had survived. He said that he regretted that Toolıs peers had gone, the artists who ³started what we carried on², and cited Nirvana, Soundgarden, AIC and Rage as those (among others, but the squeals of the crowd ­ mine included - drowned him out) and then went on to say that Tool would be back soon. He then started those eerie yelled whispers ³Hey, hey, heyŠ² to begin Aenema, which although not one of my favourite Tool songs, was incredible tonight. The magnificent rolling drumming in the breakdown more than made up for Maynardıs incredible ability to sing the phrases in the wrong orderŠ : ) Prominent artwork was comic-style animations of meteor showersŠ After Maynard had returned from leaping off the stage, apparently to hug a few peeps up against the barrier, Lateralus began. After that amazing build up (which worked just like on the album, though fuck knows how) the song began to unravel, and surprise, surprise: yet again it was unbelievably tight. The highlight for me was those beautiful lyrics in the breakdown. The best gig possibly imaginable, all in all. I was glad to be seating to be honest, as I get to savour the delight of a Tool pit at Brixton on Tuesday. It hasnıt changed my life: I expected the best gig in the world, and lo, I got it. The best night of my life, and definitely something to tide me over my exam week. And one last thingŠ respect to Cortizone. They played a really respectable, tight-as-anything set in front of a few thousand rabid Tool fans, some of whom were baying for their blood before theyıd even come on. Nice one. ³I embrace my desire to feel the rhythm, to feel connected enough to step aside and weep like a widow; to feel inspired, to fathom the power, to witness the beauty, to bathe in the fountain, to swing on the spiral of our divinityŠ and still be a humanŠ²

Review written by: Guff. C. ( Review posted on: 06/10/01 15:00:13

Hello there. Great show in all, Cortizone seemed ok from where we were stood near the mixing desk, and received as good a reaction as could be expected for a bunch of rabid Tool fans waiting for their band (looked like Justin was getting into them from the side of the stage). Before Tool came on just after nine there was some interseting stuff filtering through the P.A.. There was a bit of Aphex Twin, and Orbital, and the Bill Hicks 'Popemobile' sketch! Josh and Brendan from Queens of the stone age showed up at the mixing desk area to enjoy the show. The unassuming figures of Tool then came on to huge applause and launched into the Grudge. Others have put down a setlist so i won't bother. The mix was really clear (certainly from where we were stood), but for my tastes not loud enough! Oh well. But the show was stimulating, rocking, and great, in particular the versions of Aenema and Lateralus which made the old hairs on the back of the neck stand up. The band were tight as hell as you would expect, and the 'Schism' video was really cool. Hope everyone else enjoyed the show, and everyone whos going to a show soon enjoys it as well. Take care.

Review written by: FutureNinja ( Review posted on: 06/10/01 15:29:18

I was fortunate enough to witness the monolithic Tool in a live environment for the second time in my life. This gig was better than the London Astoria show in '97, apart from one minor complaint (bar the frankly useless blank screen that accompanied 'The Grudge' and the morons who were shouting abuse at the band. Why?) ...Maynard doesn't move about, twist, jerk, and gyrate as much as he used to. He should. I always thought that his actions and moves accentuated tha power of the music. And it looked cool. Maynard also mentioned something about still being around while many of their contemporaries are not (Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, and Nirvana were named). He put this down to none of the Tool members taking centre stage and that they have apparently learned how to communicate better. Very nice. Personally, I thought the highlight of the set was the magnificent climax of Pushit. Undoubtedly brilliant...

Review written by: Malbdes ( Review posted on: 06/11/01 06:15:45

I posted a review of the Dublin show a few days ago where I said it was possibly the best night of my life. That concert was just a brilliant concert, this was the most intense, cathartic experience of this life and probably any past ones I can't remember. From the moment the Grudge started to the moment Lateralus faded out, I was enthralled. I could feel the music pass through me, cleansing me. I can still feel it now, two days later. In Dublin I had spent the whole gig crushed against the barrier. Here, I was seated at the front left of the balcony, about 5 yards from the main speaker stack. Consequently, the sound was improved immeasurably. Maynard's voice, which had been perilously close to inaudability, was now crystal clear at all times. His guitar playing, which I had thought was ineffective, was integral to the overall sound and didn't seem to affect his vocals at all. Adam's bass, which had kind of drowned out the rest of the band from my position directly in front of his monitor, was now at a perfect level. Any slight issues I had had with the music were gone too. I had been less than impressed by the hugely long outro Adam had played to reflection as a run in to the intermission. This time, I was so grateful to him for it. Without that, I don't think I could have come down to the point I was able to move. Move I did, out to the lobby where I sat and repeated "That's no right" for the ten minutes or so of interval, until I returned to my seat to hear the rest of the most astonishing performance of my brief existence. Spiral Out! Keep, going.

Review written by: Mike ( Review posted on: 06/11/01 07:59:54

The best concert I've ever been to. I was in the front row and the sound in this place was great. The Apollo theater is a very clean ans classy place, reminds me a little of New Yorks Hammerstein. The crowd was also great, not too packed and not many crowd surfers. They did the same set as they did in Glasgow. There was an elderly woman next to me right upfront. She seemed to also be blind. She was wearing a Tool t-shirt and really got into the music. Maynard jumped off the stage and brought her a beer, which she politely passed around te crowd. It was definatly something nice to see. This was the last day of my European vacation, after the show I slept in the train station. Can't wait until the US tour

Review written by: XYU ( Review posted on: 06/11/01 12:35:23

wow. the first time I've ever seen Tool and one of the best live shows I've ever seen. it was a shame the screen was knackered for The Grudge, but the rest of the visuals were amazing. My personal favourite were the black and white spiral animations that reminded me a bit of 90s techno videos during Lateralus. THe only dissapointing thing really was that they didn't play Opiate or Crawl Away or Eulogy. it just shows what a class band Tool are when they can play amazing sets lke this and still leave out so many great songs. I couldn't believe the amount of moshing going on. How can you be concentrating on kicking the crap out of each other when you should be listening to Tool? fortunately I managed to get myself in front of all that, so just had to put up with the few shoving matches that went on and the odd crowd surfer landing on my head. I couldn't believe how good Tool sounded live. almost note perfect, but not in a manufactured way like Linkin Park sound playing "live". Maynard singing at the back of the stage in front of the little video screen looks so cool, as he's sillouetted against the images behind. Maynard didn't say too much in between songs, only what others have already said. and he also at one point said something like "hey, how about some Flock Of Seagulls?" I wasn't aware of his love of this seminal 80s band. sadly, no cover versions followed. But of what they did play, Forty-six & 2, schism, parabol+parabola stood out for me. and Lateralus. For a band like Tool, with so many great songs and so much expectation for their live shows, it would have been easy to be dissapointed by anything less than brilliant. In Manchester Tool did not dissapoint.

Review written by: alan ( Review posted on: 06/11/01 17:10:42

well, how do you start a tool review without using words like brilliant, amazing, dazzling, superb. it was tool! the night started with a long line of band t-shirts, a perfect circle shirts were in abundance. but i was suprised to see so many tool t's. where do these people find them? i seek, but no find. cortizone were average, which was a shame. one lovely man close to me shouted an un-audible comment, which was misinturiprted as "bellends" by the singer. enough said.... ...then tool. what to say. an intresting stage set up, the lead singer NOT at the front of the stage. hmmm. i donot understand..... a few problems with the large video screen at the back of the stage were quickly rectified and we are all mesmirized. cool naked people swimming about was problem the best thing most of the people in the crowd saw all night. the first act closes with the beautiful "reflection". the longest standing memory i will take away from this gig will be adam jones stood to the left of the stage slowly stroking the neck of his guitar to the end chords of "reflection" while the crazy mnan on the back drop waves us all good-bye... it was strange to hear a song flow through the speakers we had already heard that night. the "schism" video was "premiered" to us. no people on stage, huh? whu? but its tool. they can do whatever they fucking want in my mind. not in most of the audiences however. most of the cretins who had bought tickets obviously had no respect for a performance of any sort. how a band chooses to portray themself is up to them. for most tool fans i would sasy this is why we respect the four members, because they are free thinking and alittle strange! the crowd wanted three minute "limp bizkit look at the size of my cock songs". THIS IS TOOL GODAMMIT! dont shout "hurry the fuck up" and "play a fucking song" at tool. this is a live venue. if you want that sort of thing, listen to the cd at home. click the forward button. this is a completley different medium. the second half went well until the aforementioned incidents. i thought it laughable maynard saying "thank you" to the crowd[big cheer]. i thought it also unsettling maynard had to explain tool. he told us other bands had left, rage/nirvana/soundgarden,etc, yet tool were still here because they were brothers. beautiful. never has a song meant something completely different to me than "aenema". i wanted to flush these, freaks here in this hopeless fucking hole we call manchester, away. .... in conclussion this was one of the most awesome gigs i have ever seen, even if we only saw the top of justins head/nice parting mr. chancellor/ and yet the most appauling for a crowd. beautiful performance ugly crowd. i hope that all four of the guys know that not all of manchester is full of loud, abrupt pricks. i would apologize to them personaly but no-one is THAT lucky..... thank you danny, adam, justin and maynard

Review written by: Mike ( Review posted on: 06/11/01 21:45:28

...forgot to mention It was fucking awsome seeing Maynard play one of Adam's Les Paul silverburst's!!!!

Review written by: kickstand7 ( Review posted on: 06/12/01 10:13:54

I agree about the audience. I went to the Brixton show last night and just the atmosphere and more respectfull crowd added imensly to the show. You could tell the band was enjoying it more as well. S

Review written by: Master Reviewer Kate ( Review posted on: 06/13/01 09:10:03

I went to the Manchester Tool gig on the 9th of June and have to say it was the best gig ever!!! And Maynard is the best singer in the world today!!