A Review of the Spring 1997 Tour

Date: March 1

Poughkeepsie, New York March 1, 1997 Set List (correct order) 1. Third Eye 2. Stinkfist 3. 46 & 2 4. Crawl Away 5. Eulogy 6. Jimmy 7. 4ƒ 8. H. 9. Sober 10. Opiate encore 11. nema (Be sure to read our review to last nightís show at Fitchburg.) Poughkeepsie Mid-Hudson Civic Center ìEarplugs deep within the ear canal.î It was a rainy, overcast evening but a huge line that wrapped around the civic center, and down a side street waited for their turn to enter the concert. Security checks were fairly loose. The management was obviously rushing to process all the waiting fans in order to avoid any problems outside. We were surprised to note that tickets were still being sold at the door, indicating the show was not a sell out. Inside, the floor area and bleachers in the rear of the auditorium were slowly swelling with people. Their were a lot of younger fans, unlike the crowd we had seen the night before at Fitchburg. The show started with a local band that kept complaining to the engineer to ìturn down the reverb, and up the monitor.î The vocalist warned the audience that their first song ìhad some swear words in it, so be careful.î We feared that we were at the teenybopper Saturday evening baby sitterís club meeting. We joked that TOOL would just come out and play ìPrison Sex, Sober, Stinkfistî and then leave, because the venue appeared quite chintzy. From our vantage point, we saw TOOL watching the first set. I saw Justin and Maynard watching from the side of the stage. Neither of them had their blue make-up on yet. Maynard climbed on top of a crate for a better angle and sat Indian-style. He took a picture of the band. Next were the Melvins. The crowd was fairly well assembled by this time. The crowd surfing cocks began riding the wave into the arms of an angered security line. We were positioned to the left of center, in the first row. It took all our effort to hold our spot on the rail. As the set changed, the audience became progressively more rowdy. The familiar shouts of ìTOOL!î and ìMaynard!î were heard. Finally, the lights went down and the video screenís cover dropped. The show was about to begin. Third Eye was their first song. With a microphone in each hand, Maynard started ìprying openî the crowd into wonder. Adamís guitar solo in this song is one of my favorite moments. Immediately afterwards, the band went into Stinkfist. In this performance, Stinkfist has an additional guitar solo that was longer than we had seen at the previous show. A good number of ìChickenweaselî was heard throughout the auditorium. After the song, Maynard turned and just said, ìPoughkeepsie...î (itís fun to say) The audience responded with a thunderous roar as TOOL went into ìForty-Six & 2.î Two crowd surfers managed to get by security and nearly make it on stage. One reached the left corner and got a foot on the stage before being thrown to the hard concrete floor by strong hands. A second surfer got onto the middle of the stage. He faced the audience, and jumped back into the crowd. After the Forty-Six & 2, the band moved together for a quick conference. We could hear Maynard say ìIím scaredî when he was talking to the other band members, referring to the two fans that had gotten on stage. At the same moment, security reinforcements were dispatched to the front of the stage. This doesnít really deserve to get noted, but a group of teenage girls screamed, ìWe love you, Adam!î to the guitar player. So if Adam ìbastardometerî Jones is reading this, know that somebody loves you. Maynard spoke again to introduce the next song. He said, ìThis song is a love song, and it goes out to....Eric Marrowî When Adam began playing the introductory line to ëCrawl Away,í all the old fans made their voices heard. ìI tried to keep ahold,î as the energy of the song propelled everyone forward. Maynardís voice was clear and crisp, despite the fact that the Poughkeepsie Civic Center is notorious for poor acoustics. With little pause, this favorite was followed by Eulogy. Fans of TOOLís more emotional songs were in for a real treat when the band played "jimmy," followed by "4ƒ." After ìjimmy,î Maynard picked up a bra off the stage, which may or may not have been thrown up there. He introduced 4ƒ, by saying, ìThis is a very special song; it goes out to a very special person. It goes out to....Magilla the gorillaís sister, Camilla.î It sounded as if he changed a lyric to ìdickís too short...î but how can anyone be sure? To introduce H. Maynard began by saying ìThis is our new single, or so they tell us. I donít really listen to the radio much. Its a song about choices.î Without pause, the live ten minute introduction to Sober began with distortion on the guitars and some cool drum action from Danny. After ìSober, ì Maynard talked about the next song to be played. Like he does every time, he said, ìThis is the last song...on our first album.î He laughed a little at this. Maynard explained the meaning of ìOpiateî: ìI guess thereís been some discrepancy on what itís about. A long time ago, some people had some moments of clarity and kinda wrote down their concepts or went and talked about them. Concepts having to do with unity, evolving thoughts, choosing compassion over fear, things like that. All kinds of people--Gandhi, Krishna, Buddha, Mohammod, Christ. Well, theyíre pretty cool ideas, but then what happened was a bunch of guys who wanted to make a buck got involved and fucked it all up. ì Then, Maynard offered the advice ìNever trust an agent, theyíll fuck up it all.î (sic) and then began the first album favorite. After the song, Maynard gave the peace sign to the audience, but it might have a different meaning. Last night in Fitchburg, he pointed out a guy who had a testicle transplant and now had two balls. So at that show he gave the ìpeace signî (two fingers) after he said that, AND after ìOpiate.î The cheers prevented them leaving. Everybody knew TOOL was going to do an encore anyway. When TOOL came back on stage, Maynard said, ìShut up.....î then ìOkay, one more.î It was ìnema,î which had everyone rocking until the end. Musically, we were very impressed by TOOL. We were in front of the left speaker stack, but had our ìearplugs deep within the ear canalî and it all sounded great, from Dannyís drum fills to Maynardís emotional vocals. We were pleasantly surprised to hear ìCrawl Awayî and ì4ƒ,î two songs which are favorites, but rarely played on the tour. Having a place in the front row was great, being able to see each member of the band. As for the conduct of the crowd, there wasnít too much violent activity off to the sides. We had a place on the rail which required a little effort to hold onto, but there was quite a bit of action toward the center of the crowd. I canít count how many people came over the rail from surfing, and there were others who somehow got on stage from the back and stage-dived over a six-foot gap between the stage and rail. Those who decided they wanted to go on stage were put in full-nelsons by the security forces who did a better job than last night at Fitchburg. Myself, I was accused by some girl of trying to ìrape her friendî as I tried to keep them from pushing into the front row, but I guess I happened to touch something ìthe wrong way.î I hope these teenyboppers realize that TOOL is much more talented and emotional than.....well, I wonít name names... Collaborative report. Send comments via personal e-mail to: Justin taylaj@rpi.edu ALbert zurowb@rpi.edu