the tool page

breathe in union

This site is no longer being updated. See here for details. Follow me here and here for updates. Thank you for 22 great years.


select a year

The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: Kerrang!

Date: April, 1998

Transcribed by
Kazio Ambroz (

  page: 22
 title: Mesmerising! Tool Paint It Black in LA
author: Joshua Sindell


Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles
Thursday, March 26


They're queued up for miles outside when the Melvins kick 
in - and what a fearsome, awesome roar it is. There's Buzz 
Osborne, curly hair shaking like a bush in the wind. There's 
drummer Dale Crover, a scowl attached to his face. And 
there's ex-Obsessed bassist Guy Pinhas, nailed to the stage, 
churning out waves of deep turbulence. It's safe to say that 
the Melvins remain inscrutable and undeniably hostile.
   For Tool, this - the first of a two-night home-town 
residency - is a statement of staying power. The band have 
announced in the local press that both shows will be 
completely different. Quite a boast for a band with only two 
full-length albums and an EP to their name.
   Brawny drummer Danny Carey is the first to appear after 
the lights dim and the cheers rise. Guitarrist Adam Jones and 
bassist Justin Chancellor emerge shortly afterward. The lights 
never rise, and the members of Tool will remain mostly in 
darkness for the entire evening. People in the VIP section at 
the Palladium - which hosts such luminaries as Jonathan 
Davis, Chino Moreno, Tom Morello, Butch Vig and, amazingly, 
a short-haired and stand-offish Axl Rose - squint to view the 
figures onstage.
   Then Maynard James Keenan prowls out towards us. An 
unsmiling, hunched-over strand of gristle, he nods to Jones 
to strike up the band. It's the first Tool song most of this 
auidence ever heard: 'Sweat' from the 'Opiate' EP. The crowd 
go mad. Next is the second song from the same EP, 'Hush'; 
it in turn is followed by 'Intolerance' from the debut 
album, 'Undertow'. Surreal films are projected onto the dual 
screens that flank the unlit stage: blurred footage of nude 
dancers, people screaming in fear, an eye held open by 
surgical tools...
   Tool's bizarre sense of humour is revealed by the fourth 
song. Walking onstage, two 'doctors' take the microphone, 
and inquire which band member is named "Murphy". Maynard 
raises his hand, and agress to subject himself to a battery of 
tests. The doctors insist that they won't interrupt the concert, 
so Keenan agress to sing the next song clad in a hospital 
gown whilst sitting in a wheelchair!
   The high point of the show has to be when the band 
perform arguably their greatest song, 'Eulogy'. Powerful and 
electrifyingly tight doesn't begin to describe its air-strike 
bombardment, with Keenan's voice a wail of pent-up pain and 
bile. The crowd surges with every attacking surge from Jones' 
guitar. A guesting Buzz Osborne on second guitar only serevs 
to make 'Stinkfist' so heavy upon the ears that it feels like 
your neck will cave under its weight.
   "Be sure you check out our T-shirts in the lobby," Keenan 
calls out near the show's end. "They say, 'Tool fucked the 
shit out of me at the Hollywood Palladium'."
   Who says there's no truth in advertising any more?

MOST ROCKING MOMENT: The stunning 'Eulogy'.

LEAST ROCKING MOMENT: Not here, not now.

BEST ONSTAGE QUOTE: "Just because we won a Grammy 
doesn't mean that we do encores..." - Maynard James 
Keenen says farewell in typically friendly manner.

VERDICT: None more black. Or more enthralling.

Posted to t.d.n: 10/21/01 10:02:20