the tool page

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The Tool Page: An Article


Date: April, 2002

Transcribed by
K. ( )

 title: Tool - April 24th, 2002 - Sydney, AUS @ Entertainment Centre
author: Kev Truong

When Tool performed here last July a second Sydney show 
had to be added in response to the overwhelming rush for 
tickets. This time around the single show was yet to reach full 
capacity – almost symbolic of how this year’s was no simple 
rehash of last year, something many fans were anticipating. 
But then again, Tool are one of the few bands who have 
made themselves famous by disregarding all expectations of 

Tonight’s show was something of an unorthodox one, 
compared to what the band is usually known for. A strangely 
chatty Maynard James Keenan broke his self-imposed exile 
and spoke casually to the crowd, inciting them to a cheer 
of “Yes!” and sometimes sharing his thoughts, most of which 
were unashamedly eccentric to say the least. That the anal 
cavity is on average four degrees warmer than the vagina is 
one such tidbit Keenan eagerly shared with us, although it 
was all the more fitting as an intro to the mighty "4 Degrees." 
But it was the song selection that surprised the masses the 
most. Focusing largely on Lateralus and to a lesser extent 
Undertow, "Stinkfist" was the only song from Ænima to 
appear the entire night, a move that went so far as to cause 
some people leaving in disappointment. 

Opening with the unexpected choice of "Flood" then the more 
comfortable "The Grudge," Tool really did now more than 
ever keep the audience in a constant state of unknowing, 
where almost every step was unpredicted. An extended 
version of "Stinkfist" that no one saw coming left the crowd 
shouting lines that weren’t even being sung, and rolling out 
the entire duo of "Disposition" and "Reflection" entranced 
some but alienated others with their length. By the same 
token, the band re-emerged from the intermission of 
the "Parabola" video (which they had already played on 
stage) with a seemingly reworked, longer and absolutely 
stunning "Triad," and honestly who would’ve thought they’d 
give that one a go. The projector screens portraying the 
bizarre and twisted visions that are synonymous with Tool 
completely dominated the visual focus; and considering how 
little stage presence the band members themselves have, 
this really was a good thing. With their feet firmly planted on 
their spot on the stage and their faces obscured by their long 
hair, the players simply let their instruments communicate, 
and made no attempt to try it any other way. Adam Jones in 
particular was a foreboding figure – his sheer stillness 
contrasted drastically by the strained and pained sounds he 
forced from his guitar. 

Ultimately, Tool played a set that was nearly impossible to 
fault. The sound was as solid as you’d expect from a high 
end venue such as the Entertainment Centre, and the band 
were as impeccably precise on their instruments as they are 
on record, with every dynamic, subtlety and thread of power 
displayed flawlessly. Although some may have considered the 
choice of songs dire, it’s difficult to say when experiencing 
Tool in concert whether this was detrimental to their 
devastating impact or not. As esoteric and arcane as their 
music tends to be, there’s no doubt that this unique group of 
musicians weave their magic to everlasting effect. 

As for the supports, I missed the Melvins but heard they 
played to solid acclaim, and as for Osseus Labyrint… As it 
turns out they’re not so much a musical act but a pair of 
shaven-headed performers, who appeared at certain points in 
Tool’s set and placed their naked bodies into strange and 
let’s say different positions. I was there, and I don’t 
understand it either. 

Posted to t.d.n: 05/02/02 23:48:45