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A TOOL-Related Article

Publication: Los Angeles Times

Date: December 21, 1996

Transcribed by Melissa Smith (

 title: A Brush With Body Paint Enhances Tool's Performance 
author: Sandy Masuo

POP MUSIC REVIEW HOLLYWOOD--- Combining rock with elements of theater can 
be risky business. Too often body paint and multimedia embellishments are 
simply a convenient way of masking musical shortcomings. 

Not so with Tool, which certainly doesn't need to augment its riveting 
live show with any bells and whistles. When the Los Angeles quartet has 
employed such devices in the past, as when an exotic female dancer did a 
striptease that revealed her to be a man in a show last spring at the 
Grand Olympic Auditorium, it has enhanced the presentation. For a few 
perplexing moments after the stage lights came up for the band's show 
Thursday at the Universal Amphitheatre, though, it appeared that 
Tool--masters of raw, no-fills rock-- had plunged into the perilous realm 
of performance art. Guitarist Adam Jones, painted blue from the waist up, 
and bassist Justin Chancellor, painted brown, flanked singer Maynard 
James Keenan, clad only in boxer shorts and painted half blue from head 
to foot. But rather than being a distraction, the paint actually enhanced 
Keenan's visceral stage presence as the show progressed, his frenetic 
dance movements contrasting with the frozen poses of the three 
mannequin-like statues that shared the stage with the band. The music was 
no less dynamic: Drummer Danny Carey and Chancellor stirred up currents 
of mesmerizing rhythms as Jones' volatile guitar lines exploded in tandem 
with Keenan's strident vocals. The piquant desperation of "Sober" and the 
bitter defiance of "Opiate" came through loud and clear, and the group's 
rendering of "Eulogy", the standout track from the new "Aenima" album, 
was incandescent, building from a quiet percussive introduction to a 
devastating close. Although the theatrical accents--which also included a 
satirical animated film--certainly added a vibrant visual dimension to 
the show, the music would have hit just as hard had it been played behind 
a screen.

kabir/akhtar | kabir@t.d.n