Publication: New Orleans' Times-Picayune
Date: November 15, 1996
Transcribed by Bartley Harrison (Godwithgun@aol.com)
title: Review of the Tool concert November 9 1996 Tool drills into troubled psyches author: Keith Spera With a groan like a long-sealed crypt door cracking open, Tool embarked on a downward spiral into the psychosis of "Stinkfist" for the benefit of a sold- out State Palace Theater Saturday night. The conductor for this descent was vocalist Maynard James Keenan, cast in the role of resident enigma. The right side of his body - from the top of his shaved head , over his bare torso and shorts, to his sandaled feet - was painted royal blue; he seemed to have been cleaved cleanly do and stitched to the left. His deliberate, robotic movements - pivoting his torso one notch at a time, holding his arms stiffly up and away from his body and bent at the elbows - mimicked those of the creepy stop the band's claustrophobic videos. At one point he absently finger-painted the stage with color scraped off his body while the musicians kicked up a storm around him, all brash, ominous chords and controlled feedback, double-bass drumming, and wandering bass lines. Tool does not write anthems around grand themes, and Keenan did not exhort the crowds to riots of moshing - instead, he spoke calmly and evenly between songs. Most numbers were roughly the same mid-tempo; instead of peaks and valleys, the band wove an unbroken tapestry that bored ever- deeper into an extremely troubled psyche. There were some lighter moments - guitarist Adam Jones quoted the opening riffs of Rush's " A passage to Bangkok," and Keenan toyed with the audience by announcing "this is the last song..." and then, after a chorus of boos, completing the thought with "...on our first album." But in general Tool proffered a very intense, heavy, ominous form of navel-gazing, one that was simultaneously mesmerizing and disturbing.