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A TOOL-Related Article

Publication: New Orleans' Times-Picayune

Date: November 15, 1996

Transcribed by Bartley Harrison (

 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.

kabir/akhtar | kabir@t.d.n