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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: Kerrang!

Date: November, 1999

Transcribed by
Adam Knight (

  page: 38
 title: Desert Sessions!
author: Joshua Sindell

Pretty good review of Tool/Rage festival slot (suprisingly good 
especially for Kerrang!)

Rage Against the Machine
Coachella Valley Music Festival
Sunday, October 10
KKKK (out of 5)

It was a grand scheme. 'Build a festival out in the Californian 
desert. They will come.' Around 35,000 sun-worshipping rock fans 
actually did come, and they deemed it good. It's just a pity that it 
was a horrendous 112 degrees in the shade.
    Created in the same spirit of diverse entertainment as the UK's 
Glastonbury Festival, more than 80 electronic and dance acts have 
tried, mostly in vain, to persuade a heat-stricken crowd to rock 
their bodies. So it is indeed a relief when cool night falls upon 
this vast expanse in the Coachella valley, and two home-grown rock 
bands show a roaring audience how to energise their sagging joie de 
     As those lucky few were reminded a few weeks ago at The Astoria, 
Rage Against the Machine are simply one of the most rivetting live 
bands in the world today. Tonight offers the quartet another 
opportunity to unveil tracks from their hotly-anticipated third 
album, 'The Battle of Los Angeles', and the band open with its first 
track, 'Testify'.
     At the song's conclusion, firebrand vocalist Zack de la Rocha 
has an announcement to make. "I've got a fucked up case of 
laryngitis," he says, with a noticeable rasp. "So I'm gonna need all 
of your help tonight."
     But when there's guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Timmy C and 
drummer Brad Wilk providing the backing, karaoke doesn't get more fun 
than this. The crowd shouts the words for such favourites as 
'Bonbtrack', 'People Of The Sun', and an absolutely monstrous 'Bullet 
In the Head' as if they have the lyric sheets in their hands, and 
when Tool's Maynard Keenan emerges from the shadows to sing on 'Know 
Your Enemy', they go bonkers.
     It's a shortened set tonight, due to Zack's poorly throat. But 
with 35,000 Californians strenuously asserting that they won't be 
doing what they are told, on the anthem 'Killing In The Name', it's 
safe to say that few are grumbling about the brevity of the show.
     Next, it's 'Tool Time': the bug-zapping noises of '(-)Ions' 
alert us to their presence. Drummer Danny Carey, guitarist Adam 
Jones, and Bassist Justin Chancellor keep their forms hidden from the 
lighting rig, while above them video screens burst into activity. 
Maynard Keenan crouches and rocks back and forth as the band strike 
into 'Intolerance', from their 'Undertow' album.
     Simply put, it's as if they never left. Tool's sound is clinical 
and crushing, with Maynard's voice a startling siren of confusion and 
bilious hostility. The set continues with the spiteful 'Hooker With A 
Penis' followed by a blistering 'Forty-Six + 2' and the first of two 
covers from bassist Chancellor's one-time band, Peach. The Melvins' 
Buzz Osbourne appears on guitar for both of these songs to hammer 
home their angry message. Tool then unleash the familiar 'Prison Sex' 
to mass hysteria. They might have been gone for a while, but clearly 
they've not been forgotten, as a girl who wears a customised T-shirt 
with the song's lyric 'I have Found A Kind Of Temporary Sanity In 
This' can attest.
    Maynard dedicates 'Eulogy' to their "dear friend", Scott Reeder 
of Kyuss and Unida. But don't worry, desert rock fans, the bassist is 
very much alive, and as the song is one of Tool's finest, it's easily 
the highlight of the set. Tool are truly cooking now.
    The title track to their third album,'Aenima'(sic), finds Maynard 
praying for a giant earthquake to rid the world of California. The 
revellers sing along merrily, but it's still quite eerie, located as 
closely as we are to a volatile fault line. Six days later a huge 7.0 
quake will hit this very region. Spooky.
    Concluding the set with 'Sober' and 'Opiate', Tool leave the 
audience breathless and utterly spent. it's been three years since we 
all took a dose of 'Aenima'. It's high time Tool took us on another 
bad trip.

Posted to t.d.n: 12/06/00 17:44:37