Publication: The Arizona Republic
Date: November, 2002
page: title: A Thinking Fan's Band author: Michael Senft A thinking fan's band Metal master Tool revises its thought-provoking show By Michael Senft The Arizona Republic Nov. 17, 2002 Throughout its 10-year history, Tool has set new standards for heavy metal. Eschewing the sexual innuendo of its hair-metal predecessors and the rap-metal posturing of its contemporaries, the LA- based quartet has won critical acclaim and legions of followers, not to mention two Grammys. All this while blending virtuoso musicianship with lyrics that draw equal inspiration from Albert Einstein, Noam Chomsky and Aleister Crowley. When these metal superstars step onstage Tuesday at America West Arena, they promise to deliver more than intricate music with thought-provoking lyrics. And they want their audience to do more than mosh. "We want the audience to use both sides of their brain at our shows, so we try to stimulate both, with images and words," guitarist Adam Jones says. When Tool visited Cricket Pavilion in October 2001, it certainly accomplished its goal of cortex stimulation. Not only did the band run surreal videos on gigantic screens but it featured mesmerizing acrobatics by Osseus Labyrint, a pair of contortionists who performed throughout the set, both onstage and suspended from the rafters. The band even had the Gilbert High School drum corps join it when the show started, then invited opening act Tricky to sing with it during the encore. "Actually, my nephew's in the (drum) corps," Jones explains. "That's how we were able to set that up." If you're thinking about skipping Tool this time because you caught them in 2001, reconsider. After 18 months of constant touring, the band is changing its show to keep it interesting, both for itself and its fans. Which means no high school drummers and no contortionists. "The whole production is brand-new. New visuals and different songs," Jones says. Asked for specifics, he's cagey, not wanting to spoil the surprise. But he does let slip a few hints: "We had Alex Gray, who did the cover (for Tool's latest album, Lateralus), design the whole show. Like the album cover (which features translucent pages of anatomy cross sections and Eastern mandalas), it builds on itself throughout." Jones, who has directed the dark animated videos for all of Tool's hits, adds, "I worked on a lot of the visuals as well, using CGI (computer-generated imagery) and shooting underwater for strange effects." One thing that won't change will be Tool's diverse choice of opening acts. Last year's Valley visit featured Tricky, other shows have featured prog-rock legends King Crimson. This time, Tool is bringing the Swedish math-metal band Meshuggah along. "Our agent will say, 'Take this band, they need the exposure,' but we're going to bring the bands we like and make a really diverse show," Jones says. And, as with Tricky last year, Meshuggah will be helping throughout Tool's set. "We like to mix up the older songs," Jones says, "do things differently. It keeps the show interesting, for us and the audience. "I think you'll really like it. We've tried hard to make this something special."
Posted to t.d.n: 11/22/02 10:25:38