the tool page

spark becomes a flame

This site is no longer being updated. See here for details. Follow me here and here for updates. Thank you for 22 great years.


select a year

The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: Georgia Straight

Date: October, 1996

Transcribed by
Ben (

 title: Teen Army Finds Tool Intense
author: By Shawn Conner

Industrial-strength rockers not afraid to venture into melodic terrain

Tool at the PNE Forum (Vancouver B.C.) on Friday, Oct. 25

It didn't take a genius to figure out where the teenage boys passing
around a mickey of Wiser's Deluxe on the eastbound #14 Hastings bus 
were going on friday night: the backwards baseball caps and Tool 
T-shirts gave it away.
Several thousand fans converged on the PNE Forum that night for the
Tool concert, and many made a brief stop at the merchandise table for 
more T-shirts. Tool is one of those bands that seemingly got huge 
overnight, leaving you wondering what you've been missing out on. If 
the reception at the Forum was any indication, Tool has a large and 
ardent group of admirers among young males. As they waited for the 
band to appear onstage, the excited devotees began chanting "Tool" in 
a manner that recalled Springsteen-crazed fans chanting "Broooce".
Tool answered the call by playing a 90-minute set of songs culled from
it's latest, Aenima (pronounced "enema"-get it?), Opiate, and they're 
first album, Undertow. Fan favourites - perhaps even "hits" in some 
alternative universe I don't know about - included "Prison Sex" and 
"Sober". (I know all this stuff because I asked the Tool fan sitting 
next to me. Thanks, Tom.) I have no idea what the bands lyrics are 
about, although genetic engineering seems to be a favourite topic, but 
I can tell you that Tool is your basic four white guys playing heavy, 
industrial-strength rock on bass, guitar, and drums. What  
differentiates the band from the pack is it's songs, which are long, 
intricate affairs with different time signatures and bits that 
sometimes border on melodic. The songs were, at least for the first 
hour, interesting, and they were delivered by a lead singer, Maynard
James Keenan (painted blue for the occasion), who actually can sing.
Audience response was enthusiastic, to say the least. There was lots
fist-waving and a giant mosh pit got going on the packed floor of the
airplane hangar-like Forum. The sound was good, and for those who care
about such things, a hallucinatory video featuring images of 
reproducing amoebas and naked guys jumping up and down was projected 
on the screen behind the band. Tool put on a tight, dynamic show, and 
Keenan was a charismatic and intense figure in his boxer shorts and 
blue body paint.
The Cows, the warm-up band, were not given nearly as warm a reception
as Tool. In fact, the audience seemed to hate the Cows, yelling for 
Tool, giving the four-man punk band the bird, and generally behaving 
like high-school students with a substitute teacher. The Cows gamely 
played on, and the lead singer-trumpet player, dressed in a sailor 
suit, responded to the hostility by eating a cigarette and doing a 
handstand for what seemed like several minutes at the end of the set. 
It was as though he was daring the crowd to knock him down.
Keenan was so disgusted by the reception given to the Cows that, in 
the middle of his band's set, he reprimanded his followers by saying, 
"We like the Cows; that's why we brought 'em" and "You guys get the 
prize for the rudest fucking audience to an opening band I've ever 

Posted to t.d.n: 05/03/97 16:55:29