the tool page

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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: Omaha World-Herald

Date: September, 2002

Transcribed by
John Kieran (

 title: Fans of Tool get their fix at the Civic
author: Christine Laue

     A rotating ring of eyeballs throbbed in and out of focus on 
two screens above the Omaha Civic Auditorium arena stage 
Thursday night as twinkling keyboards cued the crowd of 
7,000 people that Tool was about to take the stage.
     The crowd that filled the arena floor from the front of the 
stage to the back of the ground level pushed forward, 
recoiling and swaying forward again.
     Two plumes of white smoke filled the back of the stage, 
and a humming sound like a swarm of cicadas fed the 
     Finally, in the black, figures moved onto the stage, the 
cicada hum growing lower, the crowd with it.  Purple lights 
shone at the feet of the four-piece band, the lead singer in 
the back, to the left of the drums, his back to the audience.  
The arena vibrated and rumbled like the inside of a volcano 
about to erupt as guitar pangs elicited screams from 
audience members recognizing the song: "Sober," the hit 
single whose disturbing video helped get the band on MTV 
and make it one of today's most popular alternative-rock 
     With the distinctive, repetitive bass line -- ba-bump, ba-
bump -- audience members in the stands wrenched forward 
to the beat, screaming with the lyrics.
     In one row thrashed Jon Whitehill and friend Becky 
Tatreau, both 21 and from Omaha.  Behind them, Spencer 
Cox, 22 and his three friends did the same.
     "I base my whole religion on Tool," Cox said, explaining 
how the band has taught him to keep an open mind and 
question authority.  "I've loved Tool since I was 14, just 
because of the fact that their music is so deep."
     If one thing was evident at Tool's concert, it was that this 
band has some depth to it.  Keeping the focus off the players 
and more on the artsy, although disturbing, videos on two 
screens, Tool made a point it has been making since it has 
been making music -- this is a band with substance.
     There was no need for fancy costumes or pyrotechnics, 
stage sprints or other antics.  Rather than indulging the crowd 
with the usual, Tool took it to the unusual -- a place with 
layered, complex soundtracks and alien-like beings whose 
third-eyes are revealed by a scalpel slicing their foreheads.
     Lead singer Maynard James Keenan kept to the dimly lit 
back of the stage, leaving after the second song to return in 
only black underwear that showed his spine tattoo.  Bassist 
Justin Chancellor and guitarist Adam Jones, hunched over 
their guitars, hardly moving.  Danny Carey drummed away in 
a Kansas University jersey -- No. 22.
     As the show neared its end, another hum overtook the 
amplifiers, like a spaceship hovering, it built anticipation that 
it would soon take off.  The band stayed, playing a noted 
trilogy of songs off its critically acclaimed 2001 
album, "Lateralus," and ending with the song, "Lateralis 
[sic]."  After nearly two hours, thousands of weary eyeballs 
wandered out of the arena, throbbing from the cicada attack, 
the alien abduction, the volcano eruption.
     "It was awesome!" Cox said.  "It was amazing!"

Posted to t.d.n: 09/07/02 20:54:24