concert reviews firsthand, immediate, from the heart

Review written by: Julian (
Review posted on: 04/23/02 10:21:58 ET

This was this reviewer's 3rd Tool show

Tonight's setlist: The Grudge Ions (i think) Stinkfist Forty-Six & Two Parabola Schism Sober 4 Degrees Disposition Reflection (Intermission: Oss. Labyrint) Triad Opiate Lateralus Parabol/Parabola video Excellent and amazing experience. i am in total debt to Tool, the way they inspire me, to open up, to heal, to live. I was swimming in emotion the entire night. The band was immersed in creative energy and performed flawlessly. Though this is my 3rd Tool show, these artists still reach out to me in a way i haven't felt before. The energy of their live performance underlines the sheer brillance and intensity of their songs and strengthens the deep connection between the band and their fans. Thankyou Tool. Such an inspiration... Art Saves Lives p.s. I don't wish to dwell on any negatives, however gorillas who "mosh" waste their time at Tool shows and serve as a reminder of how not to appreciate art. p.p.s. if anyone has any recorded material from the show or photographs I would really like to get a copy. Please conact me at: thanks.

Review written by: MasterofPuppets ( Review posted on: 04/23/02 14:21:09 ET

This was this reviewer's 4th Tool show

I just want to clear this up once and for all. Maynard plays a SYNTH during the concerts, NOT a guitar, as has been reported numerous times. The synth is shaped or styled like a guitar, but the sound that comes out of it is not that of a guitar. Songs like Schism and Disposition/Reflection have a synthesizer on the album versions, so it makes NO sense to think that Maynard is playing anything other than a synthesizer. If you see something that looks like a guitar, next try to listen for a guitar. Don't hear it? that's cuz its not one. Just had to clear that up first.....Tool is an amazing band, and their recent inclusion of songs like Flood and 4 degrees to the setlists is incredible.....keep it up guys

Review written by: Craig mead (`2L) ( Review posted on: 04/23/02 15:05:56 ET

This was this reviewer's 4th Tool show

Well, it's 4:30 am and I'm finally home from Newcastle after detouring back to the office for an hours work I had to do *yawn* Got there ~ 5:30 and heard quite a bit of the sound check, was booming from outside (it's basically an old hangar/shed). Didn't bother watching Melvins as there are 4 other opportunities for me to watch them.... Went inside about 8:35 (security was pretty damn tight....quite hefty pat downs and ANYTHING with spikes/chains etc were told to get rid of them and come back around for anotehr patdown) and sat down the back near the sound-desk for a bit, but then realised there wasn't that many people in GA, so we moved up the front towards the left hand side of the stage a few M's back from the barrier, still plenty of room. Usual deal ~ 8:55, lights go out, crowd surges towards the front, drone starts and the Lat. circle of eyes comes up on all 3 screens (rear screen was a 50/50 split left/right mirror image), smaller screen behind MJK as per 2001 tour. The boys walk out, crowd goes up yada yada yada. Waiting for a flood intro, but no, we get the Grudge to start......I'm pretty sure I saw Justin stick his finger up at either a - the crowd or b - Danny right near the start. They seemed a bit loose to start with with a few of "what the hell are you doing?" looks going between band members. Maynard was in the leather pants and shirt with....what I would take as a guess at being Oakley sunglasses on (just standard glasses, not the Medusa headset or goggles.) For some reason, Maynard didn't even attempt "the scream" he kind of stood there with the mic near his face, then after a few seconds let the mic down by his side and stared at his screen. Next, Stinkfist. Elvis lyrics and extendo solo/thingy. They seemed to get their shit together a lot more from here on in and sounded much better. 46 & 2 came next. Pretty sure it was at the end of this that Danny had a drum replaced (got it done twice in the space of a few songs), MJK did a bit of a speech about if you've lost your way .... due to haluconagens (crowd screams)....your at a tool concert. (crowd screams). Bit of a intro into (not parabol tho, just rathym noise) Parabola with Geiss like images on the screens. Pretty sure after this came Schism with extended middle of a coupla sustained notes etc for a few mins. while OE came onstage and did their bit. Head into sober.....sounded quite good I must say. For some reason this song doesn't do much for me off the CD, but's amazing. Intro to Four Degrees "this song is not about anal sex". This was the first Tool song I was obsessively addicted to, and after all these years to finally hear it live was fucking orgasmic/amazing.mind blowing/something. Bit more rathym noise (I almost thought they were about to break into Pushit, but alas, no) into Disposition/Reflection. Adam lost it slightly mid-way thru reflection and had a look @ Danny, but apart from this was all good. Adam does the repeated chord/play off while all others walk off stage (lasted a few minutes) Ropes come out for OE centre-stage back and they hoist themselves up, Dale comes onstage with Danny, cue Triad (intro seemed a bit different, might just be me tho). Justin and Adam joined in and this was well worth the wait to see live. OE were doing their thing on the ropes the whole time, pretty amazing what they can do with just a human body as a prop. Maynard was behind his screen this time (so between the projector and the screen meaning all u could see was his silhouette (sp??)) with the guitar with no head on it (prolly a techical term for it, but I dunno). He was dancing away and played with his glasses a fair bit as well. OE come back down the ropes, Dale and his drums leave the stage, MJK comes back on front of stage and thanks Dale. Next was Opiate, then the "take this moment, and do somethign positive speech" then Lateralus (started all facing Danny as per usual it seems now). According to others I was there with, they said it was the best ver. of Lateralus they've seen live (in comparison to Melb and Syd #1 2001) I went for a walk to the sounddesk to take it all in and try and be a groupy whore and score a setlist, so I wasn't paying full attention. The view from the back looking over the crowd up onto the stage was quite awesome though. MJK said something along the lines of "we've got a treat for all of you now"....was hoping for an Encore even though I knew it was very unlikely, but it was the Parabol/a video clip. Clip finished playing, house lights came up, and the exit music started playing. nb: have a good listen to the words of it.....kinda ammusing. 1 down, 4 to go. (this tour) -- AMTCode(v2): [AMT Whore][TU][A5][L+][S ][B+][FM][P][CS]

Review written by: Mohammed Keenan ( Review posted on: 04/23/02 18:11:11 ET

This was this reviewer's 2nd Tool show

As always a superb performance the the lads in a venue that holds what I estimate to be about 6,000... Whilst they maintained a very similair feel the vibe that I felt at last years gig, it was terrific to hear some songs that I had not heard them play live before, such as 4 Degrees, Opiate and Triad, as well as crowd favourites like Stinkfist and Sober... The Melvins were sensational, if I was into them more I would have loved it... All in all, another five star performance from the boys which has left me salivating for another performance in the coming years... SETLIST - NEWCASTLE, 23 APRIL 2002 The Grudge (-) Ions Stinkfist Forty Six & 2 Eon Blue Apocalypse Parabola Schism 4 Degrees Sober Disposition Reflection Triad Opiate Lateralus Note: (-) Ions, and Eon Blue Apocalypse only appeared in their fragments but I thought they were worth mentioning... Toodles...

Review written by: BrAinOfJ ( Review posted on: 04/23/02 19:09:19 ET

This was this reviewer's 2nd? Tool show

Thought id chuck this in for anyone trying to play some tool songs on guitar, As everyone else so far has expressed how great the show was... although no one has mentioned the terrible accoustics of the newcastle "ent cent" which removed any clarity from the bass/guitar amps and allowed a unusually loud amp hum through (maybe the bands amps are just noisy, but i didnt hear this at the last show i went to), but now im nit picking. I was an ideal position to watch adam and justin play, and was amazed by some of the stuff they actually add to the music, that you dont really hear. If youve been playing tool by tab forget it... none of the tabs here or at tooltabs are anything like what adam was playing, constantly adding little runs and harmonics that arent really part of the main riff. And the end of lateralus... with those artificial harmonics... the way he NAILED!! them.. i was left shaking my head in absolutle awe... Great show, Great Band, the best Music...

Review written by: Craig ( Review posted on: 04/23/02 22:07:11 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

setlist The Grudge Stinkfist 46 and 2 Parobol/ Parobola Schism Sober 4 degrees Disposition Reflection Triad Opiom Lateralus Parabola Flim Clip Wow what a show, its the first time i have seen Tool play and i have 2 say it fuking kicked ass! The Melvins played really well i havnt heard much of there stuff but i was impressed. I had only heard what they have done in other bands like Fantomas and Tomahawk. During Schism a naked chick and a guy walked on all 4 around the stage it was really wierd. i really think they should take Disposition and Reflection out of the set i heard a few boo's from crowd basically cause we were dieing in the mosh and wanted sumthing that rocked. during the encore break the naked chick and guy were dangerling from these ropes. The drummer from The Melvins help out on drums on Triad. Overall a great concert i hope they come back to Newcastle soon. Craig

Review written by: Cam ( Review posted on: 04/23/02 22:07:27 ET

This was this reviewer's 3rd Tool show

Okay so the set list has been posted. what they played they played briliantly - extended versions of almost every song they played was impressive, and shows the band takes pride in their live shows. Other than that, i found the set list fairly unimaginative. It was basically the same as the last time i saw them in Melbourne last June, less a few classics, and with the brilliant addition of 4 degrees. I find it kinda disappointing that a band with so much great material, old and new, is bassing their setlist around the same 8 or so songs. But, i won't complain (or have i already?) as the sound quality, the chemistry, the energy, the video backdrop, the performance from Osseus Labyrint, Triad with the drummer from the Melvins and the opening from the Melvins were all first rate. One thing i will bitch about is the attitude of the Newcastle crowd (oh, my friend and I came all the way from Melbourne for this show). You people are a bunch of worthless hicks who don't deserve to have great bands touring. To the girl standing almost next to me yelling 'git orrrrf' to the roadies during the sound check, to the people who think their calls for 'ooker wit a poinis' will be answered, and to the stuipd kids behind me going 'awww moi gawd ... BOOBIES' during osseus labyrint's performance, and to the people pushing and crushing me on the front barrier and to the crowd surfers who kept kicking me in the head, can you all please grow up? Tool is not a band where this kind of immature crap is necessary. The most amazing thing about the last show i saw in Melbourne in June was the way the crowd basically stood in awe of the performance - when Maynard told us to 'take this feeling and use it to do something positive' it sent a tingle up my spine ... when he said the same thing this time, i felt inspired to create a device that sends electric shocks to people if their legs ever get above their heads at a concert. congrats to tool, this is the best i've seen them play - can't wait til Saturday night in Melbourne

Review written by: Master Of Puppets ( Review posted on: 04/23/02 22:35:54 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

hands up all the Newcastle ppl that want to belt the shit out of Cam ( with me???????????? FUK YOU get a life u PUSSY! crying about the setlist then u cry about getting hurt in the moshpit! orrrrrr poor baby! ul think twice next time about going into a Newcastle Moshpit!

Review written by: BrAinOfJ ( Review posted on: 04/24/02 00:13:34 ET

This was this reviewer's 2nd Tool show

I happen to agree with cam... Although this isnt a notice board, im gunna add my bit. Tool is NOT a mosh band. Their music is to enjoy and explore. they hope it will inspire something in you. Plus sif you can appreciate the music while being pushed accross the top of the crowd! AND what about the guy in the wheel chair... poor bloke probably hurt himself in an accident... but his actions were more a demonstration of his retardedness. (appologies to anyone offended, making a point) Sit back, listen to the music, if you dont get something out of it, and still fell compelled to mosh... go to a limp biskit or korn concert... tool !

Review written by: Sarah ( Review posted on: 04/24/02 00:48:09 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st? Tool show

Last night, my jaw gaped open, my eyes widened and my heart beat faster as I saw one of the best bands in the world perform. That band was Tool. Getting there was a pain in the ass though, we all got off at the wrong station, and it took us 30 minutes to get were we were supposed to, but we got there in the end. The Newcastle Entertainment centre is pretty small and cosy, a really intimate place. We had seating tickets, I was number 152. We were so close we could make out facial details. At around 8pm the lights were taken away, and a small fluffy headed afro man took the stage. This were the support act and they were The Melvins. Their drummer was so good and so fast I thought he would break his drums. They were a really good band, and some of there songs sounded like Metallica. After they finished, which was after quite awhile, there was a short intermission. And then Tool came onstage, amid a sea of screams and cheers. Adam the guitarist was wearing a white long sleeved button up shirt, had is hair all nice and shiny and long blue/black pants. The drummer was wearing a black singlet top and the bassist was wearing a jumper of some sort and long pants. Maynard was hidden in the shadows wearing all black to enhance the silhouette he created on the projecter screen he stood in front of. He also wore sunglasses. After they first walked out Maynard kind of did a little wave thing, and then launched straight into the first song, The Grudge. The crowd went nuts. There was a parepalegic guy crowdsurfing and he lost his wheelchair. The visuals and video clips they played were all designed by Adam the sexy guitarist, and they were fucking mindblowing. The songs they played throughout incuded Stinkfist, Sober, Forty Six and 2, Four Degrees, A bit of Third Eye, Schism, and tonnes more. Maynard only spoke 3 times, and he has a beautiful voice. He said "Good evening, in case you have consumed any illegal halluicinogens, you are at a Tool concert for your viewing pleasure", and "I want each and everyone of you, to take this experience, remember this experience, and in coming weeks, I want you to create something positive with it", and finally at the very end, "Thank you very much, you have been great this evening, we have a present for you", and then they threw all their picks, drumsticks and covers into the audience, and left the stage. They finished with a giant group hug. Then we hear the start of Parabol, which is a video clip, it was an Australian premiere. Then It lead into Parabole which was fucking excellent. I can't believe how artistic the band is. Everone left still chanting TOOL! TOOL! TOOL! It definetly will be an experience i will never ever forget. And the next time they tour here I will be the first one lined up at ticketek. Tool - ********************* stars!

Review written by: Chris Skelton ( Review posted on: 04/24/02 01:26:32 ET

This was this reviewer's 3rd Tool show

Speechless once again. The venues acoustics were of very low standards but tool on the otherhand played an outstanding sound throughout the night. Maynard - if u ever read this revue, i am the guy that u saw doing the devil symbol with my hand and u saw me and interacted with me for just a brief instance. Unless this was just a coincidence, then thankyou for that memory. i will live the rest of my life knowing the possibility that we conncected from fan to total inspiration known as you mayard. Maynard's vocals were of top form weevering thoughout the nite in many new twists and melodies. Breathtaking/ Amazing! Danny - well what can i say about you, besides YOUR THE PERFECT DRUMMER. total excelence in your drumming/tabla as always. Triad was your highlight in my opinion. Adam - A great show tho i didnt really get to see just what you were capable of. Justin - Really impressive, more involved than last year, maybe more confident? who knows. stage presence was great. TOOL - dont worry, i will use this experience to create something positive. I really understood your show. It creates patients, etension spans etc that i take for granted from your teachings. You guys are not just a band, you're people who i look up to. Many thanks and im sure tonite's concert in sydney which i am off to right now is goig to be a vunerable, exciting experience one again.

Review written by: Cam (yes, me again) (why was i stupid enough to post it?) Review posted on: 04/24/02 02:10:47 ET

This was this reviewer's 3rd Tool show

okay, let me add to my previous effort: what i posted is called AN OPINION. we are all entitled to opinions. It wasn't a review, it was merely a few observations that i'd hope people would think about, and take on board. All these reviews get boring after a while - isn't it refreshing to have someone who is able to see faults in an experience, even if it was damn close to perfect? After all, it is a process like this that has caused Tool to keep getting better, both on CD and in concert over the past 10 years. Also, i'm what you might call a 'picky bastard'. As i said, this is the best i've seen Tool play of the 3 shows i've seen stretching back to 1997.

Review written by: Spats ( Review posted on: 04/25/02 03:01:33 ET

This was this reviewer's 2nd Tool show

My second show, and the fact that 4 degrees got played means it is the best - that was one fucking hellofa surprise. Triad was inspirational, the acrobats were incredible, and by and large, the crowd was great. by and large. here is my bitch, and being a newcastle boy, i kind of expected some of the behaviour that has already been talked about by cam and others... to the dickheads who kept yelling out "play eulogy" "hey maynard.. you're a legend.... play eulogy. who the fuck do you think you are? where the fuck do you think you are? a tool show is not a request show. it is more than a concert. you are there to be overwhelmed - you have NO control. accept it. enjoy it. and to the 'master of puppets' who wants to 'belt the shit out of cam'.... you are a dumb motherfucker who gives newcastle the bogan image i hate so much. why were you even there? surely limp bizkit were signing a soft drink can somewhere that would have suited you better.. sorry about the bitching. tool are gods. if a band ran for president of the world, they'd get my vote.

Review written by: Letitia ( Review posted on: 04/25/02 03:42:17 ET

This was this reviewer's gr8 Tool show

I came up from Melbourne to see Tool in Newcastle. i arrived at the Venue at 4pm unsure of when other punters would come. I was riddled with nerves hoping for perfect positioning, in my luck i was about the third person to arrive at the venue (better earlier than late). it came around 7pm after a long wait and we were let in i got right on the barrier in front of where i thought Adam would be (and he was). A female Dj mixed it up with some great easy listening.. Melvins soon took over and played a brilliant continuous set (justin stood at the side and watched them aswell;) Tool, what can i say i was not disappointed i doubt i could ever be. i last saw Tool in July of last year at Melbourne Rod Laver (and shall see them perform there again this Saturday) I was hoping for 4 degrees after hearing it had been introduced to the set for a couple shows, to my joy it was played that night. Many songs were extended and Stinkfist would have been my favourite new flavoured song. Disposition - Refelction - Triad was spine tingling. over all a brilliant show i won't pick at the show because to me each show is in the moment and only the crowd and the band can have that moment and to point out what i may have thought was a down point (which in regards to Tool there were none) would take away from that moment.... *Some* members of the crowd were obnoxious but we can't have it all. i just ask one thing can we refrain from asking for maynard back on the stage when Justin, Adam and Danny are playing.. they are very much an important part to what Tool is.. and i felt it was disrespectful to the guys and i was embarressed that is was yelled over the crowd. On a light note: Adam was wearing only socks and was wearing a plaid shirt with a sparkley thread woven into it.. hehe very adorable.. Mr Ripper (Jason) your turn will come again in florida BAM! RIP Tool car :)

Review written by: Scott ( Review posted on: 04/27/02 09:00:20 ET

This was this reviewer's 1st Tool show

My two best friends and I were depressed on the day that the tickets for this concert came out because we couldnt get them, we thought "this is Tool, the best band ever, the tickets are going to seel out in a matter of minutes." Anyway, April 20 came and I realised that it haddent sold out. My two best friends and I were prepared to do ANYTHING to see this show. We got tickets through a friend of mine. And there we were, on our way to a Tool concert. I thought I was dreaming. We got to the Entertainment Centre and went inside to find our seats. We sat a few rows behind the very cool mixing equipment. We got so sick of that DJ and her continuous beats that all three of us started making up our own rap song! After a while, the Melvins came on. I was keen to see what they were like as I had never heard of them or their history before. I found their music hard to relate to as there werent too many lyrics and there were constant (but pretty good) guitar riffs. I thought the drummer stood out talentwise. He was nearly constantly playing!!! The Melvins finished their set and paked up. A roadie came out and unleashed Danny's drum Kit, there was a cheer from the audience! Once the setup was almost complete, wierd Tool-like samples started while the lights dimmed. And on the screens above the stage appeared the legendary circular symbol. Once again, there was a bigger cheer from the audience. My friend and I looked at eachother and he said "They havent even done anything yet!" and then joined in the cheer! There was constant cheering and clapping as sacred band members walked out on stage. This was life changing for me. I couldnt believe I was seeing Tool with my naked eye. My friends and I had earlier been thinking about which song they would open with cos we had never been to a show before. And when they started playing The Grudge I wasn't suprised. I was suprised when I saw Maynard pick up something that looked suspiciously like a guitar and was very suprised indeed! But I have been informed that it was actually a synthesiser, which makes more sense. I wasnt one of those people yelling out for them to play "Eulogy", it was probably the first Tool song I learned how to play on guitar and I would have liked to have seen them play that. Nevertheless, I have no complaints about anything to do with the show. The feeling inside me created by the music they played was unlike anything I had ever felt before. I mean, I've seen System Of A Down, Drowning Pool, etc, but this was more emotional. Throughout the show my friends and I noticed that the band members were pretty much staying in their own performing areas and didnt seem too close to eachother. But that thought completely disintegrated when, before they started playing Lateralus, they congregated around the drum kit, played Lateralus, and then finished with a huddle/group hug, which I thought was the most beautiful thing ever. Here is my overall thought: I went to the Big Day Out and saw SOAD, Drowning Pool ( both mentioned earlier), JBT, Alien Ant Farm and a whole load of other really good bands, but Tool single handedly kicked the Big Day Outs ASS!!! And I'm sure both my best friends would agree. To Tool, thank you for all your inspiration and for giving my friends and I that life changing experience, you are truly gods. Keep it up fellas. I one day hope (as a musician) to be in a band as original, creative and life-changing as Tool. Bye all.