Tool at Lollapalooza 1997 Tour Reviews

Date: June 25

Kabir's Review

[For public release] * * * Lollapalooza, June 25 1997 - W. Palm Beach, FL - Coral Sky Amphitheatre * * * * Marley Bros * James * Korn * Tricky * Snoop Doggy Dogg * Tool * Orbital * * Wow. Skippy and I woke up and took off from home around 11ish, ran through to McD's, and picked up a little disposable camera. We had a pleasant little 75 mile drive up to West Palm Beach, which is of course close enough for a major market city, right? Yeah. Right. Anyhow. As we were turning into the venue, we came close to parking in a guy's yard with a big ol' sign ("$5 Parking!"), until we noticed the ample parking by the venue. For free. We walked up to the gate, and wouldn't you know it, it was the wrong gate for will-call. 'Oh, sure, we'll just walk over to the North Gate.' 10 minutes later, we had gone the LONG way around. It was substantially hot out, so we did notice the time passing. Ugh. Past that moment of vague fear of "maybe I'm NOT on the list", we had passes and tix in tow. Wahoo. And it was just 1 PM. My little disposable camera was tucked safely away somewhere security guards won't frisk you -- hopefully. And, after fondling my wallet, the big man let me in with my camera. Whee. Really, before seeing the stage, both of us bought sunglasses (Skippy also picked up a $4 soda). We cased the joint, found our seats (reserved seating blows) center, about ten rows back, and also found a local person or two we knew. Oddly, the whole day, we didn't see anyone who I'd know (or vice versa) from online. This venue, man, it goes stage, then seats (covered), then a lawn bigger than the White House, on an enormous, very artificial hill. So we traipsed about, caught Inch on the second stage for a moment, then decided we had to go backstage and see what was what. Really quickly, we ran into Junior, Tool's lighting guy (whom I had met in the past). We chummed it for a minute, and he was very cool -- he took us up onto the sidestage area, and we watched some of the new video footage they showed later that night. It was being run by Jerry the video guy, who I also met before. Of course, the whole time we're watching this, the Marley Brothers are playing about 10 feet away, while Bob Marley's mom was sitting about 10 feet away the other direction. Fun. We chatted lighting; after a little while... we moved off behind the stage, where Junior was quite cool and pointed out all that there was, from Danny's drum tech assembling the stand for his big disc-of-the-devil, to Richie Baron (the guitar tech, with one 'r') drilling holes in things, to Korn's onstage gear (broken car parts), to Orbital's way expensive lighting rig. He had to go, but he told us that Porno for Pyros was playing a surprise acoustic gig on the second stage, so we walked out in search of Perry Farrell. We didn't find him right off, so we wandered back to the lawn (far away from the stage), and sat with some folks we had found who we know. The Marley Brothers ended, and James came on. We sat through a little of that, but then decided to run back and see if anyone was around. Some of the Tool touring camp had shown up, we sat around and chatted for a chunk of time. (I was a little surprised yet quite psyched that all the band and much of the crew knew me. Actually, I didn't recognize Justin at first; he got RID of the horns.) Maynard's porn career may well be underway, if he can open his erotic toy store in Utah as he plans to. He grabbed the free Lollapalooza '97 magazine and showed me that I was quoted in it; the whole first paragraph of the Tool bio was straight from the FAQ. Korn was on, and Skippy being a Korn fan, we went around to see 'em. On our way out of the backstage zone (through the bus parking lot), Snoop pulled up in an armored vehicle, and got out surrounded by large, well-dressed, hip-hop executives. Heh. We were able to catch the end half of Korn's set. I don't like 'em, but I think they played well. (There's something to be said for getting a whole crowd to scream "I'm a faggot!" over and over.) Midway through it, we ran into Jeff Dodes, the GM of Volcano Records. Lots of important folks were on hand for show #1. After they finished, we second-staged it over to the end of the acoustic Porno for Pyros set -- Perry Farrell was clearly making the best of the whole "reward people for watching the second stage" thing. After some more milling about, we popped out again (with beverage in hand) to catch the end of Tricky's set. Quite mellow, we got some sit-down time. Good set, just a bit quiet and nappy in the 6PM post-Korn haze. Towards the end of Tricky's set, we opted for the no-line backstage bathroom. (Every time we went back, btw, a whole flock of kids reached out and asked if they could have our passes. Ha.) Security ultimately made us all leave while Snoop headed for the stage. Yo, Murder was da Case dat they gave me. BIOTCH, say BIOTCH, say BIOTCH, show me your motherfucking TWOs for TWOpac. Woo-woo. (Include much reverb and delay, delay, delay....). I've never heard such bass and lack of treble. All the ladies say "Ahhhhhhhh!" Being our ubiquitous selves as usual, we couldn't stay still for his whole set; off backstage we went. It was pretty dead back there, the zoo had largely calmed down, but we did talk with some neat people. Perry Farrell was discussing something with someone else, and said "we need to boycott something." I suggested milk. His tripped-out answer was "Yeah... milk." Someone from the Tool camp offered to show us the as-yet-unrelased video for Aenema. Who are we to say no? Quite cool. You'll see it. It was supposed to make its public debut that night, during the song, but due to technical problems, it didn't make it. As of right now, Skippy and I are cooler than you. =) After slumming it some more backstage (we chatted with the guitar and bass players with Tricky, among others), we were herded out to the seating area. Of course, I figured our seats weren't going to be such a good idea (after seeing rows of chairs forcibly removed during Korn's set), so we ran back to the soundbooth. Hmm. Uh, oh yeah: Tool played. My 8th time, Skippy's first. Both of us still go 'wow.' Hooker with a Penis, Stinkfist, Eulogy, Prison Sex, Forty-Six & 2, H., Sober, Opiate, Aenema. That's it. No long intro to Sober. They had time constraints. Sigh. But it was the best-sounding Tool show I've seen. Powerful. A couple new twists I hadn't seen in Stinkfist. After a brief chat with MJK, we split again to catch Orbital. Now, I like industrial music. I had no expectations from this band. And Christ, I was set right. Skip's not a big electronica fan, and he was all over it as well. Wow. Just, wow. Great visuals, lighting, and Satansatansatan... At the end of it all, security got quite lame, and renegged on their earlier "sure you can get back here again" with a "oh, the band has gone." So, our evening had an anticlimactic end. (Skippy disagrees, he says he got to see a girl cry.) But it'll all hopefully happen again. Parking was cool now, everyone had left by this time; we got home at 1:15am, just 14 hours after we left (all but one lane on I-95 were closed for 5 miles). But not everyone got home that quickly. While we were driving away, we saw two pals of Maynard's (whom we had kept seeing all night), who were equally as confused as we were at the end of the night. They couldn't find their car. Know why? They had parked by the North Gate.