Rock n Roller 19: Tool

I have been to a lot of concerts over the years. I have seen just about every band that I have wanted to see. The last four years or so has been a flurry of tours from the top rock bands, including, the resurgence of Gun’s n Roses, a huge Metallica World Wired Tour, the Foo Fighters and massive rock festivals around the country.

One band that I really wanted to see was Tool. It has been since 2009 when I took my daughter, Nicole to see them for her first concert when she was 12. That long hiatus was also the amount of time it took the notoriously reclusive band to release their new music, Fear Inoculum.

While Michele and I were down in Kentucky for an epic back-to-back weekends of music festivals; Bourbon and Beyond and Louder Than Life, one of our dog training clients, Nate, asked if I would like to join him for the Tool Show in Salt Lake. Without hesitation I jumped on it and ended up paying more for the tickets to Tool than any other in my 40+ years of shows.

I flew into Salt Lake with a bum foot. I have been dealing with a really bad case of plantar fasciitis and I literally could not walk the week before the show. I hobbled into a brewery on the day of the show and Nate and I did a little beer tour of the city. It was a ton of fun including the very tasty, vanilla milkshake brew.

We met his friend, Justin for dinner and headed inside.

The prog band Killing Joke opened and I didn’t know any of their songs. I had no idea these dudes have been around since the 1980s.

After a bit of a wait the lights dimmed and the now very familiar Fear Inoculum started. Immediately I could tell we were in for a treat! A large curtain that looked like glass beads covered the entire stage and the light and video effects were in 3D.

The band had a very strict no-cell phone policy and I now know why. In my opinion concerts are ruined these days by half the crowd holding up their phones to record the entire show. I just wonder how many times they watch it later on or just load it up on YouTube.

During the show something amazing was happening. We had amazing section 125 seats and right behind us were speakers. This was the first concert in my life that was in surround sound!

Tool played for any an hour and a half and took an intermission including a laser-lighted countdown clock to let us know that we had enough time to grab another beer.

After the encore the band came out and launched immediately into the new Chocolate Chip Trip. It is mainly drummer Dany Carry with is insane synthesizer set up and drums.

After the new Invincible tract, Maynard said, “for the rest of the show you can use your ‘stupid’ cell phones” and launched into an extended Stinkfist.

Adam, Justin and Dany blew me away. Justin is by far one the best bassists in the world and the guitar work of Adam was amazing. Maynard was being, well, Maynard. He stood up on the platforms that flanked the drums the entire show and mostly in the shadows. After the show was over he walked down the stairs and refused to touch the main stage and even had a hard time summoning Justin over to give him a fist-bump.

This may have been the most amazing show of my life. As I mentioned before, I have been to a lot of shows in the last 45 years but this one will be hard to beat.

I only made it through the show hopped up on Tramadol and those few beers and I hobbled several blocks after we were forced off of the light rail for a medical emergency but my goodness this trip was a highlight of the #rocknroller19 tour.

Set List

  1. Fear Inoculm
  2. Ænema
  3. (extended)
  4. Intermission

  5. Invincible
  6. (-) Ions
  7. (extended)