Tool At The K-Rock Center: August 4th, 2009

Tool At The K-Rock Center:  August 4th, 2009 Let me start by saying that I am by no means a concert connoisseur. Tool was only the third concert I've ever went to and the first that I was in the General Admission area. However, even if I see hundreds of bands before I die, Tool will still be up there as one of the top performances I've seen.

The opening act was a band called Tweak Bird, consisting of a drummer and guitarist/vocalist, with another person who played bits on the flute and saxophone. The band were quite talented musically but it was rather hard to understand what they were singing, both as a result of the loudness of the instruments and because their voices themselves were quite high pitched. The band had a very interesting sound, with just one downfall; all their songs sounded the same, or like one very long song. As a bonus however, the drummer was wearing a purple cape, which I thought was quite awesome. Overall, I think they did a fairly good job at warming the crowd up for the main event: Tool.

Some quick background on Tool; the band consists of Maynard James Keenan (vocals), Justin Chancellor (bass), Adam Jones (guitar) and Danny Carey on drums. They've been making unique "progressive metal" music since 1990, three years before I was even born. And yet, they are still going strong. Very strong.

After escaping from the pit due to my bag breaking, I got to stand near the back and actually concentrate on the music itself. The band played many fan favorites, such as Jambi, 46 & 2, Lost Keys/Rosetta Stoned, Schism, Stinkfist and an encore consisting of Lateralus and Vicarious. Although the band didn't interact with the crowd as much as some people may have liked, there was a very humorous moment with Keenan asking how many people in the audience wanted to have his babies. Many women screamed, to which he answered that he had none left in his baby box.

The sound quality was great and Maynard's voice translates beautifully from the album to the arena. For quite a bit of the concert, my gaze was drawn towards Chancellor, Jones and Carey, who are all incredible instrumentalists. Keenan was standing near the back, almost behind the drum kit and was the only one not wearing complete white so it was obvious that he was trying to shift the attention to his band mates and not just to him, the vocalist.

Now, one of the most impressive events during the concert was the use of multi media, mainly lights and videos playing on two screens on either side of the stage. During Rosetta Stoned, which is an eleven minutes long song, the lights were constantly changing, from red lasers to an actual animated video game along the lines of Space Invaders being projected onto the screen. The smoke machines were used very sparsely, compared to some concerts where the smoke is so thick you can barely breathe.

Tool are a very talented, very fascinating band to watch live, even if you're mostly concentrating on the amazing light displays. Fans from the very front to the back of the arena were completely into it, head banging and giving the devil horns. I would recommend that if you have the money and like them, go see them. You will not regret it.

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