On Friday night Tool rolled through town on their summer/fall North American tour. Needless to say I was ecstatic to see my favorite band play live again.
This was the second time that I got to see Tool live and I found it to be a completely different concert experience than the last time they came to town. This time around Tool put on more of a traditional rock show. I remember seeing them in 2002 and was struck by how dimly lit the band members were to draw attention away from the band and focus that attention on the video screens that up around the stage. This time there was better lighting for the band. Maynard still stood on a riser at the back of the stage while drummer Danny Carey's monster drumkit (quite possibly the largest drumkit in existence) was at the center of the stage with guitarist Adam Jones and bassist Justin Chancellor flanking the drumkit's riser on the right and left respectively.
The setlist that Tool had for this show looks remarkably short on paper:
Forty Six & 2
And for as short as that setlist looks realize that it took around two hours for the band to get through it all. In hindsight I can name about a dozen more songs that I would have loved to hear them play, but this was still a killer set by any stretch of the imagination. The songs were performed with killer precision and they were loud. This concert was easily the loudest concert that I had ever been to. The band would sometimes segue with instrumentals between songs, allowing them to ebb and flow very smoothly, effortlessly. My favorite song of the set turned out to be "Rosetta Stoned" a song off of their latest album 10,000 Days that I had really not listened to very much.
Maynard had some sparse banter for the audience, greeting them with, "Calgary said to say 'hi.'" When the audience put forth its best We-Hate-Calgary boo Maynard replied with, "What, did they fuck your girlfriend or something?" Oh Maynard, you jokester. Later, during a pause in the setlist Maynard joked "How do you stop a dog from humping your leg?" The answer, of course, "Pick it up and start sucking its dick."
All-in-all this show was probably the best I had ever been to. It's tough to compare it to the first time I saw Tool because the concerts seemed like two entirely different beasts. The first time I saw them it was a multimedia art experience and this time was more of a rock concert.
It was an amazing show and if you missed it I pity you.
Don't despair too much. Maynard did hint that they would be returning to Alberta soon, though he did add that he would be one of the stormtroopers invading from America for our oil. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. I do hope they come back eventually. I would pay good money to see another show like that.