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Tool ‘Spiral Out’ to Rock New Jersey

Tool's Maynard James Keenan
Gary Miller, Getty Images

Tool are not a band. Tool is an entity – one multifunctional being seamlessly controlling a brilliant mass of sound. Made up of vocalist Maynard James Keenan, guitarist Adam Jones, bassist Justin Chancellor, drummer Danny Carey, masterful lights, fog and breathtaking animations, Tool delivered a powerful experience last night to its legions of fans in New Jersey.

Oregon doom band Yob deserve a special mention for their opening slot at the Feb. 1 Tool show. For those who know Yob, seeing the very underground band play in a stadium is a strange and unnerving concept, but they got the job done — complementing the aura of the Tool experience.

As the lights went out and a purple haze engulfed the stage, the heartbeat of Tool pumped throughout the Izod Center and within Tool’s infamously fanatical fans. As Tool finished its first song of the night, ‘Hooker with a Penis,’ Maynard addressed the peaceful yet ravenous fans. “Back in the late 1900s, I saw Van Halen here once — with Dave.”

As Tool invigorated the crowd with tracks such as ‘Stinkfist,’ ‘Lateralus’ and ‘Sober,’ the animation screens began to grow and ‘doctors’ were seen calmly walking across the stage to perform quick and successful surgeries on Tool when parts of it began to break down.

The raw power and intricacy of Tool’s live experience feels as though one has been given the opportunity to peak behind the very fabric of reality — as if Tool is controlling the direction of the world with its music. The constant, realistic and graphic animations within the live show allow the crowd to feel as if they can see select moments in time, which Tool itself has created. Tool also uses its visual power by creating storm clouds only feet above the crowd via a combination of various lights and fog patterns.

As Tool finished its set with ‘Ænima’ and the house lights began to come back on, the shroud of life is once again placed in front of your eyes – leaving the fans wishing they could once again peak behind the curtain, if only for a moment. Tool’s live experience is the bar of which all artists should attempt to raise — and with its idiosyncratic combination of visual and aural stimulation, Tool is an entity to be shared with all music fans.

Tool Setlist, Izod Center 2/1/12:

‘Hooker With a Penis’
‘Jambi’
‘Stinkfist’
‘Sober’ (with weird rapper guy)
‘Pushit’
‘Schism’
‘Intension’
‘Forty-Six & 2′
‘Lateralus’ (with Frank Ferrer on additional drums)
‘Ænema’

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