So I went from jokingly being asked for my ID while out the previous night to a far more stringent bag check and metal detector in preparation for Tool at Rod Laver Arena…clearly a change of pace ahead for the evening. I don’t claim to be the biggest Tool fan by any means, in fact given my very recent listening I’d barely call myself a novice fan. However, playing to a sold out crowd with a second show to follow the next night, I was intrigued to see and hear these guys live.
The band configuration and dynamic was intriguing to watch on stage. Perhaps not having Maynard James Keenan at the front of stage (in fact, at times only heard and barely visible under stage lights) contributes to the enormity of space and existence between guitarist Adam Jones and bassist Justin Chancellor at the front of the stage. But nothing could have surpassed the powerhouse that is Danny Carey on drums, surrounded by a drum kit and drum pads. Even from my seat, I had a perfect view of the talent, with drumsticks blurring in my vision. Truly amazing stuff, and undoubtedly receiving some of the loudest audience cheers and applause of the night.
Having made it inside the venue with about a minute to spare, the house lights went out for a no nonsense start to the show, although it seemed to take a little while for the crowd to warm up – maybe it was just the people I was sitting around in the upper tier who insisted on getting up for food and drinks?
With barely a word uttered from the stage to the crowd, it was only around the time of ‘Sober’ that the crowd seemed to really get into it. At this point the lighting and lasers flashing around increased and were a pretty spectacular addition to the presence and sound coming from the stage. The sound is everything you would imagine live, and so much more than what you hear recorded – exactly what a live show should be. An enthralling ‘Lateralus’ brought the first set to an end, followed with an abrupt intermission.
Following the break, Danny Carey returned to the stage alone for an impressive drum solo, with Tool then returned to the stage with ‘Jambi’, leaving everyone in anticipation, including me, for ‘Ӕnema’ and ending the night with ‘Stinkfest’ to resounding cheers. Check out the full set list here.
Here’s a really awful photo I managed to capture quickly on my phone…just imagine lasers flying around everywhere and you’ll get the picture.
I totally agree with people enjoying shows without watching through a camera lense the entire time, but it would have been nice to have been able to take a decent pic without worrying about security ‘confiscating’ devices…
Seeing Tool live was definitely an experience. Now I want to listen to more Tool.