Metal’s equivalent to the Grateful Dead, LA’s Tool, delivered two hours of sound, fury, magic, mystery, and math rock perfection Monday night. The sold-out, maniacal and dedicated St. Louis masses sported various Tool wear and gear, played air guitar, air drums, and sang along to every dramatic chorus and power hook that Tool flawlessly delivered during an almost two-hour show. Tool powered through 12 tracks, and an encore with ferocity and powerful precision.
There was a strict no camera policy, and unfortunately for some, Tool enforced it, and many fans were ejected from the venue.
The enigmatic frontman, wine connoisseur, and comedic shaman, Maynard James Keenan delivered his vocals with a voice that was loud and clear. As is the frontman’s habit, he remained in the rear with the gear and hid in the dim lighting. Adam Jones drove his palm-muted, Dropped-D goodness to infinity, with rock bottom and angular support from bassist Justin Chancellor. As always, Danny Carey’s drumming demonstrated why he’s considered one of rock’s most gifted drummers. Carey’s syncopated beats, stick work and musicality, drove home the barrage on tracks like “Forty-Six & 2,” and closer, “Stinkfist.”
After playing 10 tracks spanning three albums, Tool took a quick intermission. Many sprinted to grab their beer and snacks, but far more remained in their seats waiting for the band to retake the stage. In huge numbers, the secret was revealed: 8.30.2019. The faithful knew that the rumors of a new Tool album are no longer rumors.
As the intermission clock counted down to zero, rhythm machine, Danny Carey, returned to the stage to play a drum solo entitled “CC Trip.” Carey’s drum solos are not your standard four-on-the-floor, cliched, tom-tom excursions. Instead, Carey incorporated loops, synth patches, electronic drums, and poly-rhythmic goodness. After finishing his drum solo, the band returned, and they launched into “Vicarious,” from their seminal 2006 masterpiece, “10,000 Days.”
Before launching into their encore of the evening, “Stinkfist,” Maynard told the crowd that they could now take all the pictures they wanted. The fans definitely obliged. And, as with all good things, and as the final notes of “Stinkfist” hung in the air, the band finished a monster of a show. At many rock shows, the audience gets restless and leaves early to beat traffic. That was not the case at this show. 18,000+ remained until the last cymbal crash, tortured guitar feedback, bass thud, and Maynard’s shamanic performance trailed off into the open air of the Enterprise Center.
If Tool’s coming to your town, don’t hesitate to buy your ticket to one of the best concerts you’ll ever experience.
Tool Setlist from 05.13.2019 in St. Louis:
Forty Six & 2
CC Trip (Danny Carey’s Drum Solo)