June 12, 2017
Photos courtesy of J.DiromPhotography.com
Whether you’re a fan of the band, or simply a fan of wonderfully crafted music, Tool does not disappoint.
Scott Kirkland of The Crystal Method (sans Ken D. Jordan) started the evening with a 40-minute set of electronic music the duo is known for. Recognizing that those in attendance were there to see Tool, Kirkland thanked the appreciative crowd for the warm welcome.
After a 30-min break, Tool Frontman, Maynard James Keenan started the show with an apology; “Calgary, sorry about our country”, prior to the band’s opening song, “The Grudge”.
The entire show seemed to have a quasi-political undertone. With the opening apology, to Maynard’s commentary that if you believe all is OK with the world, “this song’s for you”, as an introduction to “Opiate”. Other pre-recorded messages included phrases like “question authority”, “seek truth” and “educate yourself”. Finally, there was Maynard’s “riot gear” inspired stage attire; with helmet, elbow and knee pads, flak jacket and a Starbucks logo “badge” with the words “I ❤ Guns & Coffee”.
Playing to a packed house, Danny Carey (drums), Adam Jones (guitar) and Justin Chancellor (bass), were downstage, placed under spotlights. While true to frontman, Maynard James Keenan’s eclectic and somewhat reclusive behavior, he remained upstage, hidden in shadow and silhouette.
Tool fans know this about Maynard, and I think it’s kind of expected. That doesn’t matter though, because Maynard’s presence is there regardless. As the old quote goes, “it is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”, and that is certainly Maynard James Keenan. The only thing fans care about is his musical genius.
With a backdrop of the twisted and somewhat disturbing videos Tool is known for, and a dynamic light show, their live performance was a visual and musical feast for the senses. Playing for almost two hours, the set included such hits as “Parabola”, “Schism”, “Opiate” and “Forty-Six & 2”, closing with the sometimes controversial, “Stinkfist”.
Seeing Tool live has certainly fulfilled a bucket list item for me. I left the Saddledome with a feeling I had just experienced something special, and something I will probably never experience again.
Forty-Six & 2