STAR-BULLETIN / 2001
Huge video panels provide the backdrop for the typical Tool concert. This was the scene in 2001, when vocalist Maynard James Keenan and the band played Andrews Amphitheatre. Photographs from this year's concert could not be taken due to restrictions imposed by the band.
Tool hammers fans at Blaisdell
Despite an almost 40-minute delay at its start, Friday's Tool concert didn't disappoint the band's faithful fans.
Restrictions keep photographers out of concert
The Star-Bulletin did not take photos of Friday's Tool concert because of limitations the group sought to impose. The paper was asked to sign a form that would allow it to run its photos one time only, and all copyrights would belong to Tool. The photograph above is from a 2001 performance.
"We do not allow others to decide how or when we will or will not use our own photos," said Frank Bridgewater, Star-Bulletin editor. "We proposed that all photos taken would remain in the Star-Bulletin archives, for possible future use, and that the Star-Bulletin would retain copyright to its images."
Tool management did not agree to that addendum, Bridgewater said, leaving no alternative other than to not take photos.
Instead of performing in the much larger Blaisdell Arena, the band erected its elaborate stage setup in the more intimate confines of the Blaisdell Concert Hall. That meant a better view for everyone in the audience and also helped alleviate some of the shenanigans that accompany a band like Tool.
Just as with their 2001 concert at Andrews Amphitheatre, signs warned against "standing on chairs or in aisles" and "moshing or crowd surfing," and that possession of "any item or action deemed to challenge public safety" would result in immediate expulsion.
More than a dozen security guards manned metal detectors at the front doors, and while liquor was available for sale outside, no drinks were allowed inside the concert hall. As a result, there was little pushing and shoving at any time during the show, unlike Tool's San Diego concert earlier this month, when more than a dozen people were injured during the band's set.
With no introduction, Tool tore into "Stinkfist" as soon as the curtain went up.
As in 2001, the stage setup might have seemed a little confusing to some in the audience. Maynard James Keenan, dressed in tight black pants and shirtless, remained on an elevated platform next to drummer Danny Carey throughout the performance, while guitarist Adam Jones and bassist Justin Chancellor stood closer to the crowd on opposite ends of the stage.
Four large video panels provided a psychedelic backdrop to the music, with images of smoke and fire interspersed with clips from Tool's music videos providing incredible visual stimulation as the band powered through "The Pot," "Forty-Six and 2" and "Jambi."
A few minutes later, Keenan picked up a megaphone that was hooked up to the sound system, alternating between it and his regular microphone to perform "Rosetta Stoned." Both the megaphone and microphone sounded incredibly muddy, which rendered Keenan's vocals practically indecipherable throughout the concert.
The highlight of the night came during the seventh song of the set, when Metallica's Kirk Hammett was introduced as a special guest on "Sober." While Jones is no slouch on the ax, Hammett appeared to feed off the crowd's energy and turned in a searing solo before leaving the stage with hugs from everyone in the band.
As the concert neared its end, Tool played "Jesus Christ" before Keenan abruptly lay down on the platform he had been standing on all night. Soon after, Jones and Chancellor joined him, followed by Carey a moment later. Instead of walking offstage and returning for an encore, the four remained there to soak in the adoration of the crowd, with Keenan sitting up after a minute or two and imploring the audience to make more noise.
Once they did, Tool gladly gave their fans another two songs to scream along to, finishing up with "AEnima," the perfect ending to a tight set by a band well versed in whipping its fans into a frenzy.