This was my second experience seeing TOOL live and weighing up the two experiences I’d have to say that they are both even in terms of the power they communicated. Like TOOL themselves, the live experience evolves and changes each time you see them so to compare one with the other is pointless. As this is my most recent and freshest experience with the band it will no doubt be the favoured experience simply because it is the most recent but I’m convinced that the more I see TOOL live the better and more unique each experience will be.
I’m not one of those human beings who belive in an investment in the whole currency of complaint that this was the second tour of Australia without a new album. I don’t live inside of that “band as jukebox” bubble that so many fragile minds function with. Any year that I get to see TOOL live is an amazing year as far as I’m concerned. New material or not, TOOL are a band that every human being should experience live. Their live shows are the gateway to the divine and I’ll go on record to say that no band in living existence puts on a show like TOOL that is just a fact.
I’m a human being who lives for that intense experience that music can provide. I don’t care for empty calorie music, never have and never will. All the bands I like attack their music with an intensity that matches my own. It mirrors the deep way that I feel and interact with life, it has to dabble in all aspects of the spiritual and of course the nonsense. Equal parts “fuck you” and equal parts “peace and love” with a heavy dose of truth and honesty. I love a good lie for artistic purposes but I think the spirit of that “lie” for art’s sake narrative needs to be shooting for some kind of truth. That is why TOOL reigns supreme in my universe because they are the perfect band on all levels. They know how to teach you about love and also the healing power of saying “fuck you” to the disgusting stain of humanity.
I don’t take drugs at all; I got enough problems to manage in my life without wrestling with the head-trip drama of drugs. Seeing TOOL live is however the closet thing I could compare an intense drug trip to at this stage of my life. The way the music is set against the amazing visuals and light show is hella intense and reeks of the kind of feverish drama that your more mind expanding drugs deal in. The perfect example of this occurred during the intense performance of “Lateralus” which had me convinced at one point that I was indeed leaving my physical body for some kind of afterlife experience, it was fucking intense and I’m a person who loves intensity, but Jesus Christ there were points during this song that I almost felt nervous with the places it was taking me but like every good piece of darkness the end result exploded pure bliss and relaxation.
I refuse to review TOOL by the standard criteria outlined to most music journalist types, because TOOL live outside of this kind of order. I was taken on an intense journey from start to finish that took me to all the different corners of my mind. It is a joy to witness a band who doesn’t indulge in entertainment in the live arena. When TOOL play live they really are taking you on a journey soaked in art, it is hard to explain and document inside the walls of something as impure as music criticism.
When it comes to surviving the chaos of existence everyone has a death coping mechanism which can include religion, spirituality, star signs, atheism, that whole fence sitting agnostic thing and of course science. I nominate TOOL as my death coping mechanism because experiencing them live is like a spiritual experience that plugs me in to the idea of what GOD could be and what my existence may be like once I leave my physical uniform for my next journey after this life ends. That is the power of what TOOL offer both on a record and in the live arena. Some of the human beings who attended simply wanted to bang their heads and that is cool as well, but seeing TOOL live for the second time in my life felt like I was entering some kind of holy place, like a church or temple and the music was being communicated like some ancient text providing the DNA structure for how to survive this ocean of chaos known as life.
The way I see it, TOOL is the divine reflection of all that is wonderful and terrible about our humanity and for that I am grateful. If only more human beings could learn to communicate with such intensity and compassion we may one day restore peace to the galaxy.
10 million cassette tapes out of 10
By: Dan Newton
Tool Brisbane Set List – 6th May 2013 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre
1. Hooker With A Penis
3. Schism (jam intro)
7. Drum Solo
9. 46 & 2