By Ben Doy
Date / Venue: Wednesday May 8th, 2013 - Vector Arena, Auckland
Tool returned to New Zealand yesterday, playing there first of two shows at the Vector Arena on a terribly wet Auckland evening.
It was a surreal feeling upon entering the arena, as we were told to empty our pockets and raise our arms as we were frisked, with one feeling you were traveling through a US airport. "No pictures" I was told as we walked on through, in fact don't even attempt to use your phone at all once you can see the stage. The usher explained to me that this was at the request of the band themselves, and that it had only happened one other time before (unfortunately she was distracted and left before I could ask who the other band / artist was).
Tool started the set off with Third Eye from the 1996 album Aenima. Guitarist Adam Jones and bassist Justin Chancellor took charge at the front of the stage, while frontman Maynard James Keenan was (as usual) hidden further back just to the right of drummer Danny Carey. Keenan was the only member of the band not to have a spotlight on him, which has long been part of his gimmick. Tool were complimented by three massive screens which had all sort of crazy, eerie and just bizarre visuals flashing on them throughout the night.
Vicarious was blasted out by the band next followed closely by Schism with Tool proving they still have all the magic that gels them together. Danny Carey treated us to nice little drum solo and displayed why he is considered one of the best rock drummers in the world today. Then following Lateralus, it was time for an intermission complete with a countdown (I was thinking it would have been quite cool for Tool to add an extended version of their instrumental piece ‘Intermission' for this).
Once the countdown had hit zero, Carey returned to the stage by himself and performed an absolutely breath-taking drum solo. Even if you don't like drum solos it would be hard not to be impressed. From there Tool jammed out Jambi, Forty-Six & 2, Aenema and finished up with possibly the best version of Stinkfist I think I've ever heard them play.
Following the show Carey, Chancellor and Jones acknowledged the crowd in appreciation for a fair few minutes while Keenan jumped off the stage in a flash not to be seen again. No encore tonight for Tool it would seem, much to the disappointment of the 10,000 fans who were there.
There were a few favourites that were missed out that would have been nice if they were played, such asOpiate, Sober, Prison Sex and 4°; in fact nothing from their Opiate EP and Undertow album was featured at all. However, Tool are a band that play by their own rules and do what they want to do. They put on an impressive show and were vintage Tool. They aren't the most interactive band with their audiences, but there is always something going on that will catch your eyes and ears to keep to completely enthralled.
Pushit (with drum solo)
Forty-Six & 2