Review by special guest correspondent Angeleeta Sosnowski
You know a show will be good when you get a contact high in the parking lot. It will also have touches of irony that you’ll love, like the line for the men’s restroom being about 200 guys deep while the girls could walk and out in a matter of minutes. I must mention that I am a fan of Tool. However I have come in and out of their work over the years. I don’t have a poster on my wall or their complete song collection on my iPod. I do appreciate talented musicians with something to say, and Tool definitely falls into that category.
Tool is one of those bands that demands to been seen live at some point. Danny Carey on drums and Justin Chancellor on bass have developed the ability to make the incredibly challenging riffs in any Tool song seem effortless. And that teamwork was on brilliant display Saturday at the Verizon Theater in Grand Prarie. With no new music in sight, Saturday’s show was what many a fan desires: the best from past work without any new questionable material to have to wrap your head around. Maynard and the boys delivered early, with “Stinkfist” (complete with video) causing a massive roar and sing a long from the crowd early in the show. Sadly for me, this was as deep as Tool went into their catalog, so no “Sober” or “Prison Sex” live for the fans.
Many of high points of the show came from Tool’s most recent album, 2006’s 10,000 Days, with “The Pot” being my personal favorite. I’ve always enjoyed the sharp social commentary that Maynard’s lyrics hold which are perfect for so many situations. Plus nothing says awesome like the middle aged white guy from suburbia behind me screeching lyrics at the top of his lungs. The crowd was so into “Vicarious” off of the same record at one point you couldn’t hear anything but male fan voices belting out lyrics.
Tool were experts at building the energy throughout the show with it reaching its apex at during the encore. I have always been a huge fan of the song “Aenema“, so to see it live was a great moment for me. With the ‘what if’ that are floating around out there in pop culture about the year 2012, a song about change in its most visceral form is a perfect way to end the show. It was another moment where the crowd was almost as loud as the music supporting it as we chanted ‘learn to swim, learn to swim’ over and over. It’s been quite some time since I’ve been to such a powerful show where the entire crowd stood the entire time. Where you were dazzled by the musicianship on stage as well as the light show that accompanied it. As my friend said as we left, “that was fucking awesome.”