Thursday, July 30, 2009

Live review: Tool

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Tool w/ Tweak Bird

Bojangles Coliseum

July 29, 2009

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The Deal: Tool brings along Tweak Bird for visit to Charlotte at sold-out Bojangles Coliseum.

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The Good: Tweak Bird opened up the night with a short 30-minute set. The band plays an energetic noise rock that's typical of most Tool openers. Falsetto screaming, thunderous drums and rampant guitar work with a horn or two mixed in. It was interesting to watch, but after a while, it all started to sound the same.

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Tool came out on stage at 9 p.m. for what amounted to a roughly two-hour set that mirrored their last tour in 2007. A packed house enjoyed every minute as the band started off quickly with the upbeat "Jambi." Singer Maynard James Keenan offered a simple, "Good evening," before the band launched into "Stinkfist" then "Forty-six & 2."

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Keenan, complete with mohawk and dressed in what appeared to be a leather jacket and pants — think motorcycle racer's outfit — spent a good part of the night with his back turned to the audience, staring down at a video screen with his sunglasses-covered eyes. As usual, he was at the back of the stage, next to drummer Danny Carey.

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Guitarist Adam Jones and bassist Justin Chancellor were both in all white at the front of the stage and shredded through riffs for the duration of the show. The amount of musical talent on stage was easily at the forefront of the concert.

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Roughly an hour-and-15-minutes into their set, the band all walked in front of the drum kit and stood there silently, enjoying a short ovation. Carey and Jones stayed out to make a bit of noise for eight minutes before the band returned for "Lateralus." Tweak Bird drummer Ashton Bird came out in the middle for a combined drum solo with Carey as Keenan told the crowd, "Let the drum-sturbation begin." The set closed with "Vicarious."

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The Bad: After writing the preview story this week, I was expecting Maynard to offer up some bits of "wisdom," but he remained relatively quiet. He was also subdued as far as his usual "dancing"/gyrations and activity in the back. If you saw the band two years ago when they were in Greenville, S.C., or another city — I caught them twice on that tour — this was pretty much the same thing. Similar setlist and stage show.

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The Verdict: While it may not have been the best show I've seen by Tool, it's still better than a lot of the crap that's out there these days. The band isn't about a huge stage production, though there are plenty of videos, lasers and lights — it's more about the music and it's amazing what four guys can do on stage in the matter of two hours and only 10 songs.

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Tool setlist

Jambi

Stinkfist

Forty-six & 2

Schism

Lost Keys

Rosetta Stoned

Flood

Aenema

Lateralus

Vicarious

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