It's been more than a decade between albums and Maynard James Keenan definitely has the Tool bug. As always, Keenan spends the majority of his his time in shadows next to drummer Danny Carey. Tonight he did break from tradition and came out in front of the drum riser to "steal" a guitar cabinet from Adam Jones during a solo.
Keenan, Carey, guitarist Adam Jones and bassist Justin Chancellor took the stage in front of a massive LED screen projecting some interesting imagery that was as complex as some of their songs are. The band opened with the new album’s title track, a 10-minute treat incredible drumming providing the foundation for Keenan’s signature vocal sound.
Next up was “Enema,” with the crowd faithfully singing along. I personally wish Maynard would come out to center stage just for a song or two. While he was really only lit up for “Fear Inoculum,” he's still fun to watch and amazing to listen to.
Keenan barely spoke at all between songs. The few times he did made the night for me personally. He started "Arizona, it's great to be home" Just as quickly as the Arizona crown roared, Keenan says "We were just in L.A" and the cheers turned to boos. It was glorious.
Everything about this show was absolute perfection, with the bass and guitar in perfect synchronicity over some of the most difficult drumbeats I've ever heard, while still allowing room for Keenan’s voice.
Once Tool hit the midpoint of the set with “Parabola,” and “Pneuma” the lasers emitting from the stage blanketed the arena. The visuals were truly stunning.
Closing out the main portion of the set with the militaristic “Jambi” and grungy “Forty Six & 2,” with a couple in between, Tool continued to roll through a varied cross-section of its catalog.
Just before the final encore, Keenan gave fans an unexpected treat. He thanked the fans. "It's always a pleasure" he said, and told them he knew they'd been dying to take it out and play with it all night. Keenan would then temporarily lift the ban on taking videos or photos with cell phone. for that last song. He told security to "stand down" and the area lit up as expected.
The show for me personally was the best show I have attended this year. I'd just seem Tool at Aftershock in Sacramento and I'd say this show was definitely better. But both sounded equally amazing and were visually amazing.
Tool setlist in Glendale
"Forty Six & 2"
"Chocolate Chip Trip"