The Vine live review: ‘Tool at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre’, January 2011

A live review for The Vine. Excerpt below.

Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Monday 24 January 2011

First, a confession: I am guilty of taking Tool too seriously. Throughout my adolescence, they were my one and only; my idea of modern music’s apex. I took the ride, I swallowed the pill. I bought the shirts. I’ve listened to Tool’s music more than that of any other band. Theirs was the first proper live show I saw, in 2002, aged 14. It blew my tiny mind.

So it’s with a continuous sense of melancholy that I look upon tonight’s proceedings, and with fresh eyes and broader musical experiences, realise that there’s not a whole lot about Tool that’s remarkable. Having bought into their idea of reality – the anti-image, the mystique, the overwrought psychoanalytical component of it all – so heavily in my formative years, to step back into their world is to question past allegiances. Theirs is a musical rabbit hole deeper than most bands are able to conceive, let alone dig; sift through the smoke and smug, though, and you’re left with a handful of unwieldy hard rock songs that mean a lot to a lot of people.

The band play ten songs in nearly two hours, beginning with the last track from 1996’s Aenima and ending with the same album’s first track. Timothy Leary’s“Think for yourself, question authority” spiel resonates around the room at the beginning of ‘Third Eye’, a 15 minute-long trek through some of Tool’s weightiest subject matter, and heaviest musicianship. It’s intended to be an eye-opening beginning, no doubt, and it succeeds: yellow lights flash into the audience during the song’s chorus-of-sorts (“In / Out”, sings Maynard Keenan, over and over), while the screens behind the band swirl with violent colour and movement. It is the longest, and probably most difficult song in their repertoire, comprising many different suites which require complete attention from each player. They nail it, though, and thus set the bar high for the set’s remainder. To their credit, nothing they play tonight is met with anything less than their best, and when they’re in lockstep – as in the thunderous midsection of ‘Jambi’ – they’re pretty much untouchable. Adam Jones’ talkbox guitar solo in this song is one of their most inspired musical decisions. It takes me back to the first time I heard it, having bought the album – 10,000 Days – at a midnight launch in 2006. (Remember when people used to line up to buy music? Jesus.)

For the full review, visit The Vine.

I am mainly posting this review because of the amazing comments attached to that article. Please click the above link to read all of them; 30+, at time of publishing this blog. I got this amazing hatemail from a Tool fan in a private message on The Vine, which I just have to share with you verbatim. Thanks to ‘DR-HAZE666’ for the feedback.


Your review is a Joke my friend….. Good for a laugh, and an exceptional insight to your intelligence & taste in music. But, i guess thats why your a journalist & not a musician. AND THANK GOD FOR THAT!!!

WHITE NOISE”- For future reference,white noise is the sound an old analog T.V makes when turning it to a channel that has not been tuned in to a particular frequency. You know, like continuously moving sand paper, “SSSSHSHHHHHHHHHH” What u heard was 3 “Access Virus” synth’s, in unison. Being utilised to create a trance like,state of concsiousness, & show casing new CGI art, created by Adam Jones. Leaving the band to have a well earned 5minute breather. Also, adjustments to Danny’s kit were done, snare changes etc, whilst this was happening. And tracks ‘ Jimmy’ & ‘H’ (2 tracks played @ Aenima tour) are well beyond 5 minutes in there duration. Which is gives us another insight to your attention span. But hey, each to there own. I was stoked to hear them play tracks like right in two, & intension, as they haven’t played these tunes in previous tours. And intension did not have ANY sequenced parts at all. THEY PLAY EVERYTHING LIVE!!! Stop with the sweeping assumptions, and do some research you fool!!!

You just saw the smartest, most innovative rock band of this generation, on the biggest stage & light production they’ve brought out here for any previous tour, and you missed it completely. Congratulations bro!!! You may be only a freelance journalist, but you certainly have the ‘BULLSHITTING’ gift of a professional journalist. And yr another reason why bands such as TOOL, & majority of the rest world, detest the media, and the uneducated opinion’s spread to the “TINY MINDS” of the general public.

So let me get this right…Your a TOOL nerd that has no appreciation for the composition,musicality & musicianship of “SCHISM”. Your high point of the gig was when Justin wallowed a slightly out of tune vocal part, over the chorus of a song, thats originally by “Peach”. A song that consists of 2, maybe 3 chords and a chorus riff, & travels at a tempo of around 60-BPM. And whilst Adam Jones varied the intro notes of ‘Lateralus’, & into an extended version, that proceeded to a world class drum solo, that is virtually impossible to replicate by almost every other drummer on planet earth, YOU FELT NOTHING??? YOU FELT NOTHING???? WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU GET INTO BRO????

No wonder you had a feeling of melancholy. What you experienced was something similar to say, a 3 year old child, sitting in on a university chemistry lecture.Your in the wrong class buddy!!! The “WOLFMOTHER” workshop is being held down the road, next door to the generic,banality,regurgitation workshop. Put your pen down, and do the world a favour….  kill yourself!!!

Kind regards.


Elsewhere: a conversation with Tool frontman, Maynard James Keenan.

Comments? Below.
  1. baculum says:

    What Peach song sounds like Schism? Also, the bottom line is that hardcore fan or not, we’re all impatient for a new album. Five years is long enough to make a toddler seem old.


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