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Photos & Review By Michael Mullenix

Prog Metal Masters Tool Showcase Their Legacy Ranging From Opiate To Fear Inoculum

Wednesday, February 2nd, The AT&T Center welcomed back the return of Prog Metal band Tool back to the arena for an unforgettable night. A curtain made entirely of thin fabric strings surrounded the stage as the house lights went down. Then lit up with floating eyes and aethereal figures as the band picked up their gear and launched into the title track from the last album, Fear Inoculum.

This setlist was one of the longest I have seen any band put on. Strangely enough, composed primarily of hidden gems. Highlighting often overlooked songs like The Pot, Opiate, and The Grudge gave fans visceral reactions throughout the arena. What’s remarkable about the fervor on display was that this was a band simply comfortable at their stations showing off their craft. They seemingly appeared undistracted by the thousands of people in front of them.

At the end of the day, the simple reality of Tool is they are the highest elevated Prog Metal artist. Perhaps the one band responsible for bringing the genre to the masses. It’s not like there was any dynamic acrobatics or pyrotechnics involved; their performance was defined by a bunch of skillful musicians playing in front of an occasional light show. For an example of the band’s legacy look at the set closer for the song Hooker With a Penis; the raw energy of this song mixed with the vaguely punk-influenced sensibilities. It harkens back to the days this band would be playing a much more stripped-down rendition at the beginning of their career. In fact, it was the only song without any video playing on the screen behind them (I wonder why).

Tool Shows The Crowd Why They Are True Prog Musicians

After a 12 minute intermission, drummer Danny Carey climbed behind his kit for the extended Drum solo. The drum solo is called Chocolate Chip Trip. Afterwhich, the rest of the band returned to the stage and took seats at the front for the song Culling Voices. As the slow soothing intro gave way to the more aggressive sections of the song. The band set off confetti dispensers above the audience, raining shimmering strands on the crowd. In an interesting decision, the band decided to close the encore with songs from the latest album. Rather than time-worn classics and really showcased the power behind such pieces as Culling Voices and Invincible. The audience left clambering for more! The show was a great success in every sense. It’s always nice when you can see your favorite bands live and this one certainly lived up to expectations.

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