Tool In Fort Lauderdale, FL

By A Headbanger, Do You Bang Head?
Friday, June 8, 2007 @ 11:05 AM

At Atlantic Bank Center

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Review By Berserker

I bet most people think of a hot sunny day whenever they hear the words "concert in South Florida." I'm also willing to be most bands think the same way when planning their tour itinerary, and decide to make a stop in the sunshine state. Yet, mother nature likes to get involved now and then (which is usually in the form of treacherous rain storms down here). The setting tonight was the latter of the two. It was a downpour from the moment the opening band started playing until long after Tool left the stage (fitting for the new album‘s title track though). Of course, the concert was inside an almost thirty thousand seating arena. Still it sucks to stand outside in line, wait to be searched, and allowed in.

This was my third time seeing Tool live (pervious times were In 98 for Ozzfest and in 2001 on their Lateralus tour). I was with my cousin, my friend, and his fiancé who had never seen Tool live before. Needless to say, I had to prepare them a bit for what they were about to see (those that have seen Tool live before know what I mean).

We made it to the venue during the midpoint of the opening band set. Apparently, they were called Melt Banana. I will not bother reviewing them since their set ended by time we finally sat down. Can't review a band's performance from the escalator. Did I forget to mention that the line for beer was also the reason why we missed the opening band perform? It was the worst this venue had become. I saw smaller lines and more cashiers open for last year's Gigantour, and that was a smaller crowd. This was a sold out arena. Who in management dropped the ball tonight. Metal concerts means beer drinkers stereotype or not. Yet, very few vendors and lines spanning half the length of the arena. It was pathetic.

At nine, the lights went down, the strong smell of smuggled weed filled the arena (just like last time), Tool come on to the stage, and opened with Jambi. The stage set was a familiar and yet expanded setting from their Lateralus tour consisting of four movie screens aligning the floor, two more in the air on the right and left side, and a huge canopy above the four bottom screens. Overhead were three rings of stage lights. These were used to appear as flying saucers (sound effects included) after the band's performance of Right In Two). As far as the band themselves, Adam Jones on the left, Justin Chancellor on the right, Danny Carey in the back right middle on his elevated platform behind the third screen, and Maynard James Keenan, being the anti-typical lead singer, facing sideways in the very back behind the first two screens on the left. Never did he face the audience or speak a word besides the song lyrics. I very much expected this from Maynard again. This was a first for the others though, and my start to coaxing them in comfortably to the Tool experience. The lighting was incredible. The visuals kept getting batter and better with each song. The entire floor would have multicolored visuals projected on. Lasers would come from the stage and the back area of the arena. A fog machine was located in the back as well ( to which we joked that the crowd was lighting up the biggest bong in the world). Altogether, the show looked beautiful especially during the Wings duo (Wings For Marie Pt. 1 and 10,000 Days {Wings Pt. 2}). They are this generation's Pink Floyd as far as a live show goes.

Most importantly is how the band sounded. Overall the band was on key with every note. Two noticeable complaints though: 1. Maynard’s vocals were too low, and 2. the bass was turned up too high. A lot of the time when the guitars and drums were blaring, you could hardly understand Maynard's singing unless you knew what song he was singing. Famous line from my friend’s fiancé was "He's saying something about shadows." Obviously, she had not heard of Forty Six And Two. That's how band the vocal sound was at times. It also didn't help that the bass was blaring full blast. This made it more difficult for the vocal sound to fight off the rest of the sound waves. I will not hold this entirely against the band. I and my colleagues were convinced that the acoustics in that arena suck for a live concert (especially if the stage is not in the center). I remember last year's Gigantour not sounding so great. When a band like Megadeth can sound very muffled (knowing what a perfectionist Dave Mustaine is when it comes to his band’s sound quality), you know that the venue's building contractors only had hockey on their minds.

Overall, I had a good experience. The concert lasted a little over two hours. So, I got my moneys worth. The band played no encores (man I wish they would have put Anema back in the set). Maynard did not even bother to acknowledge the crowd with the rest of the band for a thank you. Yet, two more Toolesque traits that left the rest of my party baffled. "Man is the lead singer antisocial." "I would be nice just to have an encore teaser....even if it would be a planned one." Hey, that's what Tool is like. They're in, they're out, and they're gone. It's exactly what you can expect from them (for those that may not particularly prefer that type of live setup). All of that aside, anyone whose has any interest in the band should check them out. It's a show you will enjoy, and never forget.


  • Jambi
  • Stinkfist
  • Forty Six And Two
  • Schism (with extended middle jam)
  • Lost Keys [Blame Hoffman]
  • Rosetta Stoned
  • Right In Two (with Intension intro.)
  • -break (here come the aliens)-
  • Wings For Marie Pt. 1
  • 10,000 Days (Wings Pt. 2)
  • Lateralus (with Prison Sex intro.)
  • Vicarious

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