It’s no secret that I’m a massive TOOL fan (if you need proof, just find my facebook profile and search for the pic with the giant tattoo on my back). So when I heard that they were playing their only show of 2015 on Halloween in Phoenix, it didn’t take much thought to decide to make the trip. My wife’s birthday is close to the date (she’s never seen them), so I offered to bring her along on the whirlwind adventure.
We flew out of YVR at 9am on the day of the show, landed in Phoenix around 12:30 and were drinking beers in the 30c sunshine by 1:00.
Since it was Halloween I dressed as some sort of chicken, and we were off to the show.
Everybody we met was extremely friendly. That whole stereotype of Americans being rude is total BS. I think they’re actually friendlier than Canadians. It’s true that we’re generally more polite…but that doesn’t mean we’re necessarily friendly.
Once we got to the venue, it started to kick in ‘Holy shit, we’re about to see TOOL!’ As we waited in the lineup up I had no less than 3 people offer to fight me because they figured I was the giant chicken from Family Guy. If one of them had actually been dressed like Peter Griffin, we probably would’ve had to do it.
Primus was fantastic, they played every song you remember from them. At one point just after they had played Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver, and Southbound Pachyderm, I yelled out ‘Play Frizzle Fry you fuckers’. One minute later, and there was the bass lick from the beginning of the song. I almost didn’t believe that I was hearing it.
After Primus finished, it was time to brace for the great push of 30,000 people trying to get close for the main event. 40 minutes later the lights went out, and everybody lost their minds as TOOL hit the stage dressed up as Led Zeppelin. Of course they opened the show with their version of No Quarter, something they apparently haven’t played live since the late 90’s. Our minds were already officially blown. Through the next two hours they bludgeoned us with songs and visuals so brilliantly crafted that after each tune finished it seemed like it couldn’t get any better. We would hear people screaming ‘That was the f***ing best’, or ‘I feel like I’m about to orgasm all over the place’, and it didn’t seem like we were very far from doing the same thing. Other people filmed some of the songs, but we chose to be there experiencing the moment through our own eyes. I did snap a couple of quick pics though.
All in all it was a brilliant show, by a next level band with superb attention to detail. TOOL might not have any new material, but when you can execute an all out assault on the senses like that after not having done it for a year, who cares? I seriously suggest you make a point to take in a TOOL show at some point in your life. Even if you’re not familiar with their music, I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed in the caliber of show that they put on. Here are some videos of the show that others in the crowd took: