November 7, 2019
Tool made their long awaited return to Cleveland on Wednesday night when they made a stop at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on their Fear Inoculum tour. It has been thirteen long years since the band has played in northeastern Ohio. It has also been that long since the band has released new material since 2006's 10,000 Days.
Metal heads as well as fans of progressive rock were out in full force to hear the intricacies and melodic tunes from their favorite band.
The band also brought out a few religious zealots who were out protesting the "sinners" who were walking into the arena.
It was just like the good old days!
Led by vocalist and Ravenna native Maynard James Keenan, Tool took the stage that was circled by a see-through curtain on the sides and front and featured large video screens in the back.
Keenan sang from the back of the stage where he stood for the entire show. He would occasionally venture to the other elevated platform on the other side of the drums, but he primarily stayed on the right platform.
He would also crouch down and sway back and forth while the band played extended instrumental pieces.
The band, consisting of guitarist Adam Jones, bassist Justin Chancellor and drummer extraordinaire, Danny Carey were note-perfect the entire evening.
Carey showed the Cleveland audience some love by sporting a Kevin Love Cavaliers jersey, which also showed off his buff biceps.
For me, the true star of the show was Carey. His intricate drum patterns and different time signatures within the same song (heck, on every song) was a real pleasure to take in.
The two hour plus set only featured fourteen songs. However, as most fans know the average Tool songs lasts about seven minutes. Add in a few extended solo's on some of the songs and wham, there goes two hours.
Four of the songs were from their latest album "Fear Inoculum" "Invincible" "Pneuma" and "Chocolate Chip Trip." However songs from all five of the bands studio albums made the set list including the Grammy Award winning tunes "ANema," "Schism" and the show closing "Stinkfist."
Tool is not in my wheelhouse musically, but I can appreciate the musicianship of the band. I am certainly glad that I got to check them out.
England's Killing Joke opened the show with a very interesting set of their own material.
Photos and review by Greg Drugan