Tool at American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX

Tool returned to the American Airlines Center in Dallas to host a cosmic spectacle that is an odyssey into the cosmic realms of artistry.

With a crowd of around 15,000 fans eagerly filling the expansive venue ranging from floor seats to the 400 sections, the arena was packed. The atmosphere crackled with a unique blend of anticipation and camaraderie that characterizes any Tool gathering.

The journey commenced with the title track from Tool’s 2019 album, Fear Inoculum, setting the tone for a night that promised both musical transcendence and captivating visuals. The crowd, a sea of eclectic Tool enthusiasts, mirrored the band’s laid-back intensity, creating an immersive ambiance.

After “Fear Inoculum,” Maynard James Keenan made it very, very clear that there would be no phones out recording because you need to be in the moment and be present so that you can fully experience the concert.

The setlist, a carefully curated selection spanning Tool’s discography, unfolded like a sonic tapestry. The thunderous opening riff of “Jambi” showed the many techniques of guitarist Adam Jones. Lead Singer Maynard James Keenan appeared with a megaphone and launched into the mind-bending narrative of “Rosetta Stoned.” Each track resonated with the crowd, forming a collective auditory experience. The intermission, strategically placed, heightened the anticipation for the second act, creating a sense of excitement.

In the second half, the extended rendition of “Chocolate Chip Trip” became a canvas for drummer Danny Carey’s virtuosity, injecting spontaneity and energy into the performance, using a giant gong, his drum kit, and also a very large rack synthesizer that was making loops of what he was playing. The subsequent tracks, including “Flood,” “Invincible,” and the iconic “Schism,” showcased Tool’s ability to navigate through intricate soundscapes seamlessly.

Right before they started “Schism,” Maynard said, “Dallas, you all have been really good and because of that we will allow you to bring out your stupid little f***ing phones and record and take photos, but please make sure there is no flash or no lights from it.”

The stage production, a marriage of alien-style imagery and sacred geometry, added a visual dimension that complemented the auditory experience, taking the concert to another level. The stage presence, Maynard James Keenan perched on one of two risers, brought an enigmatic aura to his vocal delivery, shrouded in shadows and often disappearing for long periods of time. Adam Jones, the guitarist, exuded a zen-like coolness, traversing the small side of the stage with deliberate movements. Justin Chancellor provided moments of interaction with the crowd, infusing a dynamic energy. Then there was Danny Carey, the rhythmic force, who seemed like a mad scientist behind the drum kit, pushing the boundaries of what a drummer could achieve.

In essence, Tool’s performance at the American Airlines Center was a mesmerizing immersive experience that resonated beyond the arena, leaving an indelible mark on all fortunate enough to bear witness to this sonic voyage. Simply put, Tool once again proved their ability to redefine the parameters of live musical expression, delivering a show that transcended mere entertainment and ventured into the realm of a collective, otherworldly experience.

Website  Facebook  X

Website  Facebook  X

About Jeff Anderson 19 Articles
Jeff is located in Dallas, TX and has been photographing concerts since late 2009. His main musical tastes are metal, rock, pop punk and pretty much all music. He is comfortable covering small intimate gigs up to full day festivals. When he is not photographing, he is usually cooking at home or traveling with his wife.