The progressive psychedelic rock band Tool stormed the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center to an awe-struck crowd of 8,600 screaming fans Saturday night.
Concert-goers were gifted a onesie-dressed, leopard-printed treat in the form of Steel Beans when the lights went out in the arena. Steel Beans, a one-man jam band, sat behind a large drum kit, head-to-toe leopard print outfit, with his stylish sunglasses on and surrounded by crazy frizzy-haired mannequin heads and an old 70s-style rotary phone. For as frazzled as his look is, his musicianship was spot on. Guitar with his left hand, the drums with his right hand, and a mic stuffed in his face. He ripped through guitar solos one-handed, used synthesizer triggers along with killer drum beats. The crowd was pleasantly surprised by this opening act for sure.After a short break, the lights came down and the massive Videotron came to life. Tool hits the stage and drops a sick beat to “Fear Incolum.” For the next 10 minutes, the screen comes to life with raging skull eyes crossing the stage and then alternating red and blue lava-like explosions. The constant barrage of psychedelic imagery was mesmerizing but even through the second song, “Jambi,” the stage was still a bit dark in comparison to what was to follow. By the time the band hits their third song, “The Pot,” the light show started to dance in ritualistic syncopation. Lead singer, Maynard James Keenan’s vocals pierced through the smoke-filled laser show with mindful precision on “Rosetta Stoned.” The edgy crunch of the guitar with the bass and drum counterpoint rhythm on “Intolerance” left the audience captivated with head-bobbing unity. The band ended their eight-song first set with the ritualistic bass-driven “The Grudge” and took a brief intermission.
As if drummer Danny Carey’s skills weren’t evident in every single song they played, the beat layer started out the second set after the intermission with a rambunctious seven-and-a-half minute drum solo on “Chocolate Chip Trip.” Green and purple lasers filled the arena. Maynard belted out a calming and alluring rendition of “Culling Voices.” The guys then broke into the slow-building, melodic journey that is “Invincible.” “(-) Ions” filled the air and gross anticipation of the band’s final song for the night. A full coliseum erupted with a loud sing-along in harmony with Maynard. “Something has to change, undeniable dilemma,” and the crowd continued to sing in unison until the song was over. “Stinkfist” was an astounding light show and a cumulation end to the night’s musical perfection. The band’s 30-plus-year history in the alternative metal scene shows no end in sight. Every eye was on the stage all night. They grabbed our attention from the second they took the stage until the moment they surrendered it.TOOL
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