When Tool announced their Western USA tour dates for 2016, I couldn’t resist a sneaky weekend to visit my friends in San Diego to coincide with their San Diego date (9th January 2016 at Viejas Arena), haha!
I had no luck getting a ticket, they sold out pretty quickly, and were straight on Stubhub, some even up for thousands of dollars! But I managed to call in a favour which was lucky since I’d already booked my (very cheap!) flights.
3 Teeth, a band completely new to me, opened. And they were awesome. I’d not heard of them before they were picked by Maynard to accompany Tool on tour (allegedly he met 3 Teeths vocalist at a wedding and they became friends), but I will definitely give them more attention from now on! Their sound is quite dark, industrial, and interestingly they have no bassist – using keys and samples to fill the gaps. Definitely worth checking out.
Just like at Monster Mash festival, which I attended last Halloween, Primus joined Tool on this tour. I think they’re a good warm up for Tool really, although I would have been interested in seeing a different band rather than the same combination again. And I guess the focus on the bass with Primus was a nice contrast to the bassless 3 Teeth!
Yet again, Primus brought the giant mushrooms on stage with them, haha! They also made good use of the huge video screen behind them, showing home movies, random animations, and other videos during their set. For ‘Mr Krinkle’ Les Claypool wore a pig mask – I did hear he did that for Monster Mash too, but I missed it that time.
Since seeing them at Monster Mash, I’ve listened to a lot more Primus and I enjoyed their set a lot more this time around. Now knowing their back catalogue a bit better I can tell you that they mostly played really old stuff, I think all but one song was before 1995s ‘Tales From The Punchbowl’. They closed with one of my favourites of theirs – ‘Jerry Was A Race Car Driver’. Pretty sure this was the same setlist as at Monster Mash? If not, it was VERY similar.
So, Tool. Another flashback to Monster Mash, since they opened with Led Zeppelins ‘No Quarter’ again. And the deja vu carried on for the rest of the show – the setlist was EXACTLY THE SAME. Oh, except this time they missed out ‘Ions’. I mean I had heard that they don’t vary their setlists much, but really?
I know I sound like I’m complaining, but lets face it, I was there for the experience and I can never hear anything Tool do enough times so I was still a happy bunny. I can’t remember if I mentioned this in my Monster Mash post actually, but both times they did play some new material, which has the working title ‘Descending’. I liked it.
Unlike Monster Mash, this time we were treated to an elaborate laser light show – seriously, I have never seen lights so perfectly timed to the music. When you add this to the incredible sound, intricate artwork and video concepts, it was pretty much the perfect show. They may be samey, but Tool have their performance perfected. And what Tool fan really cares about samey?
So chances are I might go back to the States for Tool again in the not too distant future, who knows. Although I’d much rather they come to London, it’s a bit easier on my bank balance.
All photos my own (yes, they suck, I was caught in the moment!)