@ PNC Arena – Raleigh, NC

November 24, 2019

It has been thirteen years that the Tool released a new album and three years fans have been waiting for to hit the road again. If you where unlucky like me this fall, you had their show canceled due to weather at the Epicenter Festival. 

To me, I was due a photo pass because I did not get to shoot them at that cluster of a festival. I was lucky to receive one for this show at the PNC Arena even knowing Maynard stays on the back stage being drummer Danny Carey in the dark. Bad for pictures but we photographers did what we could. We had to so fans may have a chance at some photos of their concert. 

Tool sets policy of no camera, video or cell phone use during the show. Live in the moment and not behind your screen. If you were caught, out the door you go. Get caught smoking the funny stuff, you got yelled at. Get caught with your phone, your expelled from the building.

Fans knew this but that did not stop Tool from selling out over the 10,000 seats available for the show. Nose bleed seats that were reselling for up to $300. 

But Maynard does not hide in the dark because he is antisocial (and he is, even with his band member). It I because he is all about the music. Not the spotlight or a flashy show. The music. So he stays in the background and lets the other members be in the spotlight. 

That being said, the show was not all lights, lasers and fire. It was the music you love but can’t really bang tour head to because of the constant changeups of the bet and rhythm in most of the songs. I don’t know how Danny and bass player Justin Chancellor keep in sync but they do. Together with guitarist Adam Jones the band is a well oiled, tight machine with Maynards unique vocals.

There was a bit of lights and laser but mostly background video you see in their music videos. Tools bizarre art in motion like at from of modern day Andy Warhol.

They played a mix from their four platinum albums (no, Fear Inoculum has not gone platinum yet) and three off the new Fear Inoculum album released this August. 

My only complaint of the show was the drum solo at the beginning of the encore… Danny played some crapy music over his drums and you could not hear the drum solo. Well, that and the fact I put my phone in my car and Maynard said we could pull them out for the last song of the night, Stinkfist.


Current members

Danny Carey – drums, percussion (1990–present)

Adam Jones – guitar (1990–present)

Maynard James Keenan – vocals (1990–present)

Justin Chancellor – bass (1995–present)