Tool(ed) at The Staples Center

by chris cunningham

Setlist: Stinkfist – The Pot – 46 & 2 – Jambi – Schism – Rosetta Stoned – Right in Two – Wings for Marie – 10,000 Days – Lateralus – (interlude) – Vicarious – Aenema

So, where to begin. I like Tool. Like the band, like the music, like the whole vibe around them… But jeez the blind rabidness of some of its fans has left me hard pressed to find anyone giving a somewhat even handed review of the show. All sorts of blogs, journals, Flickr posts and such are so overwhelmingly effusive of the show something’s just not right. Someone, somewhere had to dislike the show??? Where could they be? Oh wait… it’s me this time! I’m the dissenting voter!

So hey, guess what? Tool sucked! One of the most boring live bands I’ve ever seen. If you want to see Tool just perform their music live, go have fun. But if you want to see a show, a performance, an all out entertaining night at a concert. Just say no to Tool. (God, my Show Bros. are going to kill me. They’ll never invite me with them again.) Anyway, they suffer the same thing a lot of musicians musicians bands suffer from. A boring stage presence. Rush… boring. Yes… boring. They’re too busy performing the music, which is great, but it doesn’t make it a great show. Maynard, the singer, never left a 10×10 square ft area of the stage all night. He said 5 words the whole time, “Hello Los Angeles” and “Thank You”. From song one until song eight it could have been a giant billboard of the band and I wouldn’t have even noticed it there were live people on the stage. They just stood there. Hey Tool guys? Anyone up there, hello?? Finally about 2/3 of the way through a real light show kicked in but really it was mediocre too. So many people call Tool a heavy Pink Floyd, but come on, you want to see a light show and trippy graphics, just go see Pink Floyd. They’re boring in concert too, but that light show… wow. Tool just needs to really Bon Jovi it up a bit. Ha ha! Come on rock out a bit!

The opening band was called Isis. Lame and crappy sounding. I’m sorry, but I grew up in the seventies and there was a show called The Shazam and Isis hour on TV and you probably shouldn’t call your band Isis for that very reason. The sound in Staples is absolutely horrible. A muddled mess and I have to seriously reconsider any more live shows there. I’ve seen three there and the sound at each was mediocre. The Pond in Anaheim, awesome. Even the Forum is pretty damn good. Staples… what? What? I can’t understand you?? Sorry, the sound is bouncing off all those sky boxes 100’s of times so I can’t hear what your saying. Stupid Staples Center, not liking you. I gave up on Isis and walked around Staples Center for awhile. Since I rarely get there I just sort of people watched and grabbed a bite to eat. I came to another conclusion, there’s a high asshole quotient at a Tool concert. I’ve never seen so many people that just looked liked they were assholes. Weird observation, but very noticable. I also picked up some ear plugs from guest services. If you’re not wearing earplugs at a concert like Tool, you’re freaking insane. Hear that ringing in your ears for the next 24 hours? Think it’s funny and you’re all studly… That’s your hearing slowing dying. You don’t get it back. I’m serious. Earplugs and sunblock. Your two best friends.

Ok, so, I cut my losses at the little interlude before the last two songs and said goodbye to my friends. I headed out to my car only to discover it was blocked in!!! You idiots!! The reason I parked in your lot was you had spaces! It’s not like the Hollywood Bowl or something! Oooo, I was pissed. Forunately all the cars that were blocking me were the cars of all the workers from the parking lot. So they scrambled around, collected their keys and I was on my way. Ok, cool, thanks, whew. Beat all the traffic and got home by 11:30.

Fired up iTunes and listened to a little Tool before falling asleep.