Tool @ Rogers Arena

The energy around GM Place Rogers Arena (now aptly nick named “The Cell”) was palpable on Friday night. Even across the street at The Atlantic Trap where we had a pre-show dinner and drink, the majority of the crowd was headed to the concert. No, we didn’t talk to everyone but judging from the excessive black outfits in the insane heat and the oodles of Tool and A Perfect Circle tees (among an assortment of other metal insignias), it’s safe to assume that a big chunk of the patrons were heading to the show after dinner.

We headed over sometime around 7:45, hoping to catch some of the opening act, a new LA act called Rajas, but when we made our way over to the arena, the lines indicated that we weren’t going to make it. We finally ended up at one of the gates (not our gate but thanks to the security lady who suggested we avoid it as it’s the busiest and the line insane).


The line was moving at a good pace until near the door when, for the security check, they separated men and women. No problem since the women’s line was much shorter. Except there was a problem: they only had one guard for the ladies line (and some of these girls were carrying a lot of stuff) and to make matters worse, the occasional guy who refused to leave their girlfriend (insecure much?) also merged in making the much shorter line move that much slower.

We finally made it inside and into our seats just before nine but we needn’t have worried because Tool didn’t actually take the stage until approximately 9:15PM.


It was a bit weird being in an arena filled with so many men and the energy emanating from the crowd was infectious. It wasn’t angry but there was an edge to it, an edge I attribute to the immense amounts of testosterone floating in the air. It even infected me as is clear from this tweet:

Yeah, that wasn't *really* me.

Wasting no time, the band kicked into a wicked set of tunes with Maynard Keenan in the background on a platform near the back of the stage near the drum set. It was an interesting placement, almost as if he was afraid of the crowd, but regardless of the fans being able to see him (for all we know it could have been some random dude and Keenan could have been hiding back stage the entire time), the band put on a fantastic show including some trippy visuals and a pretty awesome laser show.


At one point, Kennan made some reference of everything going upwards which gave me the sense that they may have had some technical difficulties pre-show (which would also explain the delay) but everything went off without a hitch.


After nearly an hour of play, the band took a short break while roadies set up a second drum kit on stage, this one belonging to the Rajas’ drummer (nameless as the band’s website doesn’t have a line-up listed) who had a sort of “drum off” with Danny Carey which was absolutely the highlight of the show. Truly spectacular.

Some of the best moments of the show came from the male bonding going on around us. Prior to the band taking the stage there were a group of guys sitting a few rows back constantly yelling “TOOL!!!!” and once the band took the stage, the bonding seemed to get more intimate. At one point, a trio of guys a few rows down linked arms and swayed side to side, something more akin to a Carly Simon concert than Tool but eh, whatever floats your boat man. If it takes a little ganja and some wicked guitar to get you all friendly with your boys, who am I to argue?


I was a tidbit disappointed that the band played for under two hours but it was a very good show and when you’re Tool, you can do whatever the hell you want. And yeah, I’d definitely see them again.


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