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kanaduh
03-10-2014, 12:03 PM
Post your experience, comments and thoughts of VIP here

savagehenry
03-10-2014, 07:43 PM
So my wife and I did the VIP at Eugene. We had an amazing experience. Got there about 11. We drove down from Portland where we went to the show the previous night. We waited till about 1 before the let us into the building. We met some cool fans that had drove in from Idaho (my wife and I are from Texas). Even met a cool brother that was following them for there first shows doing all VIP. Anyway it was cool meeting fans from all over and none seemed to be DB's thinking they no more than you and are higher on the food chain. There were a lot of fans. Slightly under 100 of us. When they let us in, they gave us tickets. (My wife and I had front row right in front of Justin.) They handed us black bags with tool VIP logo which contained swag such as beanie, VIP sticker, key chain. When everyone was checked in we went downstairs into a seated room. In front of the room was Adam's guitar, half stack, loop pedal and effects pedal and a small mixing board.
In a few minutes after everyone was seated. Adam entered in the room. It was really a great experience. For almost 2 hrs he went over the process in which TOOL writes. He played songs and explained the origin, the process and the way each member does their part. It was also a free for all forum. Any question you wanted to ask him you were able to. No holds barred. He was really kind. He was as nervous and excited as we all were. He cleared up a lot of misinformation that gets spread and gave some great enlightenment about the band. That session alone was worth the cost. Just getting that real with Adam was eye opening and inspiring. After the session he took photos with everyone and gave us all a signed VIP poster. We also were given a VIP shirt when we got to the room waiting on Adam to show.
Afterward we waited till everyone was done, then we were escorted back to the main floor were we could purchase merch at a discounted price. After that, a bit more waiting then we were escorted down to sound check. We got to say hello to Danny and Justin (no Maynard) and listen to sound check. We were the first group to listen to Opiate with new middle arrangement before they played it for the first time ever live. That was a cool experience. Especially when Adam looked over and said you guys are the first. No ones heard this one. Then they counted off and rocked it. They even flubbed up. Stopped, talked about it and picked back up and finished it out.
After sound check we were escorted back downstairs were Adam had arranged a couple of pieces he had made for the Schism and Porabola videos. We were able to take photos with them and just hang out and kill time before the were able to be let free in the concourse for the show.
Having front row was incredible. Getting to see how animated everyone was killer. Being able to watch Danny in action up close is amazing. Thanks to Juan for organizing us and herding cats all afternoon. Thanks to Adam for an amazing experience. I'd do it again in a heart beat.

EastBayJ1972
03-11-2014, 01:58 AM
So my wife and I did the VIP at Eugene. We had an amazing experience. Got there about 11. We drove down from Portland where we went to the show the previous night. We waited till about 1 before the let us into the building. We met some cool fans that had drove in from Idaho (my wife and I are from Texas). Even met a cool brother that was following them for there first shows doing all VIP. Anyway it was cool meeting fans from all over and none seemed to be DB's thinking they no more than you and are higher on the food chain. There were a lot of fans. Slightly under 100 of us. When they let us in, they gave us tickets. (My wife and I had front row right in front of Justin.) They handed us black bags with tool VIP logo which contained swag such as beanie, VIP sticker, key chain. When everyone was checked in we went downstairs into a seated room. In front of the room was Adam's guitar, half stack, loop pedal and effects pedal and a small mixing board.
In a few minutes after everyone was seated. Adam entered in the room. It was really a great experience. For almost 2 hrs he went over the process in which TOOL writes. He played songs and explained the origin, the process and the way each member does their part. It was also a free for all forum. Any question you wanted to ask him you were able to. No holds barred. He was really kind. He was as nervous and excited as we all were. He cleared up a lot of misinformation that gets spread and gave some great enlightenment about the band. That session alone was worth the cost. Just getting that real with Adam was eye opening and inspiring. After the session he took photos with everyone and gave us all a signed VIP poster. We also were given a VIP shirt when we got to the room waiting on Adam to show.
Afterward we waited till everyone was done, then we were escorted back to the main floor were we could purchase merch at a discounted price. After that, a bit more waiting then we were escorted down to sound check. We got to say hello to Danny and Justin (no Maynard) and listen to sound check. We were the first group to listen to Opiate with new middle arrangement before they played it for the first time ever live. That was a cool experience. Especially when Adam looked over and said you guys are the first. No ones heard this one. Then they counted off and rocked it. They even flubbed up. Stopped, talked about it and picked back up and finished it out.
After sound check we were escorted back downstairs were Adam had arranged a couple of pieces he had made for the Schism and Porabola videos. We were able to take photos with them and just hang out and kill time before the were able to be let free in the concourse for the show.
Having front row was incredible. Getting to see how animated everyone was killer. Being able to watch Danny in action up close is amazing. Thanks to Juan for organizing us and herding cats all afternoon. Thanks to Adam for an amazing experience. I'd do it again in a heart beat.

AWESOME and thank you for review!!! Im dying to hear some of the questions other than "when is new album coming out?"

Smokint
03-12-2014, 08:44 PM
OK, here's a quick review of Spokane VIP: Me and my bro ponied up $500 each, mainly to get front row seats. Spokane was the first time they had done VIP in US and it showed. They were nice but very unorganized making us wait outside arena quite a while and past show up time (this was at 1:00 btw). When we finally got patted down and gear searched they let us in. Unfortunately they made us stand in a line up against a wall for almost an hour. Seemed like they were trying to organize on the fly. Finally we were led to another building where there was a large room and chairs. Adams gear was up front. We were told to sit down and had to wait some more. It would've been nice to have had some beer or drinks while we waited ( they did eventually pass out warm bottled water). They also eventually put out a bowl of pretzels and opened a bag of chips for the 100 people. Up to this point the VIP experience sucked ass, but, when Adam showed up it got a lot better. He was extremely nice, humble and personable. He played riffs on his Les Paul and Diezel amp. He played Jambi in its entirety to a backing track of his mates, very cool. He answered questions and then very patiently signed 100 posters personally (along with skulls, albums, etc). I couldn't believe his patience, this took a solid 1.5 hrs. FINALLY we're we're taken to sound check where everyone except Maynard played 3 tunes from the setlist, very cool.
In summary, the waiting around sucked, the lack of a real VIP experience with catered food and drinks sucked, BUT seeing Adam and sound check more than made up for it. Would we do it again. Yes, we've got tix to another show with VIP! YOLO

Raptor159
03-12-2014, 08:50 PM
After Portland and Eugene shows, flew to Reno for VIP. Justified by convincing myself and wife- "last time I'm road tripping until new album comes out'. Motivation for VIP was a great ticket- it would cost near $500 or more from reseller for ticket this good, with bonus of meeting Adam. Turns out the time with Adam was as good, or better, than being front row. The Q&A was like a college course in Tool- music, history, theory, and application. Jambi has been re-invented today from what it meant to me yesterday. Adam answered a question on the meaning behind push-it. While he did give the source of what the song was for the band, and a specific member, he strongly expressed the importance of Tool songs being interpreted and 'the meaning' of the songs belonging to the individual and what it means to them personally-regardless of what it is the band wrote about. Adam addressed question of denomination, initial exposure during childhood, concluding with the current belief of existence of a Higher Power. Eye of Spirit went thru my mind as he talked of an experience had by Alex and Alyson Grey.

Juan, our chaperone, did well considering the class he had to work with. He kept eyeballing and commenting on my Opeth shirt. I had such a great time that if I saw him later I would have given him 'the shirt off my back'. I met other Tool followers, some had been to VIP in Portland and Eugene, were then heading from Reno to two nights in San Francisco. $$$! I tried to think of another way to justify making the trip last, but it is back to daily life of making widgets for me. Adam did provide motivational words- if you have inspirations and an appreciation for something-especially arts, pursue it until your fingers bleed and it rips your guts out. And he was sincere when he said it. Do you know if he has a sister?

For anyone with VIP, enjoy, it more than justifies the price and sacrifice of partaking in this part of the show.

ThinkForYourself33
03-13-2014, 12:48 PM
After Portland and Eugene shows, flew to Reno for VIP. Justified by convincing myself and wife- "last time I'm road tripping until new album comes out'. Motivation for VIP was a great ticket- it would cost near $500 or more from reseller for ticket this good, with bonus of meeting Adam. Turns out the time with Adam was as good, or better, than being front row. The Q&A was like a college course in Tool- music, history, theory, and application. Jambi has been re-invented today from what it meant to me yesterday. Adam answered a question on the meaning behind push-it. While he did give the source of what the song was for the band, and a specific member, he strongly expressed the importance of Tool songs being interpreted and 'the meaning' of the songs belonging to the individual and what it means to them personally-regardless of what it is the band wrote about. Adam addressed question of denomination, initial exposure during childhood, concluding with the current belief of existence of a Higher Power. Eye of Spirit went thru my mind as he talked of an experience had by Alex and Alyson Grey.

Juan, our chaperone, did well considering the class he had to work with. He kept eyeballing and commenting on my Opeth shirt. I had such a great time that if I saw him later I would have given him 'the shirt off my back'. I met other Tool followers, some had been to VIP in Portland and Eugene, were then heading from Reno to two nights in San Francisco. $$$! I tried to think of another way to justify making the trip last, but it is back to daily life of making widgets for me. Adam did provide motivational words- if you have inspirations and an appreciation for something-especially arts, pursue it until your fingers bleed and it rips your guts out. And he was sincere when he said it. Do you know if he has a sister?

For anyone with VIP, enjoy, it more than justifies the price and sacrifice of partaking in this part of the show.

So what did he say the meaning of pushit was?

Pablo
03-15-2014, 08:05 AM
This is all amazing to read, thank you for sharing. It's close to seven long years since Tool last played live in the UK, and music the world over needs them more than ever. I hope that when they eventually return to Europe they do the VIP thing here too.

I've been weighing up whether I'd shell out £300 ($500) for the experience and the reviews I've read have convinced me it's worth it.

I also asked myself; if Led Zeppelin did the VIP thing in the '70s and you got to 'hang out' with Jimmy Page for a few hours, watch them soundcheck (with or without Plant) and get front row seats, would I... you can guess the answer!

Paranormaljello
03-15-2014, 01:21 PM
I'm sorry to rain on your parade but if that's all I got for $500 I'd slit my throat.

livid star
03-15-2014, 01:53 PM
Then for $500, what do you think the experience should've been?

Raptor159
03-15-2014, 05:30 PM
"Kanaduh has delivered more love for us, this time in the form or a recording of the recent San Francisco Adam Jones VIP Q&A session. For your enjoyment:"

"Update: Clip has been removed at the bands request."

Not sure what Kanaduh role is on Toolshed. I take he has a solid understanding and knowledge of Tool. For him to record q&a, which was made clear by the band that recordings and photos were not allowed, was blatant disregard and lack of respect to Adam and Tool. It may have been different if it was Joe Blow who nobody knows that broke the rules; but for someone as recognizable on Tool forums as Kanaduh to do it, and then Post it under his user name, is hard for me to fathom. Needless to say, if Kanaduh is some kind of moderator his rules and regulations no longer carry any clout. It is a shame, I used to enjoy reading his reviews. The VIP event was a great experience, and nothing against those who listened to the unauthorized recording. I just hope Kanaduh hasn't ruined it for the rest of us for the remainder of this tour and any possible tours in the future.

sianspheric
03-15-2014, 07:28 PM
Oh fucking get over it. Dude. The band makes fucking millions off the VIP and this tour and heaven forbid the fans want to know what was said during a Q&A and it's thaaat disrespectful that they should be called out for it? No.

Everything the band does not is just one big dollar sign for the fans. The band also asks fans (in arena shows no less) to not take ANY photos? Yet tons of people do. The band needs to seriously fucking get over themselves.

Kanudah is a good guy (I've met him) and arguably the biggest actual fan of Tool left on this forum. I commend him for recording the Q&A.

sianspheric
03-15-2014, 07:39 PM
[QUealivid star;3126667]Then for $500, what do you think the experience should've been?[/QUOTE]

It's not a bad experience I'm sure, it's worthy experience for $250 IMO.

In 2011 I did VIP for Deftones, it was like $175, we got a GA ticket, signed poster of all members, bunch of guitar picks, attend soundcheck (attended by all members), early entry AND We each got to meet the band and get a photo with the whole band.

$500 for this VIP is as much an insane rip off, as much as the $150 that the Opiate reissue was.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it's worth it to some big big Tool fans! All our years and obsessing makes getting to spend time face to face with Adam revealing stories of the band almost priceless and I'm sure people often will go away happy. Happy they got VIP, but not happy about blowing half a grand for it. It costs the band barely anything for the few bucks in swag they give away, it's maximum profit and Adam just has to show up.

I love the band, always have, always will, but the shamelessness of how expensive everything associated with them now (expensive merch, expensive posters, drum heads, VIP, Maynard's premium wine, completely pointless Opiate reissue, touring endlessly with no new material, tool army, etc - it's all fucking pretty heinous and greedy as far as I'm concerned.

Paranormaljello
03-15-2014, 08:19 PM
Then for $500, what do you think the experience should've been?

At least i rim job from Maynard.

hellboy1975
03-15-2014, 09:40 PM
At least i rim job from Maynard.

If trolling allowed in this forum?

Paranormaljello
03-16-2014, 08:13 AM
If trolling allowed in this forum?

I was asked a direct question and gave an honest reply. That ain't trolling. Are you the site snitch btw?

Pablo
03-16-2014, 10:47 AM
I guess Kanaduh thought for himself and questioned authority : ) But seriously, I can see both sides of the 'argument'...

hellboy1975
03-16-2014, 03:00 PM
I was asked a direct question and gave an honest reply. That ain't trolling. Are you the site snitch btw?

Yes

Paranormaljello
03-16-2014, 07:24 PM
Yes

Your fathers must be proud.

sonnyboy11
03-17-2014, 07:48 PM
My VIP notes

I just don't know how they keep doing it. Adam pointed out that out of all their peers who came to prominence during the the early/mid-90s, they're one of the few left still going with all the original members. So true. He also gave huge props to the Melvins and their influence.

Btw, question #1 for him in SD was about the set list. Of course! He gave a great answer, elaborating freely on the challenges of getting older. He later answered the "what's your favorite Tool song?" question with "Wings For Marie", although he initially said "I love all our songs!" The guy was refreshing in his honesty and candor, coming across as comfortable in his own skin. His passion for what he does... and us fans... was contagious.

By far the high point of the entire day was when he performed all of Jambi for us at full volume with a backing track of all the other instruments/vocals. He walked around the small room while playing, showing everyone an up-close view of his approach and style. "pass the goddam butter!"

Now, I do have some complaints about the VIP experience- not all that well organized, just ok swag pack, plenty of dead time waiting for something to happen (especially before sound check, which we got shorted on). And the gate keeper for the event had a major problem with anyone who tried to go outside what was planned. In fact, I feel like I spent as much time listening to him as I did anything to do with Tool. Not blaming him for doing his job, just pointing it out.

But between Adam, my ticket, and the eventual amazing performance, what can I say? Except... these guys have been, and still are, my favorite band. I've given them a lot of my money, happy to give them more if they're gonna keep turning in performances like last night. And junior- masterful. Maybe you haven't always loved these boards, but we sure as hell love the work you do.

On a personal, and cryptic, note, I had a couple of rough moments just before the show last night. Unusual situation for me since I am normally on top of it, but missed all of Failure. I am still dealing with fallout today. Suffice to say I got over my problems once I heard the opening strains of Third Eye. I actually have a pretty empty feeling today now that it is all over- great, Tool withdrawal.

Durangatang
03-18-2014, 10:54 AM
[QUOTE=sonnyboy11;3126781]My VIP notes

Btw, question #1 for him in SD was about the set list. Of course! He gave a great answer, elaborating freely on the challenges of getting older.

QUOTE]

What were some of the elaborations on the set list choices? Is it just eaiser for them to play the same songs 'cause you don't remember how to play your full catalogue?

maxell0405
03-18-2014, 11:41 AM
What he said in the banned audio recording was that Maynard chooses the setlist based solely on his preferences and what he feels he can do vocally. He made it sound like that was it. No input from the others and no negotiating, no great principle about songs or emotions they can't relate to anymore, etc. and whatever.

tattedchef
03-18-2014, 04:11 PM
My VIP notes

I just don't know how they keep doing it. Adam pointed out that out of all their peers who came to prominence during the the early/mid-90s, they're one of the few left still going with all the original members. So true.

Just for the record, Paul D'Amour was the original bassist.

sonnyboy11
03-18-2014, 07:18 PM
Just for the record, Paul D'Amour was the original bassist.

Doh! Fair enough. Did not intentionally forget him. Just a brain lock in my all my excitement. That said, Tool is a stable band when compared to others. The line up with Justin has been in place for almost 20 years.

sonnyboy11
03-18-2014, 07:24 PM
And, now that you mention it, he talked about that. He said Paul was unhappy in Tool. That when they got signed, Paul said he wanted to play guitar and the band should get a bass player (so, 2 guitarists). None of the other members wanted that. They wanted to be a 4 piece. He said they auditioned many bass players, some of them famous. And when it came time to decide, there were 2 bass players they narrowed it down to. He (Adam) wanted Justin. But Maynard and Danny apparently wanted the other, unnamed, bass player. He said they had a contentious meeting he thought would come to blows over it. But, in a twist, it turned out they were all talking about Justin. There was just a breakdown in communication and they actually were in complete agreement. He called Justin "the missing piece" and "a riff monster."

He also called Danny "the best drummer in the world" and talked about how Danny immediately takes riffs he proposes and changes them up rhythmically. I guess he sometimes wishes Danny would just try the riff as is! He also played the original riff Justin wrote for Jambi. It was really basic and apparently the band did not get it at first. He said that happens quite a bit.

Sorry, pulling this all off the top of my head. Hopefully someone is enjoying reading it.

Durangatang
03-19-2014, 03:16 PM
Always like your posts sonnyboy. Thanks for the inside stuff,. If you remember any more, let 'er rip!

tattedchef
03-19-2014, 04:00 PM
definitely! Remember more questions for Adam please! Haha

sonnyboy11
03-19-2014, 04:33 PM
One of my questions for him was "I have seen Tool many times, and each time you have a pretty eclectic band open for you that probably isn't too familiar to your mainstream fans. For example, last time I was here in San Diego, you had Melt Banana open for you, which I loved, but seemed to confuse a lot of folks in the audience. How do you select your opening bands?" And then a quick follow up to clarify "Do YOU personally select the bands or is it the whole group?".

His answer was they are so busy planning the tour and rehearsing that the opening band is often chosen just a couple weeks before the tour starts "Like, uh yea, guess we need an opener!" He said there wasn't anything intentional behind who they chose as the opening act, they all 4 would just throw out several bands they all liked or were listening to at the moment and have management go see who is available.

More on the Melvins influence on the grunge scene. He said the first time he saw Alice In Chains they were "wearing cowboy boots with open shirts" and the next time he saw them "they were wearing flannel." All, in his opinion, attributable to the Melvins.

He talked quite a bit about living with Tom Morello in the early days. He also spoke about meeting Maynard and how the Tool name came about. Something like "you're gonna get taken out the toolshed!" as a joke. He said they were initially influenced by Green Jello and thought his collaboration with Maynard would be in that vein until he found out Maynard could actually sing by listening to CAD (Children of the Anachronistic Dynasty- but he couldn't remember the name off hand). He said once he heard that, he immediately wanted to do something serious with Maynard.

veikley
03-20-2014, 10:57 AM
Sorry, pulling this all off the top of my head. Hopefully someone is enjoying reading it.

Dude keep the posts coming....maybe I'll catch up with you at a show in the near future. I still sort of remember Vegas..lol

savagehenry
03-25-2014, 09:01 AM
One of my questions for him was "I have seen Tool many times, and each time you have a pretty eclectic band open for you that probably isn't too familiar to your mainstream fans. For example, last time I was here in San Diego, you had Melt Banana open for you, which I loved, but seemed to confuse a lot of folks in the audience. How do you select your opening bands?" And then a quick follow up to clarify "Do YOU personally select the bands or is it the whole group?".

His answer was they are so busy planning the tour and rehearsing that the opening band is often chosen just a couple weeks before the tour starts "Like, uh yea, guess we need an opener!" He said there wasn't anything intentional behind who they chose as the opening act, they all 4 would just throw out several bands they all liked or were listening to at the moment and have management go see who is available.

More on the Melvins influence on the grunge scene. He said the first time he saw Alice In Chains they were "wearing cowboy boots with open shirts" and the next time he saw them "they were wearing flannel." All, in his opinion, attributable to the Melvins.

He talked quite a bit about living with Tom Morello in the early days. He also spoke about meeting Maynard and how the Tool name came about. Something like "you're gonna get taken out the toolshed!" as a joke. He said they were initially influenced by Green Jello and thought his collaboration with Maynard would be in that vein until he found out Maynard could actually sing by listening to CAD (Children of the Anachronistic Dynasty- but he couldn't remember the name off hand). He said once he heard that, he immediately wanted to do something serious with Maynard.

It's been great reading your review. Haven't been online since I wrote my experience of Eugene. Sounds like you had a great experience as well. Adam was so personable and really a pleasure to meet. I'm looking forward to seeing them tonight. Just floor seating. I felt a bit spoiled getting to hear sound check and watch a show from the front row right in front of Justin. Very grateful for the experience.

tattedchef
03-25-2014, 05:35 PM
Did anyone ask Adam why they avoided Los Angeles? I am curious

SpiralOut34
03-26-2014, 10:08 PM
Discovered tonight when I went to go to sleep that the VIP posters are glow in the dark. The entirety of the arm glows, as well as the outline--I'll have to look at it more tomorrow. I've yet to try my Cedar Park poster under a black light, but I know of at least one other poster set that glowed along some parts of the skull that I have seen online recently. Again, tomorrow if I remember I'll try and find that link. Night!

Rothric
03-27-2014, 06:44 AM
This is a review I initially wrote for a Bonnaroo message board, but thought I'd go ahead and post it here since I lurked these forums for a bit.


Tool
Cedar Park, TX – 3/24/2014

Wow, it's hard to even know where to start the review for this show. Be prepared for a long winded account of my experience from beginning to end, as it was quite an adventure. For those who don't want to read it, just know, the show was absolutely incredible. This whole day is my favorite musical experience I've had in my life up to now.

I was caught off guard when Tool announced their mini-tour down to Mexico and back, and beyond ecstatic when I saw a date in Cedar Park, a suburb of Austin. I saw on Tool's website that they were offering VIP tickets for all the US dates. I have done VIP for the past two Puscifer tours, and was very pleased with the experience. However, for the Tool VIP, there was also a Q&A and meet and greet with Adam Jones, the guitarist. In addition to the ticket, access to sound check, and some free band merch. Unfortunately, due to Tool's popularity, the VIP tickets were quite a bit more expensive then the VIP Puscifer tickets. Decisions had to be made.

Flash forward a couple days and I'm sitting eagerly in front of my computer waiting to buy two VIP passes to the Cedar Park show. VIP tickets are slowly being added to the site, date by date. Cedar Park tickets were finally available for sale a nerve-wracking 40 minutes after the advertised time. I quickly snatch up my pair and sit in complete silence for a minute, smiling, knowing this was going to be a show of a lifetime.

I had debated trying to buy tickets at the normal on sale time, and then only buying the VIP tickets if I didn't get a good ticket. Thankfully I didn't do that. The show sold out instantly. I got stuck in a waiting room and was unable to get tickets (I was trying just to see what I could get). And by that point, the VIP tickets were sold out too. I would have been at the mercy of scalpers at that point.

Thankfully my girlfriend was able to get the day off work for the show too. She's been a long time fan of Tool (not quite from '92, but close!), but has never had the chance to see Tool or A Perfect Circle. So needless to say, finally seeing Tool was something she's been waiting a long time for. I've had the pleasure of seeing Tool 5 times previously, so I knew she was in for a treat.

Fun fact, Tool is actually the band that got me to Bonnaroo for my first time back in 2007. I had seen them for the first time in 2006 in The Woodlands, TX and San Antonio. When they announced their summer tour in 2007, my brother, our friend, and I decided to get tickets for Corpus Christi and Houston. But when I looked at their full tour, I noticed a stop in Manchester, TN for Bonnaroo. I had heard the name Bonnaroo before, but nothing more then that. A little investigation later, and my ticket to Bonnaroo 2007 was bought, and my love of festivals was born. I guess I was one of “those Tool fans” who ruined Bonnaroo that year ;) Thanks Tool!

Back to the story at hand. After much anticipation, the day of the show was almost upon us. In the days leading up to the show, I had read others accounts of their VIP experience, so I knew what to expect. My excitement was literally bubbling over. There were numerous occasions when I would giggle out loud just thinking about it. As high as my expectations were, they were utterly exceeded.

We have to be at the venue at 1pm to check in. My girlfriend and I leave at 11:15, which would normally be enough time to make it. We unfortunately hit some construction traffic, and were about 15 minutes late to the check in. We were the last people in line to check in, however, this was the best possible thing that could have happened to us. Juan, our “envoy” for the day, had a stack of tickets that he was handing out to people as they checked in.

As I looked down at my tickets, I saw Floor 2, Row A, Seats 1 and 2.

Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit.

In some stroke of luck, the last two tickets handed out were front row, seats 1 and 2. There are literally 10 tickets in the entire venue that are better then ours (seat 12 would be dead center). People with the VIP passes were seated in the first 4 rows, in the center section of the floor. Being late turned out to be the best thing we could have done.

As they herd us inside through security, we have to hand over our cell phones. As a result of the previous taping of the Q&A, no phones allowed anymore! We write our names on a piece of paper, rubberband it our phone, and hand it over. It sucks to have to do it, but if you know Tool, you know they're very strict about photography/recording of their shows. But that's a different debate. You know the rules going in, and if that's what I have to do for this, then fuck it, here's my phone! As a testament to Juan and the rest of the Tool staff, everyone received their phone back without incident. Later as the talk started, Adam apologized for having our phones taken. He said something to the effect of he didn't want it to be recorded because partially it would make him nervous, and it was also supposed to be a personal experience. I could be a little off in that, so someone else in the VIP sessions might be able to confirm. He also said something near to, "Our fans are cool, they wouldn't do that, right?" in response to wondering if someone would try and tape it initially.

There are 100 people here for the VIP experience, and we're all now gathered in a small conference/lounge room in the venue. It's a very odd shaped room, narrow and long. Unfortunately the seats are oriented along the long axis, so there are a lot of short rows. The reason for this, as was later explained, was at a previous stop in a similarly shaped room, they did orient the chairs the other way. However, it sounded terrible.

Both of us get seats near the back, but this turns out to be another blessing in disguise. Adam moved around the room quite a bit during the time, but he spent a large chunk of time talking to us from our row. We were literally 5 feet from him for portions of the talk.

When Adam walks in the room, he just smiles, and says, “Wow, 100 people in this room!”. You can immediately tell that he's a down to earth guy. He explains how it will work, he will talk about a variety of subjects for a bit, and then at the end, open it up to questions from us. He explained that Tool had never done a meet and greet before because they felt it was always very cheesy. If they were going to do it, they wanted it to be different. Adam explained that he wanted to be able to connect with the fans on a real level. He wanted the talk to be like we were hanging out in the kitchen, just a kitchen with his guitar and amps set up!

I can say with 100% certainty, Adam achieved his goal. The personal connection that he made with each one of us was truly amazing. Even though there were 100 of us in the room, I can promise you that everyone walked away feeling it. When you looked Adam in the eyes, you could tell he truly appreciated the fans. He really is an amazingly talented, down to earth person who loves what he does.

Rothric
03-27-2014, 06:46 AM
Part II:

His talk covered a wide array of topics from his early love of music, his progression to being in Tool, how the band formed, how they write music as a band, his approach to guitar, lessons on poly-rhythms, pretty much everything. The entire thing with the Q&A was nearly 2 hours long.

A few choice nuggets:
-We have that iconic banjo line in “Deliverance” to thank for Adam picking up the guitar.
-Tool was started as a joke band between Adam and Maynard. However, once Adam really heard Maynard sing, they started to take it more seriously.
-Danny only drummed for them out of pity, he had refused them previously due to his busy schedule in bands and house bands for TV shows. They had scheduled a drummer, but he bailed on them. Once Danny played with them, he quickly turned his focus to it.
-When picking a replacement bassist for Paul, Adam was worried the discussion would come to blows. Adam wanted Justin, but he thought Maynard and Danny wanted a different bassist. Maynard and Danny also wanted Justin, but they thought Adam wanted the other bassist. They quickly realized they all wanted Justin and had a good laugh about it.
-The song title “Jambi” comes from the character Jambi in Pee-Wee's Playhouse. The original riff that Justin brought in reminded them of when Jambi would say “Meka leka hi meka hiney ho”.
-Both Danny and Adam are classically trained musicians. Adam was trained in the Suzuki method of violin.
-Adam lived with Tom Morello for a while and was in a band with him.
-Adam met Maynard at a BBQ, which Maynard was attending through his girlfriend at the time.
-Adam, Danny, and Justin write and jam together for a long time before Maynard gets involved. Once the songs have gotten close to their final shape, Maynard will come in and write the vocals.
-Maynard often puts vocals where the other members weren't expecting it when they wrote the music.
-Adam is extremely detail oriented, and will spend hours on something. Maynard is often able to come in and just nail his part in a few takes.
-Adam's stop motion work in Jurassic Park was cut out for “new technology”, ie CGI.
-The money in Tool is split evenly, 4 ways.
-Adam mentioned highly creative people can often have an abrasive personality, or just a strong character flaw of some sort. Whenever they'd meet someone that was an asshole, they had a running joke, “What, your dad take you out to the tool shed and molest you?” Which turned into take you out to the tool shed, to Tool.
-Adam mentioned they gave back a lot of the record label advance in order to keep control of their music.
-On several occasions, Adam has hidden stinky cheese on another band's tour bus. While on tour with Fishbone in Europe, he mentioned doing this. He mentioned doing it to The Flaming Lips as well. As a result, the members of Fishbone ended up in a fist fight over accusations of who was responsible for the smell. Adam never admitted to it, and kept low the rest of the tour! To be fair, this was in response to Adam picking up a cup full of urine in the dressing room and spilling some on himself. Apparently one of the members of Fishbone had a habit of peeing into any available object when he needed to go.
-After spilling said urine on himself, some record executives came to meet him. Without hesitation, he shook their hands with pleasure. He was quite upset with them at the time. Tool's albums weren't in the stores in many of the European cities they were playing, like the label had promised.

As the climax of the talk, he gave a guitar lesson on “Jambi” and then proceeded to play it live for us using a click track with the rest of the band. Seeing him play it in such a small, personal space really was amazing. As I mentioned earlier, he spent a lot of time in front of our row. When he was playing in front of us, he was so close you could hear the unamplified scrape of the strings.

After his talk wrapped up, he opened it up to questions from us. After a few questions had been asked, I mustered the courage to raise my hand. I was beyond nervous, and just praying that I was able to form a coherent sentence. I got a little tongue tied, but managed to get my question out. I asked if Tool had any intentions to put their music on high resolution digital sites like the upcoming Pono Music Store. He said he didn't know what Pono specifically was, but that they do want to put their music out on iTunes and other digital platforms. He said it basically comes down to disagreements with the label. Their label is basically trying to say they own the digital rights to the music, and obviously Tool disagrees. So hopefully they get it resolved by the time the next album comes out. I can't imagine they'd try and promote it without a digital presence.

As the Q&A portion ended, we got ready to take a picture with Adam. As we lined up, we went to a table and picked up our phones. When it was finally my turn to take a picture with him later, he shook my hand and said thank you. All I could stammer out was a “thank you” in response, I was still star struck. He asked if I had a good time, and I just shook my head and said thank you again. Not the best use of my time with him, but I was just trying to concentrate on not looking like a crazy person.

I had brought my poster from my first Tool show, The Woodlands, TX 9/11/2006 by Jermaine Rogers, in the hopes I might get it signed. The information specifically said not to bring personal items for autographs, but it was worth a shot. My plan was to wait at the back of the line for pictures, and ask him to sign the poster instead of taking a picture. However, we were already running nearly 25 minutes late, and the head security guy had reiterated to please not ask for autographs. So I decided against asking. The first VIP show they did, they allowed people to get things signed, and it took nearly 2 hours. They made the change that Adam would presign our VIP posters for us to save time. Would have been nice, but oh well, I get it.

After the picture, we came back into the conference room and picked up our swag bag. It included a special VIP Tool poster signed by Adam, a VIP Tool T-shirt, a beanie, a keychain, a sticker, and a VIP laminate, all in a Tool tote bag.

Before Adam left for the pictures, he left his guitar and said he were welcome to pick it up and hold it. He just stressed to be careful with it, as it is one of his original guitars and he still plays it on stage. The level of trust that must have taken is pretty impressive to me. Unfortunately the guitar got taken away by the guitar tech relatively quickly, they were late and needed it for the sound check. Adam had talked longer then he was supposed to, and because our room was open air to the arena, they couldn't sound check some things while the talk was going on. However, this again turned out to be a blessing.

As we all were gathered in the conference room again, they brought in two video props. The guy from the “Parabola” video, and the guy from the “Schism” video. Really cool to see them up close. Once again the level of trust necessary to have them out was pretty high. Both pieces were art pieces, they were extremely fragile and not made to be sturdy. You could tell too, unfortunately the “Schism” model had some toes broken off, and a finger was cracked. Juan told us it has it's own custom case for travel.

We went out as a group for a smoke break as we waited for sound check to start. I don't smoke cigarettes, but I was ready to use my vape pen. As we were outside, I over hear the guy next to me say, “I left my butane hash oil in the car, don't think I can go get it”. Hearing that, I give him a nod and hand him my vaporizer. His eyes light up and tokes enthusiastically. So once again, a shout out to EJMix and the Liquidizer team for allowing me to enjoy some heady goodness in complete stealth. No more smuggling, I use it in regular e-cig equipment. My high refreshed, it's time for the sound check.

We were told we wouldn't see Maynard at the sound check we had access to. Maynard would come in, do his sound check and leave. We would then be allowed in for the rest of the sound check with the remaining band. However, we were still able to hear Maynard do his portion of the sound check. If you remember, I mentioned our conference room was open air to the arena, so we were able to hear it fairly easily. Got to hear him do Aenima (I think? For some reason I'm fuzzy on this now).

Maynard leaves, and we are allowed into the arena. As you walk in, you're greeted by a floor to ceiling display of LED screens and the sounds of Tool messing with their instruments. They just jam for a bit before busting into “Sober”, followed by “Hooker with a Penis”.

At first I was slightly apprehensive about hearing “Hooker”. I've been watching the setlists Tool had played leading up to Cedar Park. They had a habit of alternating the opening song between “Hooker” and “Third Eye”. The last show they played, they opened with “Third Eye”. That, coupled with hearing “Hooker” at sound check had be worried I'd miss “Third Eye”. “Third Eye” is probably in my top 3 Tool songs I want to hear live, and is probably the best opener in their catalog. It just sets the tone for the rest of the show. So needless to say, I'm holding out hope that maybe we get “Third Eye”.

Sound check is over, and as we are walking out, I hear one of the most beautiful sounds I could hear at that moment. Over the speakers comes Timothy Leary, “Think for yourself, question authority”. My smile spreads from ear to ear, we're getting “Third Eye” for our opener!

Something pretty cool happened to my girlfriend during sound check too. As she was leaving from taking her picture with Adam, he said, “I'll see you in sound check”. As she was walking out during sound check she was looking at Adam. He saw her and gave her a wave and smile. Something little, but pretty cool in my opinion.

Rothric
03-27-2014, 06:46 AM
Part III:

After sound check is over, we're free to go back outside if we want. We'd just have to re-enter at doors with the general admission line. That's no big deal though, everything was seated, so no need to wait in line. We head back to the car for a little tailgaiting before the show starts. The venue was cool, and didn't hassle anyone in the parking lot.

My girlfriend and I look at each other, and all we can do is smile. I feel like I've already gotten my money's worth out of the ticket, and am in complete ecstasy...and we haven't even seen the show! Which is kind of a reflection of this writing, I can't believe I've written so much and I haven't even gotten to the show!

It's finally time to head into the venue for the show. As we make our way to our seats, it really hits me how close we were going to be for the show. We are literally in the front row, positioned just right of center perfectly in between Danny and Justin. Failure was the opener. Never listened to them before. They were alright, but to be fair, I could give a fuck who was on the stage at that point.

Finally the time arrives. The lights dim, and a heart beat echos across the arena. Soon you hear the familiar voice of Timothy Leary. Fuck yes, we're getting “Third Eye”. I can barely contain my excitement. I stand by my opinion, “Third Eye” is the ultimate opener for a Tool show. As Maynard stomped the ground while screaming “PRYING OPEN MY THIRD EYE!”, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be at that moment in time. No where else could have compared. I have no shame in admitting I had tears down my face at several points during that song. The level of emotion in my body then couldn't be contained, the music was in me, I could feel it. Even as I write this now, thinking back on it, gets me a little misty. I'm sure the security guy in front of me thought I was absolutely crazy.

Tool proceeded to rip through an amazing set:

Third Eye
Vicarious
Schism
Pushit
Intention
Lateralus
---Intermission---
Danny's Drum Solo
Jambi
46 & 2
Aenima
Stinkfist

I think this is my favorite set list of the tour. Couple that with the fact I got to hear an instrumental “Sober” and “Hooker” during sound check and it's a win/win. I wish a few more songs were added to the setlist, but really the only song I'd like to see dropped would be “Intention”. Perhaps “Vicarious” too. But any way you look at it, it's still a great show.

At two points during the set Maynard dedicated the show to Oderus Urungus, of GWAR fame, saying to live every day as if it's your last.

The high points of the show for me were “Third Eye” and “Lateralus”. “Lateralus” is probably my favorite Tool song of all time, and seeing it live is on another level. “Lateralus” should be in every Tool setlist for the existence of the band in my opinion. I really do enjoy the extended portions they add into some of the songs, I think they should expand upon that. Hell, just go full jamband on me, I'd be happy :)

“Lateralus” was also the climax for the show, visually. There were floor to ceiling LED screens projecting the classic Tool/Alex Grey imagery that we all know and love. During “Lateralus”, the lasers were introduced into the show. I'm a self admitted laser-whore. You have lasers in your show? Chances are you just bumped up a step in my book. They had literally a rainbow of lasers, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white. They also put a large bank of lasers and lights back by the sound board to project from a different angle all across the arena. There was a disco ball hung in the middle of the arena, I forget which songs it was lit up for. It was really cool to look back and see the whole venue lit up in psychedelic jubilation.

The whole crowd was really into it. The guy behind me ingested a bit too much of something though. Any time I looked back, he was sitting down, head in his hands down by his knees. I get it though, I've been there before! My very first Tool show was accompanied by a little fungus. Intense doesn't even begin to describe it. Sometimes all you can do is close your eyes and melt away.

Danny Carey is without a doubt, my favorite drummer. That guy is absolutely astounding. In the talk Adam gave us, he said Danny never stops drumming. He walks in on him practicing anything from basic skills to the most complex rhythms you can imagine. He's just always drumming, improving. Watching him really is a treat. In one previous show I'd seen, I had side stage seats, elevated just enough to get a top down view on Danny. That was a great show to appreciate him (San Antonio, 2006).

I always forget how big on an influence Justin is on their music too. Adam called him a “riff writing machine”. Over the years, I've come realize a lot of the sounds I initially thought were coming from Adam were really Justin on the bass. The guy really gets into it too. During parts, he'd have a very intense look on his face, you'd just see the sweat pour off him as he pummeled us with his bass.

Maynard was good as usual. My only complaint of the show is Maynard's vocals were hard to hear the first half of the set. Perhaps part of the problem was our seat? I've read a few other reviews of the show saying Maynard sounded great. He'd break through at times, but he was buried pretty low most of it. Things definitely improved after the intermission. You could tell he was holding back at times, but he hit Pushit perfectly.

At the culmination of “Stinkfist”, confetti canons went off, as if to herald the end of the show. After the show ended Maynard said thank you and left the stage fairly quickly as usual. The other 3 came out to thank the crowd and soak in the energy. Danny has a handful of drumsticks to throw out. He throws one and it lands just behind my girlfriend. I quickly dive for it, but my hand hit it just after someone else. Not wanting to be a dick, I let him have it. He was a tiny dude, could have easily wrestled it from him. But he had his hand on it first, fair and square. No need to ruin the energy of the night over something as silly as a drumstick.

Just before Danny walks off the stage, he throws another drumstick my direction. It's coming right at me. I go to catch it, but my coordination is off. My hands close a split second too late, the drumstick hits me in the forehead and bounces into the hands of the person behind me. The drumstick literally bounced off my third eye and into another fan's awaiting hands. Two drumsticks in my grasps, both gone. C'est la vie. Would have liked to have a drumstick, but I can't complain. Just thought it was funny one hit me in the forehead. I'm going to blame my missed catch on disorientation from the lights!

As the show ended and the lights came up, all I could do was try and capture that moment in time, that entire day in fact, into my memory. That's partially the function of writing such a lengthy “review” (maybe an essay at this point?). I want to be able to look back years from now and conjure up some of the memories from that day. Wait...does that mean you're reading my diary right now?

As I look back on my experience of that day, all I can do is smile and laugh. It really was a once in a lifetime thing for me, and am glad to have experienced it.

I know probably one person read the entire thing, but hopefully someone out there enjoyed reading it. As I sit here I realize I've spent a few hours writing this. Time to go get something to eat.

tattedchef
03-27-2014, 05:37 PM
I read that whole thing and while I am miffed they didn't come through LA this time, it reminded me of the 20 times I have already seen them. Brought back the screams Maynard would make live during the Undertow years, brought back Maynard actually being in front in the lights! Haha, as sad as I was to miss this latest jaunt, I have seen this band at its best before......I just want to see them more! ;)

sianspheric
03-28-2014, 10:17 PM
Rothric,

Great review man! I read the whole thing and enjoyed it. Welcome to Toolnavy, stick around.

Raptor159
03-29-2014, 04:41 PM
Rothric,

Great review man! I read the whole thing and enjoyed it. Welcome to Toolnavy, stick around.

What was better- the written review by a true fan composed from memory, or the unauthorized bootleg "spoiler" audio recording from unnamed moderator/administrator?

TOOL_Rules
04-04-2014, 01:25 PM
What was better- the written review by a true fan composed from memory, or the unauthorized bootleg "spoiler" audio recording from unnamed moderator/administrator?

They were both equally good!

SpiralOut34
04-04-2014, 02:42 PM
I guess I never got around the posting my review here--it's 7 pages long in Word, so I dunno how it would transfer over.

The review itself can be found HERE. (http://whoarethetrusted.tumblr.com/post/81246395856/tool-cedar-park-tx-3-24-2014)

And the other photo collection can be found HERE. (http://whoarethetrusted.tumblr.com/post/80817610637/tool-austin-tx-march-24-2014-these-are-my)

I imagine some of you might have already seen it on the OTHER main Tool fan forum, but if not, here it is. Let me know what you think! :)