The journey continued after a massively disappointing start to the tour in Spokane. I parted ways with jwb (who I’ll be meeting again next week in Vegas) and hopped on the flight to Portland. Perhaps this is a Pacific Northwest geographical thing, but the turbulence on the way was ridiculous. On a little propeller plane jumping around like crazy, I think I accepted my fate that I would be dying in a plane crash on the way to a TOOL show. That’s a good way to go though, I rationalized. “Crazy Canadian dies on his way to 35th TOOL concert” would be a great headline, and TOOL might even play Eulogy in my honour? Everyone wins!
After landing in Portland I gave public transportation a try instead of a taxi. To my surprise it was $2.50 for the trip on a light rail train that took me directly from the airport to downtown in a very efficient manner. For a small-moderately sized city such as Portland, I was pretty impressed with the public transportation system they have.
I checked into my cheap motel and started walking around downtown looking once again for a bar to play my Toronto Maple Leafs game. After a few tries I found the “Cheerful Tortoise” which was beside the University of Oregon Campus, and the amazing waitress found the channel in HD and even put sound on. This time my beloved Leafs won in overtime and I’m sure there were more than a few eyebrows raised regarding that crazy kid in the corner screaming and clapping by himself at the TV!
After another drink or two I headed back to the motel. I paid $25.00 including a generous tip for food and 5 beers. There’s also no sales tax of any sort in Oregon. God Bless America.
After waking up Thursday morning I made a post online (fourtheye) about needing a ticket for the show, and headed into the city. On a side note – what the fuck is going on with Toolnavy? Ever since this tour started it has not worked at all for me or my friends. I want to post reviews there, plus I have private messages from others I am meeting on this tour that I have no other way to contact other than through the forums. Hopefully they fix it soon….
I spent about 2 hours walking through Portland and crossed the bridge over the river to where the venue was located. After grabbing breakfast at Denny’s (we need more of these in Canada), I headed to the venue around noon and met some people in line for VIP. I met a couple from Idaho who were really awesome people and exchanged contact info because I will surely be meeting up with them again for future tours or other similar bands.
I then met up with a couple who texted me (they got my info from another user on fourtheye) to pick up a ticket for the show. They were offering a suite ticket (private box area with catering) which is something I have never done before for a TOOL show. They were really cool people, but I was definitely put off by the fact they were charging me well over face value for the ticket. She tried to shrug it off as them “trying to break even” with travel costs and tickets factored into it, but I definitely thought this was bullshit. They had 3 suites (16 seats each) and lots of the tickets were on eBay/craigslist/etc. No matter what the circumstance, I would never, ever try to profit from a TOOL show in any way. I have given away tickets before (for below face value in some cases absolutely free) to a fan in need.
I then met up with another user from Toolnavy/Fourtheye and his buddy (who I had met in the 2009 tour but completely forgot about) and we grabbed drinks before heading to the venue. For some reason we ended up at a very high end martini bar of some sort which was way too classy for a bunch of tool-heads wearing jeans and black t-shirts.
I arrived at the venue around 7:30 and proceeded to the suite, definitely more than a little buzzed at this point. I was told the ticket had a “private bar”, but the service was insanely slow and the alcohol stand for the suite level had a massive lineup every time I checked. I did not drink anymore that night and sobered up throughout the show – which in hindsight was unfortunate given what was in store for me.
TOOL hits the stage at 9:05 PM.
THINK FOR YOURSELF. QUESTION AUTHORITY.
THINK FOR YOURSELF. QUESTION AUTHORITY.
………WHAT THE FUCK!?
Yeah, fuck you TOOL. Just 2 days after I write the first negative review out of all the shows I have been to, they pull THIRD EYE as an opener. I was absolutely shocked. It was a beautiful feeling. The visuals and stage setup for Third Eye was exactly the same as it was in 2010 when they also opened with it. They also played the extended outro version of the song – which in my opinion is fucking phenomenal!
Vicarious was next. For the record, the erroneous reports of “The Grudge” being on the setlist is because they play a very brief teaser of the intro (but it’s light and ambient) before breaking into Vicarious. It’s weird seeing Vicarious being played without the full visual show/lasers they always used in previous tours when it was played near the end of the show. Maynard still refuses to sing parts of the “la-la-la-la-la-la-la-lie” and also the ending vocals “Vicariously I, live while the whole world dies….”
Schism was next. As people pointed out, this tour they have a NEW ambient intro to Schism which is completely different than the version they’ve done every single tour since 2006. These are the sounds people think will in some way, shape or form appear on the new album. I definitely can see it happening.
Pushit. Once again this was one of the best parts of the concert. It’s really awesome they have been including Pushit in the setlist. They did a fantastic job instrumentally.
Intension. I already said this in my first review but I am not a fan of Intension being on the setlist for the second tour in a row. With a short setlist, this is 10 minutes that would be better used on many other songs. I also feel confident in speaking for the vast overwhelming majority of TOOL fans when I say that Right in Two would be so much more epic than Intension. Right?
Lateralus. As always the fucking best part of the night. It’s my favourite TOOL song and even after 35 shows live it sends shivers down my spine every time. The best song ever written.
Intermission. Yeah, this crap again. Still not a fan – lights came back on and countdown started.
“Drum Solo”. I am now going to include this as part of the setlist. After the intermission Danny comes back on alone and plays with the electronic drums/laptop for a solid 4-5 minutes, and then spends another 4-5 minutes on his solo. I did not recognize the song but some people have been saying this may be based on a cover of something. Overall this drum solo portion is about 10 minutes, which coupled with the intermission ends up being 25 full minutes in between songs which sucks.
Jambi. Surprised they are still playing this song every show since 10,000 days was released. Out of all of the staple songs they play every show, this is the one I feel should be retired by next tour. I have a feeling though that this is Adam’s pick because of the talk box solo. As I said on my last review it was really awesome seeing Jambi with the full visuals and stage experience because they played it very early in the sets in previous tours. The orange theme was fantastic and the visual image of the female “character” taking up the entire back of the wall was an aesthetic orgasm. For some unknown reason Maynard did not perform any of the lyrics for the last section of the song, which I also think threw off the rest of the band when trying to figure out when to stop playing/end the song instrumentally.
46 & 2. Note that they do not play any ambient intro like they have done in the past – instead Justin starts the first notes of this song immediately after Jambi finishes. I’m not a fan of this to be honest because I like the transitional periods in between songs and the ambient sounds usually become part of the experience. Danny destroyed the drums during the solo, as per usual. The lighting screen came down in front of the band which was pretty cool because you could see the visuals on it but also look through it and watch the band play behind. Coupled with all the other screens/visuals/lighting it was a fantastic visual appearance.
Aenema. Fantastic song to play near the end of the show and the crowd was very noticeably into this track. The ending/last two songs of this setlist is really starting to grow on me now. It’s a fantastic way to end a concert. I made sure to pay attention to the “disco” ball device on top of the lighting rig and the sparkles/360 degree lighting for the entire venue was incredible!!! The entire venue and crowd felt like it was part of the visual experience, not just the stage. This is a new idea/visual for the 2014 tour they have never done before.
Stinkfist (Extended). Beautifully performed and an excellent closer.
Basically summarize my review in 5 words: PRYING OPEN MY THIRD EYE.
Fucking eh! Just when I thought TOOL had mailed it in and prepared myself for disappointment over the next 2 weeks, they come out on night 2 with this setlist. For the record – this is exactly what I meant when I said that just changing ONE song can make the world of a difference for many of us.
Bravo, TOOL. You win again.
Now I have to figure out what to do today. I actually feel very sick (think I’m getting a cold or something – walking in water/coldness for past 4 days probably caused this, coupled with excessive alcohol consumption) and Eugene is 3 hours away. I have some friends from fourtheye/Toolnavy that will drive me there but I have to get back early tomorrow to catch my flight to Reno. I can also rent a car and drive back after the show, which is probably the best option at this point. Either way I still need to find a ticket for tonight. I could also take the day off and skip Eugene to recover... but that would be unacceptable.
So this is a bit late but just got back hole from a stay in the redwoods and at the Oregon coast. A perfect ending to a great trip.
Third Eye w/ Timothy Leary intro actual video feed.
Schism w/ new intro and jamming
Lateralus (different middle part)
DC doing a killer synth and drum solo (like watching Zaum live!!!)
46 & 2
Excellent...excellent...excellent!!! Really loved the new arrangements. DC solo was incredible. The band was really animated.
Are there any vegetarians in the audience?...You're dismissed.
The new stage led lights are cool as always. Yeah confetti. Junior is always on his game. Well done guys. This is a shortened version but I don't want to ramble on. I'm sure I'll post more later.
__________________ "He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."
- Dr. Johnson
Uh. Dont mind admitting it. This was my first Tool show since my very first show in 1993. It was a festival set in 1993, so not a full journey. In fact, it was only recently that i found out where this band had gone with their careers. Im serious. About 3 months ago i got this urge to hear Tool again. I listened to Undertow. Same great album. Bottom is still very moving. So then i moved on to aenima. I remembered this one pretty well. Had a friend who played it all the time. but definitely didn't give the chance i should have back then. It would have been right up my alley, had i known the lyrics. So there i was with 2 albums behind me and thoroughly enjoying the idea of pouring through the next two, which i had NEVER heard. I was going to just put on headphones each night and pick my way through them. Uh....do i even have to talk about what happened next? I can't even imagine what kept Lateralus out of my head for this many years. I love music. It is where i go to scrape the world off of my shoe. I must have been on another planet because i know it was a big deal. I saw the merch everywhere. But I had no idea what they had become. I was so so impressed...and excited. Then i see it. the announcement for the Portland show! Im just going to have to say my head was in the flow of the river of unknown knowns, with this one. (more likely, is that i subconsciously had been seeing ads for months.)
The Portland show was great for me, though I really would have loved to get that Opiate from the next night. But i wouldn't have given up a 3rd Eye opener for anything. I did go to a different plane as a result of Pushit and some local BHO, i don't recall Intention at all.
I made sure to pay attention to the “disco” ball device on top of the lighting rig and the sparkles/360 degree lighting for the entire venue was incredible!!! The entire venue and crowd felt like it was part of the visual experience, not just the stage. This is a new idea/visual for the 2014 tour they have never done before
Great reviews my man.
Not to get too nerdy here, but they used the disco ball on the Lateralus tour too. Specifically for the "red and yellow" parts of the verses in Lateralus. I remember it being hung over the FOH board in the arena shows and they'd aim two lasers all the way from the stage which would split into lighting for the entire building.
Mirror balls are no joke. One of the most basic elements of any concert/dance/gathering/club. There is a reason they are so ubiquitous. The capacity for meditation and creating different planes of perspective in even a well known room is huge, with those buggers. As with so many things, Disco took it to the popular consciousness. And as with most things that hit the popular consciousness, people only see it and think, "OOO! SHINY!" Sorry to rave. Im just a fan. ;-)
Im glad i wasn't the only one who got hung up on the ball. I noticed it as soon as we got in and, with a headful of chemicals, laughed and said "now its a party"… but it was pretty breathtaking when it came out. I have always experienced these shows pretty close to the front, however i wanted to switch it up this time and see it from the balcony seats. Being able to see the entire arena was was killer and when it lit up with that disco ball i was really taken aback. Whoever is responsible for the light show (i think Junior?) really takes TOOL shows to the next level. Having seen 5 now i am starting to notice how they evolve and grow from tour to tour, always leaving me spellbound.
All I remember before the show was my friend passing me a jay. And sometimes, ganja clears my head and focuses me and frees my judgement a little. Sometimes, ganja is a free MRI. And since none of my friends had any seats next to each other, we kinda had to fly the show solo (LAME) and I remember being incredibly paranoid of the people around me. Anyways, great show. Forty Six & 2 is sung slightly different and the drums are more powerful then ever! Definitely a highlight. Worth seeing.
Just realized I've nothing else to really contribute to this thread. Moving on!