Review and photos by: David Ortiz. IG: david_ortiz_photography
As I walked into the Hard Rock Live there was a mixed crowd of ages and styles waiting in line to pick up their gear and to see their favorite band. The venue quickly filled up with their dedicated fans clutching their merchandise & signed posters which they treated as if they were a precious art object, they had just been extremely lucky to have found.
The crowd came alive with a ferocious roar when Tool took the stage on their first of two sold out shows and opened with Fear Inoculum from their fifth album of the same name from 2019. The song started with dulcimer chimes & electronic sounds joined by Drummer Danny Carey’s melodic drums perfectly setting the tone for this mammoth song. Guitarist Adam Jones & Bassist Justin Chancellor joined to vibrate your soul weaving a mid-Eastern theme like energy and almost chant like reaction from the crowd.
Maynard James Keenan stalked the crowd, in shadow, from the top of the speakers giving us only a glimpse of the mohawked singer who paced the risers in circles while he cleansed the crowd of their demons with smooth vocals and a hypnotic presence.
I stood in the pits, camera in hand, shaking with excitement, while realizing I was taking pictures now as a man of my teenage self’s favorite band, who had expanded my musical world to include this thought-provoking rock band and their odd time signatures. From the first song on, I knew this would be a concert that would forever stay close as one of my life-changing memories.
The band spent the rest of the night weaving a dream-like experience taking the crowd on a journey of imagination-provoking, meditative and complex mind set. A night of mastery where the fans practiced what Maynard requested, “be here, be present”.
The playlist included Fear Inoculum, Jambi, Rosetta Stoned, Pneuma, Sweat, Descending, The Grudge, CC Trip, Culling, Invincible & Stinkfist(short)