MOST READ: Behold spectacular pictures of Tool at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto

[It was touch-and-go for a bit but photographer Andrei Chlytchkov got the assignment of shooting Tool when their Fear Inoculum tour made it to Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena on November 11. Text by L. Benny Sanders. – AC

The quote “I am light and heavy” was never more true than at The Scotiabank Arena tonight. Tool kicked everyone’s brains up to a higher level with a show that beyond what I and probably everyone else in attendance expected.

Believe it or not, one concert attendee who was there to see the opening act Killing Joke) suggested that the headliners might be somewhat boring. Nope.

To be sure, Killing Joke’s ten-song set was very satisfying. Formed in October 1978 (and reformed in 2002) in the Notting Hill part of London, their influence on bands, such as Metallica and Nirvana has been as much of a legacy as their music itself. 

Lead vocalist Jaz Coleman and guitarist Geordie Walker have been there from the beginning. Bassist Youth (also a very much in-demand producer) was with Killing Joke at its inception and drifted in and out of the band over the years before re-joining in 2008 after the death of Paul Raven.  Drummer Paul Ferguson, (also an original member) left in the late 80’s but has been keeping time with KJ again from around the same time Youth returned. 

The set was, generally, a connected set of drones (the musical type, not the flying things) much of that from the touring keyboardist (Roi Robertson).  When I asked my seat mate, Mike, what he thought, he said that this was the band he came to see, he say he really enjoyed the drone-y sound. 

A group of three fans sitting behind me had told me at the break what they were waiting for from this performance.  One of the guys (who was from Kingston) told me he was there to see bassist Justin Chancellor (the straightedge), a musician with whom he is thoroughly impressed. Sam, a Torontonian, just wanted to watch Carey. 

Then the headliners finally arrived.

After the the KJ fan’s earlier comment, I was unsure of what Tool’s set was going to be like.  There was a curtain seemingly made of metal rain surrounding the stage.  Images began appearing at the back of the stage, and then on the curtain itself, curving and enveloping the area where the band was set up. 

The visuals began and it was a wonder that the various projections did not interfere with each other.  Drummer Danny Carey (basically a highly sophisticated jackhammer) opened by triggering various samples from his kit and then breaking into a complex rhythm pattern before the rest of the members were in place. 

The guitar work of Adam Jones was nothing short of captivating…

…and lead vocalist Maynard James Keenan was the cement that completed the construction. 

From the beginning of “Fear Inoculum” (with red, torn faces drifting across the hanging barrier and images hinting of flesh ripped open at the rear) the toolbox was in full effect.  The set included “Ænema” and “The Pot”. 

“Who are you to wave your finger?….Foot in mouth and head up *ss, So whatcha talkin’ ’bout?, Difficult to dance ’round this one, ‘Til you pull it out, boy. You must’ve been so high.”

Social commentary? Words to the wise? Stream-of-consciousness nonsense? Who knows. And frankly, who cares?

“Schism” proved that the band was amazingly close-fitting and the team of Chancellor and Jones, much like a well-oiled machine, but in no way mechanical. 

Even from where we were sitting (16th row of section 108) you could tell that these two were having fun, and enjoying their time together on-stage.  After a dozen offerings (all of them major hits for Tool) the concert came to a close with “Forty Six & 2” I was completely satisfied with the evening.

INTERMISSION (Yes, an intermission.)

The band came back with “Chocolate Chip Trip,” “Invincible” then “(-) Ions” and drove the final nails with an extended version of “Stinkfist.” 

This, of all the shows I’ve been to in 2019, was likely not only the biggest surprise, but possibly the most gratifying The designer and creator of the light show was nothing less than genius.  There seemed to be five different light shows going on simultaneously. The back, the front, the ceiling and the very air above (massive Orbs seemed to float over the musicians, though it was but an illusion) the band was spectacular.  Excellent construction, amazing structure, phenomenal architecture. 

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

16 thoughts on “MOST READ: Behold spectacular pictures of Tool at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto

  • November 16, 2019 at 11:18 am

    I like to read the articles on this website, but if there was a tool that could filter out all articles about Tool, I would use it. My god, is anyone really interested in that band? Less Tool please!

  • November 16, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Parabol/Parabola is not written in the fibonacci sequence. That award goes to Lateralus. Check your information. Would of thought a better review given your “socalled “knowledge of music, mr. Cross.

  • November 16, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    Soooo It’s cool that AC grabbed a review from someone who attended this, but’s it’s not very well written. Not trying to be rude, just saying. Also: it seems from the review as if this person has never listened to Tool before. Could be wrong, but that’s what it seems like from reading it. Seems like an odd choice for the review?

    • November 19, 2019 at 10:09 pm

      … and just because he’s never seen Tool before, that makes it “not very well written”? A fresh look from someone who doesn’t know the band is easily as valid as someone who is a fan. 😉

  • November 16, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    What is with your obsession with Tool?
    They aren’t as good as you think they are.

  • November 16, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    Please research the band before you write a review.
    I’ve become dissatisfied with your recent content.

      • November 19, 2019 at 6:15 pm

        Oh thank God.
        Still… Someone needs to pre approve these things if you’re putting your name on it.

  • November 16, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    Stinkfist, Alan. Not stinkfast.

  • November 16, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    Amazing show. Greatest band ever. Etched into my memory as one of the greatest experiences of my life. Until next time tool.

  • November 17, 2019 at 8:27 am

    A good explanation of how amazing the show was, and great they allowed photographic evidence. Great photos!!!! Love them.

    I won’t lie, my eyes weren’t on stage holding still that often, as I was mostly dancing. I would stop to witness the live in person majesty that is this incredible band of musical genius and scream my gratitude.

    They always put on such an amazing show!!!
    Two opportunities for improvement… (Which are understood from the band perspective)

    The floor security was so tight, it almost defeated the purpose of floor tickets. (To wander and dance with space) We couldn’t stand/dance more than a foot or two from our seat. Thankfully, we were in the aisle, so we had a bit of extra dance space. Brilliant. So much to move to.
    The audio was lacking depth at times, but only due to venue, as I heard some tinny echo. Perhaps Roy Thomson Hall or The Sony Centre would have allowed richer audio. However, that choice would reduce numbers and would prevent the capability of such an epic light show.

    The written music is usually an epic sound masterpiece and I was so happy with their choices. However, I, unlike Alan Cross (really Alan??) expected nothing less.

    I’m shocked someone would think a TOOL show would be boring. I would expect that from someone that didn’t like and appreciate TOOL, or fully understand the amount of thought that goes into every aspect of their music, since Aenima. But not you Alan… Not you! 🤟😉

    • November 17, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      I was a the 2nd Tool show 300s, it sounded amazing and I didn’t see one security guard up there. A few weeks back I shelled out big bucks to sit floors for The Black Keys. After reading your comments I now know that my experience was not an anomaly. Security on the floors were brutal( I got chased back to my seat repeatedly they even tried when I was just trying to go get a drink) where in the 300s I stood in the section entrance for 2 whole songs listening and dancing a bit. I also found that on the floors I never once felt genuinely connected to the music, I go to concerts and pay big bucks to hopefully be enveloped by the music and that didn’t happen for me, I also felt like I couldn’t even see the band form 30 rows back. I ended up leaving the Black Keys show really disappointing. I paid less then Half what I did for the floors to sit up high and my experience was way better this time around. Lesson learned I guess.

      • November 18, 2019 at 11:00 pm

        I saw Foo Fighters and floor tickets last year. 100% different experience. That was free and fun! Danced, roamed, totally fantastic crowd. I totally expected a GA floor, and was concerned when I saw a seat #.
        I admit I won’t pay that much again, next time (if there is one) will be a spot to rock out. 😉

  • November 17, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Parabola doesn’t incorporate Fibonacci, Lateralus does.

  • November 18, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    @ Bababooey yes there are people interested in “that band”. All the people who filled up Scotiabank to see them and then many more. Just because you’re not interested doesn’t mean others aren’t.
    The show was amazing, had a blast! Saw them 3 times now and I’d see them 100 more. Hope they come back.

    • November 19, 2019 at 2:15 pm

      I to would see them again and again. I have seen them three times before and the second t.o. show was amazing.. I fully had a great experience
      Tool is one of a kind.. and never disappoint


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