Tool-2 Nights at the Footprint Center Phoenix AZ 2-10-24

Concert Review and Photos by Roc Boyum

Not one night, but two sold out nights at the Footprint Center, in Phoenix AZ. On this, night number two, Tool, hit the Phoenix AZ Footprint Center with a night of their mesmerizing brand of prog/rock/metal in front of a capacity audience that experienced a sonic and visual show like no other. On this night, the band took their fans on a magical journey through four of their five LP’s in their catalogue. The only LP omitted from the set on this evening was from their 1996 release Aenime.

While Tool didn’t play some of their purported most popular songs like “Stinkfist “or “Sober“- it was of no consequence to their brand loyal fanbase who were happy to just have the chance to catch these guys live no-matter what they chose to play. The band also brought to the stage, five of the seven tracks from their latest 2019 release; Fear Inoculum which were; “Fear Inoculum, Pneuma, Descending, Chocolate Chip Trip and Invincible”, respectively. Somehow, surprisingly enough though, these fans were able to move and groove to the band’s left of center odd meter material and knew every nuance of their music despite the fact that the average music fan couldn’t hope to tap their to anything that was being played.

Maynard Keenan-Tool

Tool had originally only booked one performance at the famed Footprint Center on 2-09-24, which seems crazy considering the band’s popularity and legacy. But, of course, only one night of Tool was not enough for the Arizona fans, despite the fact that they were playing at a venue that holds 18,400 plus fans. So…by popular demand, a second show was added with both nights sold out – priming to capacity with attendance; way to go Tool!

The band live has always shed any and all traditions of rock star stage theatrics such as lighting that focuses on the band members, or even the front-man entertaining from the main stage; and tonight was no different with the exception of an occasional laser light display. I will say, their video back drop was a psychedelic collage that was extremely entertaining. Keeping in his tradition of the “non-front-man mystique, singer Maynard Keenan stayed perched up on the two risers that flanked drummer Danny Carey on either side. Each riser had a screen on front that would display a backdrop of video that was enhanced by the lighting creating a mystical and moody ambiance rather than flash and bombast. The video concept was to capture the listener with moods and feelings that accentuated the band’s entrancing music which seemed to fit their vibe ever so perfectly.

Opening the night with the 10+ minute title track from their latest LP, “Fear Inoculum”, seamlessly set the tone for this night of epic music. At the end of the first song, singer Keenan urged the audience to put down their cell phones for the entire show, or better yet… shove them up your ass (as he put it) and just enjoy the show. For the most part, everyone complied with the band’s no cell phone request which was a refreshing change, and contrast of a typical concert event these days with an audience that is a constant sea of phones raised in the air – which of course has that big guy right in front of you with his phone held up high – right in your line of sight to the stage; this night truly was all about the music!

The band sounded impeccable as always with singer Keenan effortlessly weaving his vocal magic while standing high on his alternate podiums that were on either side of drummer Carey. He was a master at imparting his lyrical wit and vocal emotions that conveyed the sentiment of whatever song they played. In fact, for their entire show, Keenan never came to the front line of the stage, opting to let the music and video be the experience for the listener.

Maynard Keenan

Guitarist Adam Jones was continually casting out a wide array of varied and unique sounds and tones from his guitar set-up while occasionally switching off guitar onto keyboards for that added sonic dimension. His playing was captivating, full of musical textures and moods that were mentally stimulating rather than the typical speed and gymnastics that most guitar players rely on to display their instrument’s voice.

Adam Jones

Bass player Justin Chancellor had his own varied sonic arsenal, and his prowess as a player was impressive in his ability to groove around the crazy poly rhythmic playing by drummer Danny Carey which speaks to his ability and musicianship as a bass player.

Justin Chancellor

Drummer Carey navigated the band’s odd time signatures with his multi faceted playing. Carey’s playing often elicits a tribal sound as he plays across numerous different drums while catching a cymbal here and there to create exciting accents that are all part of how he draws the listener into their music.

Danny Carey

The band played a total of seven songs before they took their “unannounced break,” this soon became apparent when the house lights were turned on and the large video screen behind the drums displayed a “12:00” minute count down.

The band finished the night with a mini four song set consisting of, “Chocolate Chip Trip, Flood, Invincible and Schism”.

This band has defied every concept of survival – much less the notion of success in the music business and have thrived for thirty years while having only five LPs to their credit. The band has boldly resisted the norm by: creating songs that span an average of ten plus minutes, songs that are considered left of center-(even by progressive music standards) and songs that have rarely been spun on any radio format. Experience the hypnotic music and musicianship and feel the magic of Tool live and on disc – and participate in the fun and comradery of the Tool Army who will keep this band alive for another 30 years!

Join the Tool Army here!