Hard rock giants Tool returned to the east coast after a lengthy hiatus to tour behind their new #1 selling album "Fear Inoculum." While the album may have taken 13 years to complete, the band sounded as fresh and rejuvenated as ever during the stop at the Mohegan Sun arena Thursday night.
A huge roar of applause echoed throughout the sold-out arena as the opening, screeching notes of "Fear Inoculum" rang from the speakers.
The sound that the four band members create is simply stunning, as drummer Danny Carey and bassist Justin Chancellor laid down the groundwork with their thunderous rhythm section. Guitarist, Adam Jones performs so effortlessly, producing electrifying guitar solos that make your jaw drop. Lead singer Maynard James shied away from the spotlight, taking up residency on either side of the drum kit.
The first few songs were performed behind a nylon-type, see-through curtain, with images displayed across curtain. Once the curtain opened during the song "Parabola," the audience went nuts, as if the barrier between the band and the fans was taken down. During the new song "Pneuma," a laser shot across the arena. The chest pounding rhythm of "Jambi" certainly helped rev up your heartbeat.
While Maynard James didn't talk much with the audience, he did point out that the next song the band would perform, "Intolerance" was older than some of the younger fans in attendance. Tool closed out their set with the extended jam of "Forty Six & 2," as guitarist Adam Jones incorporated a surround sound effect and bassist Justin Chancellor worked his fingers up-and-down the neck of his bass.
After a short intermission, drummer Dana Carey took his place in front of the giant gong to delivery his concert staple drum solo "Chocolate Chip Trip." Not only was his drumming an amazing sight to behold, but he incorporated electronics into his performance to give his solo a multi-layered sound.
The band closed the show with the chugging rhythm of another new track, "Invincible" and then an extended pounding version of "Stinkfist," in which the cell phone ban was lifted to allow the audience to to snap photos.
Trying to describe a Tool concert is not an easy thing, but words like "stunning," "amazing," "awesome" and "outstanding" were used in post-show discussions. So whether is was your first Tool show (like myself) or your tenth, this is one of the premier live bands in the world and attending a show needs to be on your bucket list of concerts that need to be seen.
Jim Pasinski is the author of JP’s Music Blog.