Photos and Review by Jeff Lasich
At a time when things in the world are slowly getting back to normal, arena concerts are becoming more frequent. Hitting the road for the first time in over two years, supporting their most recent record, Fear Inoculum, Tool returned to Pittsburgh for a headlining show at PPG Arena on March 1, 2022. A near capacity crowd filled the arena, ready to take it all in.
Handpicked by Maynard, starting the night off was LA’s The Acid Helps. Not surprisingly, they play a blend of stoner rock/grunge/noise. It’s always hard being the opening band as the venue is filling up and the crowd is restless, but that did not slow the band down. They played a 45 minute set that made them several new fans.
Just before 9:00, the venue got dark. A giant screen surrounded the stage. Intro music and a video projection started. Adam Jones, Justin Chancellor and Danny Carey hit the stage and the show was off. A few songs later, Maynard James Keenan, with multi-colored mohawk emerged from the shadows. The band opened with “Fear Inoculum,” obviously the title track from the new record.
Seeing Tool live is a full on assault on your eyes and ears. The band is composed of skilled musicians who don’t miss a beat and a light/video show that is on point. It is something that really needs to be witnessed. I was standing back watching the show and there are parts that remind me of a fever dream. As an added bonus, the band has a strict no cell phone policy. It was refreshing to not see hundreds of little glowing screens taking poor quality video that you will probably watch one time after the show.
Tool is a well-oiled machine. Their fans are diehard and the band provided over two hours of music for them to eat up. They plays songs spanning their entire career including “Opiate,” “Chocolate Chip Trip,” “The Pot,” “Invincible” and “Hooker with a Penis.”
Tool will be playing across the US for the next two weeks before heading to Europe in April for a month of shows.