I’m praying for tidal waves: Tool at First Ont. Centre, Hamilton, May 31 2017

Seeing Tool live is a completely unique experience every time, and their show at The First Ontario Centre in Hamilton was no exception. More political than ever, more aggressive then ever and more impressive then ever, Tool brought down the house.

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Photo Credit: Ryan Mueller

The first thing that will strike you the first time you see Tool is frontman, Maynard James Keenan.  He won’t be lit up at a single point during the show.  You won’t see his face.  He won’t even really be fronting the band.  He hides a bit behind equipment, placed just slightly behind the drums but out to the side.  It’s mostly a silhouette you can see and in Hamilton he was in what looked like kevlar riot gear.  Despite him being a hidden figure however, Keenan commands the audience with ferocity.

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Photo Credit: Ryan Mueller

The second thing that will strike you about Tool, is obviously the music.  Guests at the Hamilton show on Wednesday night definitely got their money’s worth. With a ten song setlist and 4 song encore (keep in mind Tool is known for lengthy-ass songs), the show clocked in around the 2 hour mark.  Schism was a highlight of the night which is possibly a predictable thing to say but you’ve never heard Schism until you’ve heard it live. Guests were also treated to three fairly rare songs: Third Eye, Opiate and Sweat.  The music was powerful, furious, weird as hell and awesome.  Maynard’s singing was kick ass and the instrumentals were tight.

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The light show at Tool shows are another massive attention grabber.  These artistic exhibits add to the music rather than taketh away like so much production often can.
The displays ranged from the weird and grotesque to beautiful church windows and water scenes.

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Finally, I have to give props to Tool’s political undertakings.  Maynard asked several times to stay a while in Canada.  He was down on the violence and sketchy political agendas of the United States.  Even more, he was down on the lazy attitudes that have brought these conditions about.  “Ignorance is the enemy! Apathy is the enemy!”, he shouted to the crowd’s wild cheers.  Rounding this out with Opiate into Ænema (my personal favourite of the whole night) and ending the show on Descending, Jambi (which was incredible), Third Eye and finally, Forty Six and Two (pre encore that is).

If you get a chance to see Tool, I highly recommend it.  For Tool lovers everywhere, the show at First Ontario Centre set the house on fire and was pretty epic.

Peace, love & history.

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