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Concert Review: Tool at the Oklahoma City Ford Center

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What is it about seeing your first concert that makes such an impression? I can still see every detail so clearly; the cigarette smoke hanging low over the crowd, the girls gripping the stairwell handrail as they trashed to the music, the music pounding heavily into my bones. I was enthralled, captured and in love suddenly with something simply called a ‘show’.

I was sixteen the first time I went to a show. I saw Tool at the Myriad in Downtown Oklahoma City. I sat in nosebleed seats with a group of teenagers I barely knew, most of them older than me by two years. By the time the show was over we were all fast friends. Later in school hallways they would greet me as if I was a long lost childhood friend. I wasn’t just the shy girl in the corner anymore,  I had been to see Tool with them. It is amazing how one experience can change everything about you.

Since then Tool has been through Oklahoma City several more times but I have always missed them; not enough money to get tickets, working late shifts the night of the show, and family commitments. But not this time.

Originally the show in Oklahoma City was scheduled for April 29th but because of Danny Carey’s torn bicep the date was moved to May 19th. So last night I, along with hundreds of other fans, headed downtown to see Tool complete with Danny Carey.

I unfortunately missed the opener, even though we had left an hour before the show started, once we got downtown the traffic was beyond crazy. But we found our seats quickly enough and got a chance to look around. I was surprised to see that the entire floor had folding chairs put up.

A fight broke out in the seats in the tier above me. Most just stood around and watched while a few urged the two men on. In no time the cops were there and handcuffing one of the men whose pants had slipped during the altercation and hundreds of people were treated to a view of his pale backside.

Fortunately the lights dimmed and everyone turned to face the stage. One by one they came onto the stage; Maynard James Keenan, Justin Chancellor, Danny Carey, and Adam Jones. The crowd stood and screamed, clapped, yelled, and shoved lighters and fists into the air.

They went straight into "Jambi." Maynard, who had come onto the stage with a cowboy hat, an orange pull over which he pulled off to reveal a t-shirt, and a large rodeo style belt buckle, waved his cowboy hat at the crowd before going into the song.

While they mostly played songs from 10,000 Days they also included songs from Aenima and Lateralus; "Forty six and 2," "Lateralus," and "Schism." It was great to be able to hear some of my favorite songs. While I had had my fingers crossed for "Jimmy" and "Sober," two songs that had made the play lists of previous tour dates, I was not disappointed in their song selection for last night.

The visuals were also amazing. The whole stage was white with four screens along the back with two more hanging to the side. The videos and images were projected onto the screens as well as the stage. The lighting was fantastic. I have never seen a better light show.

When the last song died the entire crowd was on their feet, lighters making the dark arena a constellation of stars, as they clapped and screamed. The band did a group hug and turned to bow to the crowd. The screaming and clapping continued, deafening when people began to stamp their feet and chant ‘Tool, Tool, Tool!’.

Walking out of the building people were screaming ‘Tool rocks! Tool is awesome!’. The streets were crowded, honking cars with people leaning out of them screaming back at the people on the streets.

Most things are never as good as your remember them. But this show was even better than the first one I saw all those years ago. Next time they come through, come hell or high water, I’ll make sure I have a ticket with my name on it.

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About Katie T. Buglet

  • http://wp.blogcritics.org/writer/jerry_rojas jerry

    I always manage to miss Tool when they come to Dallas. I can relate to what you said about the schoolmates and how they accept you after going to a show. That happened to me my junior year in high school and the band was Rage Against The Machine..

    so yeah, good times.

  • http://www.gpb-katie.blogspot.com Katie McNeill

    I’ve never seen Rage live. I would love to. I bet they put on an amazing show. If you get a chance you should go see Tool. I’m not sure when they will be in Texas next but they usually play a few shows there on a tour. Check out ToolBand.com.

  • david smith

    i’m seeing tool for the first time on june 2nd. reading your review just affirms that it will be a show to remember.

  • http://www.gpb-katie.blogspot.com Katie McNeill

    You will have the BEST time!

  • david smith

    holy crap. the show was incredible. the opening band (melt banana) kind of sucked, but tool was amazing. they played for a little over 2 hours and played everything i wanted to hear. awesome.

  • Miller

    I see them tonight in Baltimore (in a couple hours!) — two blocks from my place. I was hoping to find a complete playlist (hence ended up here). I saw them in Philly less than a year ago. My first T00L concert (the one in Philly) was practically a religious experience. I decided to give myself a mohaw tonight in honor of Maynard’s days of old. 46 and 2… let the transformation being.

  • http://www.gpb-katie.blogspot.com Katie McNeill

    lol. my husband had a mohaw for the show too! maynard had a mohaw as well… hope he still has it… :)

  • Phil from Austin

    Great read. Music really is something else, isn’t it? It has the ability of penetrating any internal barriers, straight to the core, and brings us together so effortlessly.

    I saw 3 shows in the last 2 years and I was completely blown away, just as I expected to be. Tool is a once-in-a-lifetime band that needs to be experienced.

  • megan

    THAT CONCERT WAS AMAZING. I was preggo at the time :( So was sitting down about half the time lol…But i definately plan on going to another concert if they come. That was one of the best days of my LIFE.

  • Mike from Atlanta

    Yeah I just saw them again Monday night, it was the 3rd or 4th time. They are totally awesome! Excellent sound and light show too. I wish they were coming back again, would totally see them again.

  • http://www.rocket55.com Steven Ayres

    I dont know but it seems like I am seeing Tool but the more mature version. Part of me misses Maynard coming out in blue pant.

  • Sam Kay

    I have seen Tool’s concert before. The concer blew me away! Tool is coming to Saint Paul, Minneapolis Minnesota on June 23, 2012!