Tool 10/26/96

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Tool was one of those bands that you just knew about. Sure they had been on MTV but their real genius was in the tracks that you didn’t hear in the mainstream. You could also tell that there was something very different about this band. I was a full on fan of Opiate and Undertow by the time Aenima came out in the summer of 1996. We had the privilege of buying it the day it came out. The Salem Armory is basically an auditorium set up for basketball games. It’s not the coolest place I’ve ever seen a show but it is general admission so if you want to be on the floor you can go on the floor, and if you want to sit in a seat then you sit in a seat. Needless to say my friends and I were pretty stoked to attend this concert. I attended with Jack, Marvin, Ryno, and Jason. There was a band opening for them called The Cows. They were quite possibly the worst band I have ever seen. I don’t know if they purposely sucked or if the contrast between them and Tool was just too much but I do remember that the singer played a horn and it made me cringe. Tool came out to a stage bathed in blue light and played “Third Eye.” Maynard looked extremely menacing because he was painted with white make up and only wearing a pair of white booty shorts. This and the blue light made him look like he was naked. This was also back at a time when Maynard actually performed at the front of the stage. At the conclusion of “Third Eye” the crowd pushed over the barricade that separated the band and the crowd. Maynard kept trying to get everyone to move back but nobody would budge. Finally he said, “everyone just needs to take four granny steps back and we’ll restart the show.” This dance seemed to go on for about 25 minutes before Tool was satisfied and restarted the show. I believe the setlist also included “Forty Six & 2,” “Swamp Song,” “Eulogy,” “Jimmy,” “Hooker With a Penis,” “H.,” “Sober,” “Opiate,” and “Aenima.” The closing song was “Stinkfist.” They had two huge TV screens above the stage and they informed us that they had just finished up the video for “Stinkfist” and that we were going to be the first ones to see it. They had the video going on both screens with a mirror image effect while they played the song live.

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