Wow, just fucking wow...
Seeing Tool live had been on my musical bucket list for almost as long as I can remember, they were my white whale. They were a band that hadn’t disbanded but due to many reasons weren’t touring, but that changed last year, when they
started doing a few select US shows. I’ll admit it, I started to get a little excited, then that fateful day in October happened, they announced a massive European tour during the summer of 2019.
Their only UK date was Download Festival, something that I wasn’t keen on doing so I searched around and found Prague, mid-tier seating, on the side of the stage, but with great views for a reasonable price… I was finally going to see Tool.
After over a month of traveling up the Eastern Spanish coast, we arrived in Prague exhausted but still excited. The city entertained me in the lead up to the show (including the fateful night that Liverpool lifted the Champions League Cup for the sixth time), but I was growing impatient.
Finally, the day arrived, as I walked through the city checking out the touristy stuff we hadn’t seen yet, I kept seeing Tool fans around in their band shirts, we all greeted one another with a smile, horns or even just a small grin with a slight nod, it was like being in a huge family and never knowing it.
We made it to the arena mid-way through the opening act’s set (no surprise) and went on the lookout for merch, nothing too awesome so we grabbed a handful of beers and made our way to our seats. We could see the floor was totally packed while the lower level of seating had the odd occasional space, while our area was a little more roomy. We took a few photos before the show and got told off by security, seems they were taking their job and the band’s instructions of “No Photos” pretty serious, so we settled in for the wait.
The lights finally dimmed and out they came, one of my white whales. They went straight into ‘Ænema’ and what followed was everything I had expected and more! I know I said in last year’s A Perfect Circle gig that it was more of an experience than just a show and I have to say it again here. I totally lost track of time, someone afterwards asked me how long it went, I stared back lost in my mind and just shrugged.
Never had I been so enthralled in a band’s performance before. There were no chats with the crowd, no promoting the upcoming album, it was just those four musicians plying their trade perfectly while we watched in awe.
The only problem with a Tool concert is they have so many amazing tracks to choose from to make up their set list, meaning I sadly didn’t get to hear a few of my personal favourites, but when you look at what they actually played, what do you remove to make space?
Visually, it was stunning; all the group, apart from Maynard, though he wasn’t quite in complete darkness, were lit up and easy to see and some of the more well know videos were projected both behind and in front of the band on screens.
I know this is quite long winded for one of my reviews and a bit story like, but that is the only way I can describe it with words. Seeing Tool live in Prague wasn’t just another gig for me, it was a life event. I’m not just saying that because I’m a massive fan, I’m saying it because it was that brilliant, even Mags who doesn’t like the band, enjoyed the show, that’s how great it was. I implore all music lovers, if you haven’t seen this Californian band before, do it before it’s too late.
Written by a Tooligan Dan.