Tool | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Tool performing during the Winter Tour 2024 at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas on January 31, 2024, with Maynard James Keenan, Adam Jones, Danny Carey, and Justin Chancellor. (Photo: Ralph Arvesen)

Tool has solidified their status as one of America's most enduring and unpredictable bands through a constantly evolving blend of powerful yet mind-altering sounds, infused with a subtle humor and a mystical allure that has garnered them a devoted cult following over several decades and just a handful of albums. Their groundbreaking approach merged the dark depths of underground metal with the grandiosity of art rock, constructing multi-layered compositions reminiscent of classical music. While drawing from the artistic realm, they also paid homage to the raw intensity of grindcore, death metal, and thrash, all while infusing elements of post-punk and the intricate arrangements of prog rock into their music.

Originating in Los Angeles, Tool, comprised of percussionist Danny Carey, guitarist Adam Jones, vocalist Maynard James Keenan, and original bassist Paul D'Amour, resonated with the angst-ridden atmosphere of the early '90s alternative scene, propelling themselves into prominence during the post-Nirvana era. Their debut album, Undertow, propelled them into the limelight, followed by a prime slot at Lollapalooza '93, which catapulted them to platinum status. As they entered the studio for their sophomore release, D'Amour departed amicably, making way for Justin Chancellor. The release of Ænima in 1996 marked their ascendancy, with singles like "Stinkfist" and "Forty Six & 2" dominating the charts and solidifying their mainstream presence.

Amidst the rise of nu-metal, Tool retreated from the spotlight, with Keenan engaging in side projects like A Perfect Circle. However, their return with Lateralus in 2001 showcased a band delving deeper into their mythos, experimenting with intricate compositions and complex time signatures. This trend continued with 2006's 10,000 Days, which despite being their lowest-selling album, earned critical acclaim and another Grammy for Best Recording Package. Tool's subsequent hiatus saw Keenan's involvement in various projects, while the band grappled with legal issues.

In 2019, after a 13-year hiatus, Tool made a triumphant return with Fear Inoculum, topping the charts once again and receiving Grammy nominations. The release of "Opiate²" in 2022 commemorated their 30th anniversary, offering a reimagined version of their debut single. Tool's enduring legacy lies in their ability to transcend musical boundaries, crafting intricate sonic landscapes that continue to captivate audiences worldwide.
Fan reviews:

One of the best shows I have ever seen, and I have been to many. This was my third time seeing Tool, and this was their best performance. Danny Carey and Justin Chancellor were having an out of body experience. These guys were playing out of their minds! I have never seen anyone rock a gong the way Danny did. They were both spot on. Tool may have the best rhythm section in the world right now. The light show was amazing as well. The screens and laser effects was out of this world. I personally like the no camera policy these guys have too. It was great to not have to watch a show through someone's phone screen for a change. They did let everyone take out their device for pictures and video on the last song. Nice compromise.

As always Tool puts on an incredible show! The no phone policy should be used more often. MJK is more than fair allowing them out for the last song.

Best concert ever! Everything about the show was perfect I can’t say I had any downfalls about the experience with the show or the venue everything was smooth and pristine.

Incredible show! The band was tight and on point. Maynard’s voice is so powerful. Danny is a monster on drums. Adam and Justin rocked the front of stage, keeping energy high. The whole band is a powerhouse of sound. Such collective talent. The visuals were mesmerizing. What a haunting set of songs. Absolutely magical. This band is one of the greatest live acts I have ever seen. My third time and they just keep getting better! It was like a dream. Wish they could have played for another 2 hours. Can’t wait to see them again. If you have never seen these guys live, do it!
Setlist for the show at the Moody Center
  • Fear Inoculum
  • Jambi
  • Rosetta Stoned
  • Pneuma
  • Intolerance
  • Descending
  • The Grudge
  • Chocolate Chip Trip
  • Flood
  • Invincible
  • Stinkfist

Tool was the main act at the Moody Center with guests Elder. They continue across the United State and Europe with the last stop at the Tons of Rock in Oslo, Norway on June 27, 2024.

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Photos by Ralph Arvesen
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