The post Tool Offer Surprises at Mesmerizing Madison Square Garden Shows: Recap + Photos appeared first on Consequence.
Tool are in the midst of a US arena tour, having launched the trek in Baltimore on Wednesday night (January 10th). The outing made its way to New York City on Friday (January 12th) and Saturday (January 13th) for a sold-out, two-night stand at Madison Square Garden, marking the band’s first shows at the legendary venue since 2001. The tour will continue through a final stop in Las Vegas on February 18th (get tickets here).
As has been their practice since the release of their fifth studio album, Fear Inoculum, in 2019, Tool initiated their set with the record’s powerful title track. The New York crowd was swept into excitement by the song’s intense buildup, featuring layers of pulsating drum and bass skillfully executed by drummer Danny Carey and bassist Justin Chancellor. The chill-inducing guitar tones, a trademark of guitarist Adam Jones, added to the immersive experience, all complemented by vocalist Maynard James Keenan’s hypnotic chorus lines.
Concealed in the shadows, and occasionally strolling on either side of Carey’s drum riser, the always mysterious Maynard introduced the band’s next song, “The Pot,” with its recognizable lyrics, “Who are you to wave your finger?” The crowd reciprocated in return, echoing, “You must have been outta your head.”
The band’s commanding presence was heightened and amplified by a colossal LED video wall positioned behind them, showcasing the beloved psychedelic Tool imagery that fans have grown to love. Keenan also emphasized that Tool shows are phone-free experiences, urging fans to put their “f**king phones away” and stay present and connected with the band.
Tool’s main set featured masterful performances of “Rosetta Stoned,” “Pneuma,” “Intolerance,” “Descending,” and “The Grudge.” The band also provided an intermission for fans to relieve themselves, grab some merchandise, and replenish their drinks.
Upon returning, and with a massive gong now positioned stage left, Carey delved into the intricate instrumental track “Chocolate Chip Trip,” featuring its rich synthesis and heavy elements. As the rest of the band rejoined the stage, they pleasantly surprised the audience with a rare performance of “Flood” from Undertow, a song the band had not played live since 2011.
After performing “Invincible,” the band once again surprised the crowd by concluding their set with an extended version of “Schism,” marking the first time the band has ever closed a show with the tune that tops Heavy Consequence‘s list of the 10 Best Tool Songs.
Fans who attended the second night of Tool at Madison Square Garden were treated to an equally mesmerizing experience, with a few changes to the setlist. This included swapping “The Pot” for “Jambi,” “Intolerance” for “Sweat,” “Flood” for “Culling Voices” (with the band starting the performance down front and center stage, while confetti rained from high above the arena) and “Schism” for “Forty Six & 2.”
The Saturday show also saw the band celebrating the birthdays of guitarist Adam Jones and Carey’s drum tech Joe Paul Slaby, with Keenan briefly leading the crowd in “Happy Birthday to You” as two cakes were brought to the stage.
The singer thanked the audience for coming out to the show prior to the set-closer “Forty Six & 2,” after which the ABBA classic “Dancing Queen” reverberated through The Garden’s PA system as thrilled fans streamed out from the venue and spilled onto the busy streets of the Big Apple.
Those planning on catching Tool on this winter run should make sure to arrive at the venue early to catch the performance of psychedelic rockers Elder, who, thus far on the run, have been taking the stage at 7:30 pm and delivering three chunky-riff-fueled songs: “Sanctuary,” “Merged in Dreams – Ne Plus Ultra,” and “Halcyon.”
Tool’s US winter tour continues on Thursday night (January 18th) for the band’s first of two shows in Hollywood, Florida. Pick up tickets to the remaining dates on the tour here.
Photo Gallery: Tool and Elder play Madison Square Garden in New York City (click to expand and scroll through):
Tool Setlist (January 12th):
Chocolate Chip Trip
Tool Setlist (January 13th):
Chocolate Chip Trip
Forty Six & 2