WEST VALLEY CITY With Tool, fans never know that what they're going to get. They do know, however, that the show will rock their world.
The show Saturday in the E Center rocked fans for the most part. The only drawback was that lead vocalist Maynard James Keenan's vocals were lost in the mix. While the audience knew the songs and sang along, Keenan's voice, for the most part, was overrun by the music.
While Keenan's frantic and paranoid-laced voice is a key part of the Tool experience, other components of the show were intact.
First off, the musicianship. Guitarist Adam Jones, bassist Justin Chancellor and drummer Danny Carey cranked it out with Tool's trademark off-tempo syncopation. Each band member knew where he was going with his fills, riffs and leads. And they came together in an intense display of musicality.
Second, the stage show didn't disappoint. With mind-bending videos of skeletal phantoms, aliens and infinite roving eyes, the videos highlighted the music. Add a few laser lights that soared across the E Center sky and the stage show was complete.
With the other musicians basking in the spotlight, Keenan performed in the shadows. But that didn't stop the audience from noticing his antics. When he clapped his hands, the audience followed suit. Even though no spotlights touched him, audience members just couldn't keep their eyes off of him.
Some of the vintage Tool tunes included the power-chord assault of "Stinkfist" and "Forty Six & 2," from the album "Aenima," and "Schism" from "Lateralus."
Some of the newer works included the angst-ridden "Vicarious" and talk-box solo of "Jambi," from the band's most recent album "10,000 Days."
Speaking of "10,000 Days," as the band played that album's epic title track, Trans Am drummer Sebastian Thomson joined Carey in a syncopated percussion duel that encouraged the audience to scream for more.And speaking of Trans Am, the progressive, space-rock trio from Washington, D.C., opened the night with a set consisting mainly of instrumentals. The aforementioned Thomson, bassist Nathan Means and guitarist Philip Manley won over most of the audience over during its 40-minute, experimental set, and primed the audience for Tool's all-out multimedia assault.