Like the groundbreaking metal bands before them — Led Zeppelin, Rush, early AC/DC — L.A.’s Tool have harnessed a transcendental power that elevates them clearly above the genre’s par.Led by the ferocious and dynamically challenging wails of Maynard Keenan, this four-piece band masters the live moment, tearing off an endless barrage of riff-based songs — passages, really — that spun the fans in front of the large stage into a swirl of delirious combatants. The songs of ultra-angst and fury often built from delicate, spacey beginnings into full-fledged aural assaults that were staggering and affecting to both performers and audience. The band played three new numbers that will probably be included on an album due later in the year from Zoo. An even greater sense of exploration and diversity marked these tunes. Also notable was the group’s take on Led Zep’s complex and mysterious “No Quarter,” a wickedly hypnotic tune that the band used a set-closer.
Olympic Auditorium; 4,500 seats; $15 top
Promoted by Goldenvoice. Reviewed March 4, 1995.
Band: Maynard Keenan, Adam Jones, Paul D'amour, Danny Carey.