Tool's multisensory performance at the quaking Wiltern on Monday, the first of two Koreatown sellouts and the band's first local show since 1999, was nothing short of spectacular.

Band: Maynard James Keenan, Adam Jones, Justin Chancellor, Danny Carey. Also appearing: King Crimson.

Tool’s multisensory performance at the quaking Wiltern on Monday, the first of two Koreatown sellouts and the band’s first local show since 1999, was nothing short of spectacular.

With evocative and sometimes disturbing short films and other images swirling and flickering on screens behind the four players, the band played tightly wound, highly dramatic interpretations of songs from its three studio albums, with emphasis on the current “Lateralus” (Volcano) collection.

With a marked attention to detail that Frank Zappa would have been proud of, the players stayed true to the recorded versions (seven new ones, five older) while adding enough live energy and contrast to bring fresh life to each number.

Opener “The Grudge,” the first song on the new album, built slowly from a simmering start and exploded into a wicked climax that drew thunderous response from the crowd, which remained standing throughout the nearly two-hour show. (Meanwhile, outside on Wilshire, desperate fans were offering hundreds of dollars for a single ticket.)

“Stinkfist,” the lead track from Tool’s superior 1996 entry “Aenima,” was accompanied by the song’s jarring, inhuman video. Shadowy singer Maynard Keenan performed the entire show perched, rear stage right, on a platform behind guitarist Adam Jones and directly in front of the smaller of the two video screens, making it nearly impossible to see his face, which was further hidden by a wide dark stripe of black paint down the center.

After an hour, Tool left the stage and guitarist Robert Fripp, from veteran progressive-rock group and opening act King Crimson (a huge influence on Tool’s style), played some atmospheric six-string music for a few minutes while the headliners and the audience caught their breath.

Tool wrapped the awesome show with a crowd-pleasing four-song run: “Sober,” from 1993’s “Undertow,” featured its infamous “eye surgery” video; new song “Parabola” grew from quiet early passages to explosive power-chord fury; “Aenema,” one of many Tool songs with water as lyrical inspiration, envisioned the swallowing of California by the Pacific; and 10-minute prog-rock closer “Lateralis” brought the extraordinary show to an end with a final display of the band’s grace under pressure.


Wiltern; 2,238 seats; $48.50

Production: Presented by SFX. Opened and reviewed Aug. 13, 2001, closed Aug. 14.

Cast: Band: Maynard James Keenan, Adam Jones, Justin Chancellor, Danny Carey. Also appearing: King Crimson.

More Music

  • Hugh Jackman 39th Brit Awards, Show,

    Concert Review: Hugh Jackman Sparkles and Shines at the Hollywood Bowl

    Hugh Jackman is out to prove he truly is the greatest showman. On Friday and Saturday night, Jackman’s “The Man. The Music. The Show.” world tour stopped in Los Angeles for a sold-out two nights at the Hollywood Bowl. Ten years ago, Jackman hosted the 2009 Oscars just a few blocks south of the venue at [...]

  • Portrait of author and writer Paul

    Paul Krassner, Satirist, Yippies Co-Founder and Counter-Culture Figure, Dies at 87

    Satirist, publisher, author and American counter-culture figure Paul Krassner died at his home in Desert Hot Springs, California on July 21. He was 87. His daughter Holly Krassner Dawson, confirmed the news to the Associated Press. Born in New York City on April 9, 1932, Krassner eventually moved to Southern California where he lived with [...]

  • Cameron Crowe, David Crosby, A.J. Eaton.

    Cameron Crowe on Why He Loved Leaving David Crosby Doc on a CSNY Question Mark

    David Crosby may or may not have stuck a joint in Cameron Crowe’s mouth the first time he ever met the future filmmaker, when Crosby was peaking with Crosby Stills Nash & Young and his interviewer was a precocious 15-year-old Rolling Stone correspondent. As Crowe said to Jimmy Kimmel the other night, “I remember it [...]

  • Adam Lambert Queen

    Concert Review: Queen and Adam Lambert Capitalize on 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

    About half way through Queen and Adam Lambert’s Saturday night show at the Forum in Inglewood, guitarist Brian May took the stage solo to perform a few numbers. He began by acknowledging that day’s 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing, as the video screen behind him streamed a real-time replay of the Apollo [...]

  • R Kelly Sexual Assult Accusations Mugshot

    R. Kelly to Face Charges in New York on Aug. 2

    R. Kelly has been ordered brought to New York for his arraignment on racketeering charges that allege he recruited young girls for sexual abuse at concerts across the country, according to the Chicago Tribune. The charges are part of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against the singer that have been filed this year. Kelly, who [...]

  • Sturgill Simpson Announces New Anime Film,

    Sturgill Simpson Announces an Anime Film — and Album to Go With It — at Comic-Con

    From alt-country hero to anime producer, Grammy winner Sturgill Simpson is broadening his horizons. Appearing on a panel Saturday night at Comic-Con, Simpson announced an animated Netflix film, “Sound & Fury,” that he’s producing and wrote the original story for, to be accompanied by a simultaneously released album this fall he describes as “sleazy, steamy [...]

  • Garth Brooks Brings Blake Shelton to

    Garth Brooks Brings Blake Shelton to Boise for a Beer-and-Tears Stadium Gig (Watch)

    “I was singing with Garth Brooks! I’m freaking out!” said Blake Shelton, shortly after joining his fellow Okie on stage in Boise, Idaho Friday night. Shelton had flown out to the first of Brooks’ two nights at Albertsons Stadium to shoot a live music video for “Dive Bar,” the recently recorded duet that Brooks just [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content