Written by: Adam St. Simons | Photo(s) by: Vanessa Holt
Don’t Get Lost In The Light Show: Tool Sends Fans On A Psychedelic Journey At SLC’s Maverik Center [Photo Gallery]
Don’t get lost in the light show. I find this to be sage advice for anyone looking to find real meaning in the realm of psychedelic journeying. As the saying goes, “Get in, get what you came for, and get out.” But when it came to seeing Tool for my first time this past Tuesday night at Salt Lake City, UT’s Maverik Center, the light show was, without question, where it was at.
I relate the two experiences – taking psychedelics and seeing Tool in concert – in part, because of the long-standing association between Tool and Alex Grey, whose visionary artwork I’ve always admired. He has literally painted the picture that we collectively hold in our heads of the band on a cultural level.
However, beyond all the album covers and music videos there’s a fluid, yet mechanical complexity, depth, and expansiveness to Tool’s music that’s somewhat ineffable, much like the psychedelic experience itself. Watching their live performance isn’t something I would necessarily describe as enjoyable or fun, but powerful, emotive, and deeply meaningful. It felt more like going to an art museum than a stadium rock show.
While 10,000 fans screamed wildly when frontman Maynard James Keenan started singing the intro to “The Pot,” it’s far beyond those collective responses to the chart-topping anthems. It was the faces transfixed and in awe by Tool’s unadulterated creative expression that has been carefully cultivated through decades of dedication to a craft that held the deeper resonance to their live music experience.
Everyone together, lost in the light show, and likely better off for it.
Setlist: Tool | Maverik Center | West Valley, UT | 1/25/2021
Litanie contre la Peur, Fear Inoculum, Opiate, The Pot, Pushit, Pneuma, The Grudge, Right in Two, Descending, Hooker With a Penis
Encore: Chocolate Chip Trip, Culling Voices, Invincible