Photos and review by Raven Divito
Tacoma, Washington got to experience the unrelenting force of Tool as they graced the Tacoma Dome on October 20, 2023. The band, consisting of the enigmatic Maynard James Keenan, the masterful Adam Jones on guitar, the percussive genius Danny Carey on drums, and the groove-laden bassist Justin Chancellor, delivered a performance that transcended the boundaries of your average rock show.
At the heart of the Tool experience lies their unwavering dedication to the craft of music. Keenan, Jones, Carey, and Chancellor have, over the years, earned their reputation as virtuoso musicians. Their technical skills and compositional prowess shine brilliantly on the stage, serving as a testament to their enduring legacy in the progressive and alternative metal genre.
Notably, Tool’s live performance goes beyond the music. With a strict “no-cellphones” policy, the band keeps the audience fully engaged and present in the moment. A respite from the ubiquitous sea of smartphone screens, this rule allowed fans to immerse themselves in the aural and visual spectacle unfolding before them.
The visual element is a pivotal part of Tool’s live shows, and the show at the Dome was no exception. The stage light show and accompanying screen visuals were a sight to behold, enhancing the music’s emotional depth and intensity. As they played, the mesmerizing and unforgettable imagery seemed to intertwine with the music, forming a hypnotic fusion that left an indelible mark on the audience.
Of course, no Tool performance would be complete without a meticulously curated setlist, and they offered up a sonic journey that spanned their illustrious career. Kicking off with the classic opener “Fear Inoculum,” the Dome was set ablaze with fervor. The night unfolded with a barrage of favorites, including “Jambi,” “Stinkfist,” and “The Pot.” Furthermore, the crowd was treated to tracks from their newer albums, such as “Culling Voices” and “Pneuma.”
In every soaring vocal and intricate guitar riff, Tool showcased their commitment to delivering a concert experience that is not just heard but felt, one that lingers in your thoughts long after the final note has faded. Tacoma witnessed a display of musical mastery, where the boundaries of reality and artistry blurred, and Tool’s unique brand of sonic magic left a lasting impression on all who were fortunate enough to be there.