Tool’s Dark Metal and Stunning Visuals Take Over All Points West

August 2nd, 2009 by J. Edward Keyes Leave a reply »

Photograph by Alex Reside for

Moody, intricate and introspective metal isn’t necessarily the natural choice for a festival headlining slot, but over the course of their bleak and riveting 90-minute set New Jersey’s All Points West Festival Saturday night, Tool proved that sometimes mystery is more compelling than stridency.

(Check out photos from All Points West: Tool, Jay-Z and more.)

On a bill loaded with indie rock, Tool seemed initially distinguished by their popularity. They were the only band on Saturday’s bill to have a platinum record, and the only performers to have won Grammys, and the only ones with enough starpower to sell out arenas on their own. And yet despite their high profile, Tool hardly behave like a mainstream band. Saturday’s set was an exercise in atmosphere — a dark, riveting performance that minimized the members of band while foregrounding their stranger sensibilities.

(Read our report on the rest of Day Two’s All Points West lineup here.)

Visually, the show was stunning. Tool perform to a series of bleak films mostly created by the artist Adam Jones, and beamed out giant-size across Liberty State Park they seemed more imposing and unnerving than ever. Opening with the sinister, twisting “Jambi,” the group slowly worked its way through a set that spanned its small catalog. Part of what makes Tool concerts such visceral experiences is the band’s peerless sense of control and release. Songs start with icicle drip guitars and rolling, tribal percussion, steadily building to perfectly timed explosions of sound. When paired with Jones’ frightening films, it became more like a theater experie...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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