Tool - Live in Boston
**edit..found this picture and it shows the stage etc a little better.
May 21, 2006
Orpheum Theater, Boston Mass
- There is a fine line between clever and stupid.
When Tool announced this brief warm up tour it sent fans in to a frezny. The band who has not been on the road for over 3 years with an even long time between cd releases was sure to garner attention. The band was doing a brief theater tour before heading to Europe, then to return to America to play larger venues. The final show of this tour was here in Boston at the 2800 seat Orpheum Theater.
Tickets went on sale and sold out about as fast as it takes you to refresh your screen. It was done..over. Web sites selling tickets like ebay and craigslist saw asking and selling prices in the mid to high triple digits.
I made my way to Boston in a heavy downpour, parked and walked across the Boston Common to the theater. The line was down the alley and back up the street (past the beantown pub for you locals). I was planning to tape the show, but went back down to where the people were being "ticket checked" to proceed down the alley I decided that taping was just not in the cards. More on this in a bit.
I went back to my car and by this time the rain let up so I dropped off my umbrella and headed back. I had an extra ticket to sell and really its not in me to rape someone for tickets..its not. The ticket w/face and fee was $66.66. As I was headed back to the venue I got the usual "buying/selling" etc. I said "Selling". Here is the chat..
me - I have one
scalper - where and how much
me - balcony..i'd like face and fee..and maybe a bit for parking..so how about $75.00
scapler - (almost laughing) I'll give you $100.
me - ummm okay...(keep this in mind).
So I get in the massive line up around the bend. Conversations in lines always kill me. Everyone one ups the next person about how many times they have seen the band, who they know and the random YEEEEEEEEEEAHHH DUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDE!. I passed the first check point, ticket in hand and was waved down. Then the pat downs in the street started. It was over the top. Tool hates pictures and their shows being taped so they pat down was the most extensive I have ever been thru. I got in and had to go to the bathroom so bad I just headed to my seat. I was in the balcony, row N about 3 seats in off the isle.
The band was due to go on at 8, but I am sure due to the line outside they held up some. At 830 the lights went down and the curtain went up. Tool was on the stage.
The set up was (me facing the stage) Adam Jones (guitar) on the left, and Justin Chancellor (bass) over to the right. On the drums pretty much center stage was Adam Jones and off to his right on a stage riser about the same height was singer Maynard James Keenan. I can't really say front man because he was behind the guitar and bassist. The front part of the stage had a carpet that was some pentagram styled thing but Adam and Justin were about as far away from each other as possible. Video screens ran from right to left across the back of the stage. The entire show was a video hallucinogen. It was nonstop (well duing the music).
The band opened with "Stinkfist" and the whole balcony was rocking. This theater was built in the 1860's and anyone that has gone to shows in boston at the orphuem usually has 2 things to say "Cool venue" and what is with the 50 cent (now 1.00) restoration fee going to?! I have been going to shows there since the late 80's and they haven't done a lot I tell you. The fucking balcony was moving..i mean up and down, side to side. It was creepy. I kept saying if this gives way can I ride it down and live?
I am a very casual fan of the band I will admit. They played 46 and 2 next and that is probably my favorite song. During the song I kept thinking that everytime I read about Tool you hear how technical the band is, or what great players and I wasn't seeing it..but by the end when Danny was doing some fills I was "getting it".
The Orpheum, to me, is one of the best sounding venues but at times it felt really brickwalled to me. Over the top rumbles and I had a hard time hearing the guitar as well as the vocals (even when Maynard was speaking when the band was not playing I had a hard time understanding).
The set list was quick. They'd take a moment to adjust the sound for "the next song" and get right to it. During Rosetta Stoned Maynard uses a megaphone but that effect was lost until the later part of the song. Not sure if there were issues but until the second half of the song I had no idea what he had strapped to himself.
Tool is also famous for no encores or "breaks" before an encore. After Lateralus Danny got up from his kit and sat over on Maynards riser. The rest of the band walked over and did the same. I heard that this is the "lull" where fans would go nuts looking for an encore (see fine line between clever and stupid). After what seemed like 5+ minutes of them soaking in the love they got up and pounded out Vicarious and ended it all with Ãnema. 1 hr and 45 minutes later it was all done. Lights up as the band walked off the stage.
Eventually a guy (the seat I sold) came in. After the show he said to me "did you sell the ticket?" and I played dumb and said "No I bought one from a guy". I had to ask him "What did he get you for?" Sit down for this my dear readers...$325.00. Now before you call me nuts (trust me I feel it) I didn't really want to sell for a lot because the person was going to be next to me. Think about it..you sell at 67.00 ticket for 325 and then the guy sits next to you? He now knows you have 325.00 of his on your person.
Overall it was a visually stunning show. I like rock shows like that. What Maynard lacks in the "classic" front man the bands competence with their instruments are second to none. The moments I felt bored, they'd pull something exciting out. The downside for me was the muddled mix (but that could be the balcony) and the little interaction while in such a small venue.
Finally the full set if you care:
Forty Six & 2
Right In Two