Tool: Atlanta The Tabernacle

Sold out in three minutes, Tool play gig in support of their first album in five years, 'Lateralus'...

“You’re a fucking tool!” someone yells in the streets of downtown Atlanta outside the Tabernacle, a former Baptist church-cum-concert hall. Part of the crowd – several thousand strong standing in a line that will circle the block for over two hours – screams in support. They have no idea why people are yelling.

It could be the start of a fight. It could be a show of support for the band

Tool cloistered inside. Or it could be someone who has been royally fucked trying to get even, because tonight there is an epidemic of counterfeit Tool tickets being sold, with estimates of up to 600 in circulation, many sold for over $100. It’s the day art-metal band Tool put out ‘Lateralus’, their first album in five years. Atlanta is one of four initial American tour dates, and legitimate tickets, now commanding up to $500, sold out in three minutes.

Inside, an Eastern-influenced drone swells as ‘Lateralus’ album art – an eye in a flame – dances on the screen. Singer Maynard James Keenan – known for his outrageous attire – wears a militaristic outfit of black leather. For the next two hours the band thunders through songs from all four albums as stuttering loops of computer generated and stop action nightmares throb to the beat among polarized nudes wrestling underwater and eye surgery. Powerful lights grip and guide the overwhelmed crowd.

Keenan, head shaved, hunches and lurches like the characters in Tool’s famous videos as he wails before the video wall. The hothouse crowd shower his words back, twice as hard on songs like ‘Sober’, ‘Stinkfist’, ‘Prison Sex’, ‘Opiate’ and

‘Schism’. And then with ‘Lateralus” title track a little before one a.m. it’s over, a little shorter than the wait in line, an evening mix of brilliance and bullshit.

Tony Ware