Paula, Heather and I just got back from seeing Tool perform at Oak Mountain, and - WOW. It's going to take me some time to come up with the right words to describe it.
I've always heard that you'll never be disappointed when attending a Tool concert, and they were right. I have to say that, aside from SOAD, who is dear to my heart, this was THE best concert I've ever been to. I absolutely couldn't get enough of their enigmatic and transcendental performances. Each song seemed to stretch on forever, and it just made me feel so alive, but relaxed and filtered at the same time. The power of the bass was phenomenal, and even though the outside setting was gorgeous, the sight of them playing against the dark, starless sky (could have been a more pleasant background without seeing Hooters looming in the distance), I think it could have been far more absorbing indoors.
It's like I told Heather, people underestimate the power of an awesome rock show. I mean, I don't know how many other people can appreciate stuff like this, like I do. But this show was absolutely unreal. This band has been around since 1990, and they have a style and sound that's virtually impossible to imitate. Plus, they're rich enough that they can afford the special effects, so that doesn't hurt.
They had the four digital projector screens behind the band, as well as on either sides of the stage, playing various images and scenes from their videos. They had these three awesome light halos over the stage that floated around and did all kinds of special light sequencing. The stage was usually lit in blues, greens and purples, casting dark shadows over the musicians' faces, so the band remained in it's obscure element. That always worries me about these bands that I like to think of as "untouchable" - how can they pull something off like this, in a public place. But they did it beautifully.
They poured smoke out, then proceeded to put on a lightshow that, I'm sure, made the LSD'ers go into cardiac arrest. The bright green lasers would blast out from the stage, and as they reached us up in the third tier, they had dissolved into light green gossamer strands that looked as though you could reach right up and pluck one out of the sky. Then, the lasers would split open and reveal this amazing diaphanous expanse - honestly, it was hard for me to keep my hands out of the sky. I wanted so badly to reach up and put my hand through it, possibly to feel the emotion that was a part of the music they were playing. I was a tad envious of the people closer up.
I still remember the first time I saw Maynard perform with A Perfect Circle, at Boutwell. He remained in the back of the stage, on a platform, in this diffused light. You can tell when he performs, he's in his own world.
God, to be a rock star.