May 3 2013
A single spotlight illuminated a table made from scaffolding as Tool’s mystery support DJ walked onstage to complete silence. Dropping straight into Prince’s ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’, Tool fans began to second guess if they were at the right venue.
Grooving though a selection of feel-good party hits, the DJ’s set slowly became darker as he ventured from Chemical Brothers to Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ and closed with Aphex Twin, his real aim becoming apparent to those who scoffed too early.
A thudding heartbeat echoed around the arena. American psychonaut Timothy Leary appeared on the screens surrounding the stage, addressing the audience to ‘think for yourselves; question authority’. As the speech started to repeat, the inverted colours on the screen began to distort as Tool walked onstage, opening with ‘Third Eye’.
Guitarist Adam Jones and bassist Justin Chancellor stood each side of the stage underneath swirling spotlights. Lurking in the background, Maynard stomped side to side next to Danny Carey’s drum kit, intermittently yelling into a speakerphone attached to his belt.
As the drums crashed down for ‘Vicarious’, so did a large sheet behind the band, revealing five pillars embellished with artist Alex Grey’s iconic faces. Lasers, geometric patterns and Tool music videos accompanied the set list of greatest hits, as spotlight chandeliers moved up and down to ‘Schism’, ‘Pushit’ and ‘Lateralus’ on the constantly moving stage set.
As the band suddenly disappeared offstage, an intermission sign appeared displaying a twelve-minute countdown. Bewildered punters battled their way to get a quick beer, before Danny Carey returned to the stage alone for a drum solo to an electronic backing track.
As the full band returned to the stage for ‘Jambi’ and ‘Forty Six & 2’, a massive second half convinced you that Maynard was here for more than a case of wine. “Goodnight! It’s been great! Bye! You have been wonderful! Bye!” Maynard sarcastically bade the audience farewell, before the intro of ‘Ænema ‘ kicked in.
The whole of GA head banged en masse as Tool turned things up to eleven. Dedicating their final song to Jeff Hanneman from Slayer, who had passed away that morning, ‘Stinkfist’ concluded proceedings with two massive glitter cannons.
Maynard and Carey quickly disappeared, leaving Jones and Chancellor to wander around the stage, waving goodbye to their Sydney fans. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Origionally published on thebrag.com