Tool Tour Photos + Review: Tool Concert in Detroit Offers Epic, Memorable Night

2019-11-11

Maynard James Keenan of Tool in concert in Detroit at Little Caesars Arena – Story and photo by Anne Erickson

Tool concert in Detroit: Maynard James Keenan and company bring epic, mystic tour to Detroit at Little Caesars Arena

Thousands of fans piled into the Tool concert in Detroit at Little Caesars Arena Saturday (Nov. 9), standing shoulder-to-shoulder, brimming with excitement to see frontman Maynard James Keenan and the band in the heart of the Motor City.

It’s not everyday that a rock act tops the Billboard 200 chart, but then again, Tool isn’t your everyday rock band. Earlier this year, the legendary progressive metal band released “Fear Inoculum,” their first studio album since 2006, and become one of those rare rock bands that, in 2019, can still top the general albums chart. Now, Tool is touring in support of the release. That said, it’s no surprise that the band’s arena shows generally sell out in minutes, and Saturday’s show was no exception.

The English post-punk band Killing Joke kicked off the show with a 30-minute set. While many of Tool’s fans were unfamiliar with the band, there’s a lot to be said for Killing Joke’s legacy. They’ve been around more than 40 years and are extremely influential in the heavy music world, so much that Metallica has even covered them.

At 8:45 p.m., drummer Danny Carey was the first Tool band member to appear on stage, donning a Detroit Pistons uniform. Keenan, sporting a killer Mohawk, then entered, and he also wore a Pistons jersey during the show. Guitarist Adam Jones and bass player Justin Chancellor slowly waltzed to the sides of the stage, and the Tool lineup was complete.

The more than two-hour show featured a mix of new songs off “Fear Inoculum,” such as the album’s title track and “Invincible,” as well as longstanding Tool songs, such as “The Pot,” “Parabol,” “Jambi” and “Schism.” Musically, Tool presented an air-tight wall of sound, with gutting, grooving rhythms, complex guitars and Keenan’s menacing vocals. Visually, the band’s use of colorful lasers and dark, hypnotizing videos provided the perfect, eerie compliment to the music.

After an intermission, Tool to the stage with the song “Chocolate Chip Trip,” which showcased Carey with a head-spinning drum solo that would impress even the biggest music snob. Throughout the show, there wasn’t much banter, although Keenan did chime in a few times to tell the Michigan crowd that they’re, behind Arizona, the second-best state in the continental United States. That makes sense, since Keenan now lives in Arizona and spent a good portion of his young adult life in Michigan.

As is often the case with Tool’s shows, a tight photo-video policy was intact, although right before the last number, Keenan told the crowd that they were allowed to now use their cell phones “even though it’s annoying.” It is, right? The band’s mid-’90s hit “Stinkfest” closed out the set, and the arena remained packed until the last note was played, which isn’t often the case with late-night concerts.

The last time Tool was in the Detroit area was in 2017, and before then, it was back in 2007. There’s no telling when Tool will be back around on tour or in the studio, but after Saturday’s epic concert, it’ll undoubtedly, once again, be worth the wait.

Maynard James Keenan of Tool in conert in Detroit at Little Caesars Arena – Story and photo by Anne Erickson

Danny Carey of Tool / Photo by Anne Erickson

Adam Jones of Tool in concert in Detroit at Little Caesars Arena / Photo by Anne Erickson

Tool / Photo by Anne Erickson

Justin Chancellor of Tool / Photo by Anne Erickson

Jeremy “Jaz” Coleman of Killing Joke in concert in Detroit at Little Caesars Arena / Photo by Anne Erickson

Kevin Geordie Walker of Killing Joke / Photo by Anne Erickson

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