Tool Frontman Maynard James Keenan Addresses Florida’s Anti-Drag Law


A photo of rock band Tool.

Maynard James Keenan anti-drag performance at Welcome to Rockville – Story by Scarlett Hunter, photo by Travis Shinn

Maynard James Keenan of Tool dressed in drag during the band’s Welcome to Rockville appearance

Progressive metal band Tool were one of the headliners at last weekend’s Welcome to Rockville festival in Florida. They caused quite a stir, too. During the band’s Sunday night (May 21) set in Daytona Beach, Florida, frontman Maynard James Keenan seemed to address an anti-drag bill recently signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis.

Specifically, Keenan performed the band’s set wearing a long-haired wig, red lipstick and fake breasts, according to Heavy Consequence, who was at the show. View photos from the gig below. The show marked Tool’s first concert of 2023.

However, despite the interesting timing, Keenan told The Messenger in a post-show interview, “I’ve been cross-dressing since long before these clickbait-junkie dupes were out of diapers… It’s pretty crazy the technology and the prosthetics nowadays, how they’ve come along, and I just was considering bringing the look back. And that’s really all there is to it. I’m not a political fella — had nothing to do with Florida.”

Even though he wasn’t making a political statement with his outfit, Keenan did give his thoughts on new law, saying, “I think limiting people’s access to anything is absurd. Good parenting allows you to teach your kids how to be reasonable and reason and puzzle things out and decide for themselves what the f*** they wanna see or not wanna see.”

As for the bill, last Wednesday (May 17), DeSantis signed a collection of bills that were against drag shows and transgender rights. One of the bills makes it illegal for minors to attend a drag show. Welcome to Rockville is an all-ages festival, so one could say that Keenan was breaking the law. But, he also kind of wasn’t, because Tool’s show wasn’t a “drag” show, so to say. Moreover, DeSantis has also recently signed legislation that prohibits gender-affirming care for minors, limits the ability to discuss personal pronouns in schools and make people use certain bathrooms, according to the Associated Press.

For now, Tool’s 2023 tour itinerary is pretty light. As mentioned, Welcome to Rockville marked the band’s first show of the year. They also have festival appearances on the way at Sonic Temple in Columbus, Ohio; Louder Than Life in Louisville, Kentucky; Aftershock in Sacramento, California; and Power Trip in Indio, California. For more information on Tool’s upcoming gigs, go here.

The four-day Welcome to Rockville festival marked one of the first major hard rock and metal festivals of the year. In addition to Tool, headliners included Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, Pantera and more.


Scarlett Hunter
Posted by Scarlett Hunter | Music, Rock, Rock News

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