Tool at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

Tool has long been one of my favorite bands, since the Ænima era — their music has stood the test of time for me, and any time they’re in town I will happily shell out to see them play.  They’re one of the few bands that I know, without hesitation, that the money will be worth it. In addition to being pitch-perfect live, their visuals are incredible.  (The show I saw in 2002 during the Inside the Outside tour remains the best one I have yet seen, though — there was some crazy black grape-thing floating in mid-air, Maynard painted himself all black with orange stripes, and the Lateralus artwork hung from the stage.)


I saw them at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on March 12, and they didn’t disappoint — they never do.  It’s been just over six years since I last saw Tool (same venue, even), and it was funny — I went alone both times, but while last time was my first concert alone, first concert during law school, and first concert while living in San Francisco, this time felt miles down that road.


I didn’t get to hear Opiate live, which is still my most-wanted tune, but I did get to hear Hooker with a Penis — new for me! — and frankly, any time spent watching one of my favorite bands play some of my favorite music is an experience about which I cannot complain.

Tool doesn’t permit photos — and I wasn’t about to get kicked out of a concert that I paid good money to see — but the visual component, which is (as far as I know, still) produced by Adam Jones, was heavy on the skull/body/chakra/meatsack-rushing-through-space component. I, and especially the medievalist in me, loved it. It can’t quite be done justice via text.

Either way, the Bill Graham is a great place to see music — I’ve also seen A Perfect Circle there during the Thirteenth Step tour (and suffered through The Mars Volta as an opening band), and I always have a fantastic time.  Happily recommended as a venue (especially if the tickets are GA and you can wander between the floor and seats), and of course, I will recommend Tool and A Perfect Circle as bands you must see live…as long as you will listen to me.

On the way out, I saw this car, and it made me laugh.  This is so something my best guy friend and I would have done in 2002, and as I recall, might very well have.



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