Tool – In Concert at Des Moines Fairgrounds – Lollapalooza Festival June 28, 1993 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Tool in concert this weekend. An early concert by way of the 1993 Lollapalooza Festival at Des Moines Fairgrounds, recorded June 28, 1993.
In case you don’t know – Tool is an American rock band from Los Angeles. Formed in 1990, the group’s line-up includes drummer Danny Carey, guitarist Adam Jones, and vocalist Maynard James Keenan. Justin Chancellor has been the band’s bassist since 1995, replacing their original bassist Paul D’Amour. Tool has won three Grammy Awards, performed worldwide tours, and produced albums topping the charts in several countries.
To date, the band has released five studio albums, one EP and one box set. They emerged with a heavy metal sound on their first studio album, Undertow (1993), and became a dominant act in the alternative metal movement with the release of their follow-up album Ænima in 1996. Their efforts to unify musical experimentation, visual arts, and a message of personal evolution continued with Lateralus (2001) and 10,000 Days (2006), gaining critical acclaim and international commercial success. Their fifth studio album, Fear Inoculum, their first in thirteen years, was released on August 30, 2019 to widespread critical acclaim. Prior to its release, the band had sold over 13 million albums in the US alone.
Due to Tool’s incorporation of visual arts and very long and complex releases, the band is generally described as a style-transcending act and part of progressive rock, psychedelic rock, and art rock. The relationship between the band and today’s music industry is ambivalent, at times marked by censorship, and the band’s insistence on privacy.
Tool released their first full-length album, Undertow (1993). It expressed more diverse dynamics than Opiate and included songs the band had chosen not to publish on their previous release, when they had opted for a heavier sound. The band began touring again as planned, with an exception in May 1993. Tool was scheduled to play at the Garden Pavilion in Hollywood but learned at the last minute that the venue belonged to the Church of Scientology, which was perceived as a clash with “the band’s ethics about how a person should not follow a belief system that constricts their development as a human being.” Keenan “spent most of the show baa-ing like a sheep at the audience.”
A band logo created by longtime collaborator Cam de Leon, this wrench is an example of “phallic hardware” in Tool’s imagery.
Tool later played several concerts during the Lollapalooza festival tour, and were moved from the second stage to the main stage by their manager and the festival co-founder Ted Gardner. At the last concert of Lollapalooza in Tool’s hometown Los Angeles, comedian Bill Hicks introduced the band. Hicks had become a friend of the band members and an influence on them after being mentioned in Undertow’s liner notes. He jokingly asked the audience of 10,000 people to stand still and help him look for a lost contact lens. The boost in popularity gained from these concerts helped Undertow to be certified gold by the RIAA in September 1993 and to achieve platinum status in 1995, despite being sold with censored album artwork by distributors such as Wal-Mart. The single “Sober” became a hit single by March 1994 and won the band Billboard’s “Best Video by a New Artist” award for the accompanying stop motion music video.
Okay – now hit the play button and dive in.