TOOL at the Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL Feb. 9, 2022

by Kidman J. Williams

The first thing you must know about a TOOL show is that it really is OK to miss the opening act unless you just want a good laugh. You have to go into it with good humor, like watching “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.” It is almost as if TOOL wants to assert their dominance over the crowds in case they have a mediocre show. They always manage to find the worst bands to open in order to look that much better in comparison.

This shows’ opening act was no different. Blonde Redhead sounds like a bunch of college kids playing with themselves in the locker room bathroom. They deliver tons of faraway vocals and detached music to sound much smarter and more mysterious than they really are.

Blonde Redhead seem to be a bunch of pseudo intellectual rich kids that are pissed that daddy bought them the silver BMW instead of the red BMW.

I’m just going to fast forward through this band. TOOL is the real focus of this review.

This is the tour that basically picks up where 2020 left off. They should have called the tour the Twilight Zone. We just skipped and woke up in 2022.

The stage set was amazing proving once again that they are the kings of the stage. It was the musicians up front while Maynard James Keenan hid in the shadows of the background.

Some people complain about it. People have always pissed and moaned, but when you really think about it, he allows the music to drive through you without all of the contrived bullshit that comes with a lot of over bloated rock star types. (see also Motley Crue)

I’m not saying that those shows aren’t fun, but they are just fun shows; TOOL is a true experience.

Before they even started the screens were showing a spinning anatomical model. The lights dimmed, the crowd roared, and we heard the opening chimes of “Fear Inoculum” (from 2019’s Fear Inoculum). Like any great progressive band, instruments were being added, and we heard what sounded like a looped cello. The back and front drops were hypnotic.

Maynard James Keenan – photo by Kidman Williams

By the time that Keenan’s vocals hit the whole audience was entranced in the environment. We were little crackheads hooked by minute two of the show starting.

The second song in the set separated the fair weather fans from the true blue and invested fans. The very first three notes of “Sober” hit and the crowd lost their minds letting the band know that this is what they came to hear.

Needless to say, I’m skipping to the end of the song. You know the song. They played the music video on the screen, woo, woo, woo, and all that.

At the end of “Sober” Keenan decided he had some jokes for Florida. I don’t know if he was just trying to be funny or if something in him truly despised playing that song again. Maybe it is just Florida. This Chicago native enjoyed it.

Keenan said to the crowd,

“I’ve got some good news and some bad news.” He paused for a moment for dramatic effect. “The good news is that we are here in Tampa. The bad news is… we are in Florida. More bad Dad Jokes to come.”

Maynard James Keenan

The stage went dark. There were no lights except for the lights on the seven-pointed star looming over the stage. Then we heard Keenan’s singular powerhouse vocal on “The Pot” penetrate the dark stadium,

“Who are you to wave your finger, you must have been out of your head.”

“The Pot” by TOOL

By the lyric of “muddy water” the light and video show began again. TOOL dropped us into a demented aquarium scene. It was just as hypnotic and beautiful as it was diabolic as dead bodies began to drop into the great abyss behind them.

As the fifth song began (Pneuma) I smelled something that took me out of my spellbound state of mind. There were two Florida crackers sitting in front of me because TOOL’s people never got back to me about proper coverage. The floor seats were amazing until one of these three started farting. I let it go and just turned away from the misfiring of his sphincter.

The over twelve-minute song brought the house to their knees in ecstasy. The bubbles and motion from the back, the lasers, the lights, and music all gave you the feeling like you were on a different planet.

The next song, “The Grudge” began and the guy let out another slider, this one a little more horrific than the first. It was so potent that it cut through the weed smoke and stale beer. I had to say something and I made sure it was loud enough for the three in front of me to hear, “Jesus H. Christ, it smells like someone needs to take a shit.”

There was no look or answer. The guilt was not strong enough.

“Hooker with a Penis” (my personal favorite song) was the last song before intermission. The song isn’t what you think it is about. The song is one of TOOL’s more rowdy (and shorter) numbers.

Right during the middle of my favorite song, the cracker let out another one, although this time he messed up. He revealed his dastardly sewage dropping wrongdoing.

The poop particles literally hit my nose and mouth simultaneously to the point where I could taste it. I let out a dramatic grunt that pierced the wall of sound in front of us and put my shirt over my mouth and nose. The middle cracker looked over his shoulder, he had the look of shameful regret while he slowly put his hand over his mouth in a halfhearted attempt to not smell the rat droppings sitting in his own underwear.

During intermission the screen gave a countdown and the three crackers disappeared. I attempted to take a picture of the stage when a security guard came up telling me that there are no pictures to be taken during the show.

TOOL in Tampa – photo by Kidman Williams

Something you need to know about a TOOL show. TOOL (and A Perfect Circle) does not allow pictures or video at the show until Keenan tells everyone to pull their phones out. He usually gives everyone a song to snap all the pictures their hearts desire. I just didn’t know that that included intermission when nothing was going on.

The show began again with drummer Danny Carey and his “Chocolate Chip Trip.” Once again, the screens were swirling. It was a kalidascope of Carey playing the drums.

During “Culling Voices” The Gasser let out his finale. This was his masterpiece, his Mona Lisa. I almost barfed in my mouth. As soon as it hit, my fist started to clench, he is lucky my girlfriend was there.

The Cracker had no idea how close he came to a horrible ending. My arm went up without a command from my brain. I was not controlling myself anymore; my nose had had enough of his sewage factory.

Just as I had targeted the back of his neck my girlfriend looked at me with the eyes of a thousand soldiers. All two thousand of her eyes said, “Don’t you dare!” Instead, I just yelled as loud as I could, “SOMEONE NEEDS TO GO TAKE A SHIT!”

I watched The Cracker sink into his seat. He heard every word.

Despite the Hershey factory (I HOPE HE READS THIS) TOOL was amazing. The shows’ visuals left you awestruck and the set list was an amazing choice of old and new songs.

TOOL in Tampa – photo by Kidman Williams

The only real critique I have about the show is the bass. The bass was turned up so loud in the small stadium that it almost drowned the sound of Kennan’s vocals. At times you could barely hear the words that his angelic voice was projecting.

It was the kind of show that you didn’t need drugs to enjoy, mainly because I fear weed or acid might send you over the edge during a visual spectacle of that magnitude.

TOOL in Tampa – photo Kidman Williams


  1. Fear Inoculum
  2. Sober
  3. The Pot
  4. Pushit
  5. Pneuma
  6. The Grudge
  7. Eon Blue Apocalypse
  8. The Patient
  9. Descending
  10. Hooker With a Penis


  1. Chocolate Chip Trip
  2. Culling Voices
  3. Invincible