We've all been waiting. Patiently, for 13 years. And it's finally time. Many bands either release albums after years or go on Hiatus and make a return, but most of the times, it's a disappointment rather than a larger than life experience either due to the expectations or just. the fact that the bands can't really imbibe themselves well into the new age of the music industry. But like most would expect, Tool is different. After years of legal battles, a show or two in California every other year and countless other side projects, Tool is back. Their first performance of their first world tour since 2008 at the Download Festival at Castle Donnington, England was a moment of the gods. I witnessed it. And the more I thought about it, I realised how smart their foray back into the music world has been. They have set an example for the future.
MAKING YOURSELF RELEVANT AGAIN
In today's world where everything is so saturated, it's impossible to break out or for that matter., come back in. Tool have not been around since 2006 and the music industry has changed rapidly. Whilst small number of sales of their albums have continued both in Physical and non-physical forms, Tool has had no real image in the social media side of things. Naturally, it came as a surprise to all their fans when they launched their official Spotify page. It's still empty, but it's there all right. It's also the first time fans have seen a lot of the behind the scenes footage of Tool recording their wildly awaited next album - from Danny Carrey burning his Drum skin to Adam Jones sharing videos of the Guitar recordings. Tool have never exposed themselves to the world in that way before. Don't get me wrong. They haven't changed who they fundamentally are, but they have certainly adapted. They're also known for really taking the cake when it comes to messing with their fans, and it really went into overdrive this time with photos and interviews sending people in a flurry. Remember that time Maynard said the album was ready and wrote his name as "Maynard Keynes"? What they have done is use social media, a big driving factor in today's world to just let the right amount of stuff go out. It's not too much, it's not too little. It's just perfect. This means that it keeps the old fans interested, but gives enough content for the new kids to get into them and witness the mystery and the mystique the band is known for.
A BAND OF THE GODS
As the sun slowly set over Castle Donnington on the Sunday at Download Festival, more than 100,000 people from all over the world waited to see Tool perform in English soil again after 13 years. The stage personified the whole lead up to this - big screens, big lights and a big stage - all black and shrouded with mystery. Until suddenly, Maynard started whispering "Hey, Hey, Hey" into the microphone, only to be accompanied by the syncopated riff to Aenima played by Adam Jones, and the crowd? THEY LOST IT. What followed was an hour an a half of perfection. Big animations, lights that looked light drones going up and down and a live show that sounded exactly like the studio record. It felt as if I was 14 again, strapped into my chair listening to 10,000 on repeat on my headphones in my room. One thing that big bands miss when they come back is the live performance - they're either too old or they haven't practiced in a while and it just falls short. Tool sounded like they were in their prime. I can't imagine how Tool would have sounded like in their hay day in the early 2000's, but I'm sure it was exactly like this performance. Right from Aenima to closing with Stinkfist, it was simply a religious experience. They also played two NEW long Prog epics, what fans are called 'Descending' and 'Invincible' and if that's how they'll be finally in the album version - everyone will be happy.
IT'S FINALLY COMING!
I haven't really seen such a strong global comeback from many bands and that says something really pertinent about the band. They know exactly who they are and exactly what they want, but they've adapted into the business and the culture we live in now in order to ensure that the new album works out well. And yes, the new album is coming. It even has a date - 30th August 2019, with the first single expected THIS MONTH. There's also rumour's that DAVID LYNCH will be directing the first music video for the album, along with Alex Jones lending the artwork again. I've had the pleasure of watching many bands come back from the dead and not reach their earlier status because of the lack of adaptability. But if Download was a glimpse of what is to come, Tool is here to stay. For a long, long time.