YOUNGSTOWN — At times mesmerizing, at times a sonic tsunami, Tool’s show Sunday was more of an event than a rock concert.
The artsy prog-metal rock band brought its 2007 tour to Chevrolet Centre, and its loyal legions came from far and wide to worship at its altar.
In Tool’s 15-plus years of existence, it has released only four full-length albums, including 2006’s “10,000 Days.” The infrequency serves to make each regrouping a call to arms for its fans, many of whom came from Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Akron, Columbus and elsewhere. Judging from their comments, the smallish Chevy Centre was the perfect size venue.
A virtual sellout crowd — a couple hundred of the worst seats at the far end of the arena went unoccupied — head bobbed, pumped their fists and roared through the two-hour-plus set.
Tool, of course, pays no nevermind to conventional song structures. The band's songs frequently clock in at over 10 minutes — an indulgence magnified at live shows.
Bassist Justin Chancellor’s rapid thumping kept the steady paced music at a slow boil that occasionally bubbled over into a furious crescendo.
Chancellor and guitarist Adam Jones staked their positions at stage right and left, respectively, while vocalist Maynard James Keenan and drummer Danny Carey shared the rear stage atop two side-by-side raised platforms.
The band’s penchant for long intros and interludes was a source of nirvana for the initiated — although non-Toolheads might simply describe them as “too long.”
The trippy parts were made even more mind-bending by the animation of artist Chet Zar, which was looped on six large screens behind the stage and in the wings throughout the show. A laser show and fog machines came into play in the latter half of the set.
The animation had a vaguely unsettling effect, like a disturbing dream in a psych ward, but it was fascinating. Tool wants its music to be a tool for fans to explore their minds, and the video furthered that aim. The roadies in white lab coats didn’t hurt, either.
Big Business, a three-piece metal combo out of Los Angeles, opened the show, with a 30-minute assault on the Guinness beats-per-second record — if there is such a record.