This week marked the most recent of tragedies to befall the now-shrunken list of prolific bands to come out of Seattle in the 1990’s. Some called it grunge, while others refused to affix a label to the family of musicians that were plucked from the Pacific Northwest region by MTV to become the next generation of Led Zeppelins and Rolling Stones.
In retrospect, maybe MTV should have focused on Atlanta, or Boston, or “Hey, what about,” insert “your hometown.”
One great band that came out of that 90’s alternative rock era was Tool, and thankfully they were born far, far away from the now seemingly plagued region. Tool is on its very own path and I, for one, couldn’t be happier.
I attended the second show of their 2017 North American tour on Thursday, and it was amazing, while the death of Chris Cornell loomed large on fans in attendance.
Going to a Tool show is like being at an exclusive Hollywood elite party. You know it’s going to be awesome, but you better not get caught with your phone out recording or photographing any of it (though luckily Alternative Nation had permission to).
At the same time, that’s exactly what made it one of the best shows I’ve been to in nearly a decade. Every set of eyes in that audience were on the band the entire time, hanging on frontman Maynard James Keenan’s every word.
The end of the night marked the absolute highlight of the show for all in attendance. As the band re-emerged, the lights dimmed down to their darkest yet. All eyes were on Danny Carey as he started playing “Eulogy,” on the eve of Chris Cornell’s funeral. The audience absolutely erupted in cheers, and for some, tears, as they felt the weight of the moment. Tool had not played Eulogy live since 2001.
While the track is obviously not about Cornell (the lyrics are about something else entirely), he was on the mind of many fans, including myself as I wore a Cornell ‘Songbook’ shirt.