TOOL is a Los Angeles band that formed in the 1990's. photo by Julianne Tran

Metal newbie’s review of TOOL concert

TOOL, performing at the BOK Center this past weekend, brings together metalheads of all ages.

How does one enjoy metal? I’ve asked myself this question my whole life—walking past Zumiez at the mall, stopping at a streetlight next to some metalheads, seeing Rodrick perform with Loaded Diper.

This past weekend, I found my answer.

To preface, before this concert, I had never listened to the entirety of a single heavy metal song. I do not know any metal terminology, nor do I have the ear for the technical intricacies of heavy metal genius. I am an ignorant onlooker, taking it all in. A baby metalhead, if you will.

On Jan. 30, TOOL paid the old Bank of Oklahoma Center a visit. As Blonde Redhead opened with some breathy rock songs, the audiences sat back in their chairs, some mildly interested and others sitting disinterested with beers in hand, just waiting until TOOL took the stage. Some slight head nods, but you can tell that the audience was holding itself back before they went full head bang.

Finally, as TOOL took the stage, a glittering fringe descended from above and projected images of distorted bodies, animals and dark shapes filled the stage. As they started their set list, the audience transformed. The energy in the building immediately peaked as everyone’s heartbeats started to match the heavy thumping of the bass and drums.

The rest of the set was a seamless stream of intensity. The music was insane, coupled with vivid graphics and a highly enthralled audience. All I can say is the music was hard, the drummer was crazy, and the breakdowns were like nothing else.

I think my body maxed out that night. If it wasn’t for the intermission, I would not have been able to bear the continual force, severity and energy of TOOL’s music. I did not know what to do with myself for a single second of the concert.

By the time the performance ended, I was doubly exhausted and energetic. How does one enjoy metal, I ask again? You sit politely with your hands folded while everyone around you screams “why?” with middle fingers in the air. You take it all in while trying not to hold it within yourself lest you explode. And then you walk away, changed.

Post Author: Julianne Tran