Top-selling bands don’t come much more idiosyncratic. Tool’s music blends progressive rock, metal, experimental impulses and world-music textures with little regard for traditional song structure. The 13 tracks it performed on Sunday clocked in at more than two hours, and most exceeded 10 minutes.

In keeping with longstanding Tool policy, the stage set-up also defied tradition. The ostensible “front man,” Keenan, crept in the darkness on risers behind Jones and Chancellor, while Carey set up stage center behind an armada of percussion instruments that looked like a space station. Was there a drum solo? Actually, there were two. Carey simulated the sound of two or three drummers at once, as he frequently played contrasting time signatures with his hands and feet. Jones and Chancellor were equally inventive in varying the tonal colors of their instruments, at times turning them into a fleet of helicopters, a smoke-belching Harley or a volcano springing to live. [Greg Kot for Chicago Tribune]

Tool are on tour now with Killing Joke in support of their first album in 13 years, Fear Inoculum, which is not just good for a comeback album but on par with plenty of Tool's classics and one of the best rock albums of the year so far. We caught the tour last night (11/3) at Chicago's United Center, where Tool played the album's first three songs (the title track, "Pneuma," and "Invincible") and the weirdo instrumental "Chocolate Chip Trip," alongside classics like "Ænema," "Forty Six & 2," "Stinkfist," "Schism," "Parabola," "Jambi," "The Pot," "Interolance," and more. Pictures are in the gallery above. Videos of Tool and setlists for both bands below.

Tool's tour treks on, and includes NYC-area shows at Newark's Prudential Center on 11/16 and Brooklyn's Barclays Center on 11/19 (tickets). All remaining dates are listed below.

Tool at United Center - 11/3/19 Setlist (via)
Fear Inoculum
Ænema
The Pot
Parabol
Parabola
Pneuma
Schism (Extended)
Jambi
Vicarious
Intolerance
Forty Six & 2

Intermission:
Chocolate Chip Trip
Invincible
(-) Ions
Stinkfist

--

Killing Joke at United Center - 11/3/19 Setlist (via)
Butcher
Tomorrow's World
Eighties
Seeing Red
Complications
S.O.36
Total Invasion
Loose Cannon
The Wait
Pandemonium

--

Tool -- 2019 Tour Dates
November 5 Cincinnati, OH US Bank Arena
November 6 Cleveland, OH Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
November 8 Pittsburgh, PA PPG Paints Arena
November 9 Detroit, MI Little Caesars Arena
November 11 Toronto, ON Scotiabank Arena
November 12 Toronto, ON Scotiabank Arena
November 14 Boston, MA TD Garden
November 16 Newark, NJ Prudential Center
November 18 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
November 19 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
November 21 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Casino Arena
November 22 Atlantic City, NJ Boardwalk Hall
November 24 Raleigh, NC PNC Arena
November 25 Washington, DC Capitol One Arena

--

photos by James Richards IV