TOOL at the Gates of Hell or Lollapalooza '93

TOOL is a band of the heavy variety. I once knew a guy who played some TOOL for me. The guy was very into x-treme everything: snowboarding, moto-cross, mountain biking, bong hits, the whole thing. And TOOL. The guy loved TOOL. So I heard the heavy heavy guitars and bass and drums and voice before I saw them at Lollapalooza '93 when they came into St. Paul.

The big show was supposed to happen at Harriet Island but the island was flooded after several days of heavy rain. The show was moved to the St. Paul Civic Center and the surrounding pavement. TOOL played on a small stage outside the civic center.

The thing I remember was seeing this lightning storm in the west, coming east. TOOL was playing with their backs to the storm The lighting and sound rig made a frame for the stage, and the lightning storm and black clouds rolled in from behind, and the violent throbbing music pounded on my chest. The veins in the neck of the lead singer were visible from thirty feet away. They thrashed about on stage. It is my reference image for the gates of hell.

After a bit of TOOL, my friends and I went inside to see BABES IN TOYLAND. After watching them perform a few songs I noticed that their backdrop, far from being an approaching storm, was a clown. Then I realized that the clown was popping out of a vagina that reached from the stage floor to nearly the celing of the civic center. I am not quite sure where to categorize this image.

Mark Sanders, Apr 17 2005 12:06PM

I'd like to add the backdrop video of a vasectomy in progress at a Butthole Surfers show and the 50 foot inflatable snake (that shot out over the heads of the crowd) made out of garbage bags seen at a Melted Men show to the list of concert visions of hell.

Some visions just don't go away easily.

evan, Apr 21 2005 5:11PM

i saw tool open for rollins in about '92. hadn't heard of 'em before, didn't know what to expect. they got underway and the singer, sporting a hair-do reminiscent of that wolf creature at the end of the first 'swamp thing' movie ('79?) spent the entire forty-five minute set staring at ME with a vein throbbing in his forehead. i was nowhere near the front, so he's lookin over a good crowd of people to focus his "rage" on little ole collegiate-weinie me (maybe it makes sense, in hindsight). i never felt more uncomfortable at a show. i do remember the drummer kicking some ass, however.
side note: passed michael stipe (pretty sure it was him) on I-85 whilst driving to that show. he was in an older volvo wagon with his headlights on (bright, clear day) doin about 50 mph. no time to even wave or get my own forehead-vein-stare going.