Tool, Mastodon at Olympic Fencing Centre (2006)

Olympic Fencing Centre (Athens, Greece)

Tool, Mastodon
It is a cold Saturday evening and two friends of mine and I are heading […]
By Yiannis Dafopoulos
December 16, 2006

It is a cold Saturday evening and two friends of mine and I are heading towards the Olympic Fencing Centre to watch two of today's most important Metal bands, TOOL and MASTODON. The ticket was a bit expensive (52 Euros) but if I am not mistaken, I heard that in many other countries the ticket was much more expensive. Anyway, that's not the point. The point is that this was TOOL's first live appearance here in Greece and all the fans were thirsty for this show!

When we arrived at the place that TOOL and MASTODON were scheduled for, we had to face the Greek reality. There was only one entrance for approximately 9,000 people! As you can understand, we spent a lot of time waiting to get in and as a result, we only managed to listen to 3-4 songs by MASTODON. Shit! MASTODON was the main reason I went to this live! Of course I wanted to see TOOL but you see, MASTODON appeal a bit more to me.
So, a friend of mine had informed me about MASTODON's great sound when they play live. To be more precise, he had described their sound as a sound wave that covers you with its heaviness. Unfortunately, the place was so shitty that MASTODON sounded like an amateur band! Imagine that every time they played a song of theirs, there were times I couldn't understand which one it was due to the bad sound! So, as a result I only saw them perform 3-4 songs while having an awful sound! Great! What more can I say?

Now let's move on to TOOL. This incredible band, which is fronted by a totally unprofessional guy, entered the stage with a delay that seemed to annoy some of the audience. Anyway, I have to say one thing that is very important about this band. Maynard had some weird demands. Firstly, he wanted the audience not to take pictures of the band, which in my opinion is totally respectable since we all know the laws behind these actions. The funny thing was that he wanted the audience not to smoke! How can someone deprive someone's right to smoke? It is a live set, not a fucking hospital or something! Let's be more serious! Of course nobody followed those rules and the audience smoked! Enough with my bitching, let's move on to the live set...

TOOL started with two songs from Aenema (1996), Stinkfist and Forty Six & 2. Needless to say that the crowd started singing, headbanging, dancing and screaming while Maynard and his mates were performing a great show on stage! The sound seemed to be much better than previously (MASTODON's set). The next song, Jambi was from their latest effort, 10,000 Days (2006). As I have observed, their latest album has split their fans into two, the ones who love it and the ones who find it boring and too simple. It was fun to see half of the audience headbang and the other half waiting for the next song! The following song rewarded every single fan, even the most demanding ones! The first notes of Schism came out of Justin's bass and the crowd went crazy (including me). I consider this song as one of the most indicative for the modern Metal sound. Anyway, TOOL also performed songs like Vicarious, Rosetta Stoned and if I am not mistaken songs like Sober, Swamp Song, Aenima and Lateralus. In fact, TOOL were experimenting a lot on stage either by playing some riffs much faster or by playing with effects and stuff. There were four big screens behind the band which showed classic TOOL stuff (don't ask me to describe them, I just can't) and one even bigger which displayed either the same thing with the other four, or something else.

Overall, it was a pretty nice show. In fact, I have to admit that I expected something more impressive. As you may know for yourselves, TOOL are famous for their live shows. I don't know, maybe I was expecting too much. Anyway, it was a really nice show but due to the shitty place, the awful sound during MASTODON's set and the fact that two sips of beer cost 3 euros, I don't believe that the ticket was worth its 52 Euros!

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