I saw Tool on the side stage at Lollapalooza in 1993, again in 2007 and a birthday miracle occurred and I am going to see them again. Once a decade.
“I’ve come round, full circle” Prison Sex
I wrote this after I saw them the last time. I was a mess, shit was falling apart with ex hubby, my friend Kerry rescued me.
I am amazed at who I was and who I have become.
“I know the pieces fit” Schism
I thought I was shy, I thought I was timid, I thought I was a pacifist, I thought I couldn’t fight…I have lived most of my life believing these things to be true…and then oh and then…
“I’ve been crawling on my belly clearing out what could have been.
I’ve been wallowing in my own chaotic insecure delusions.
I want to feel the change consume me; feel the outside turning in.
I want to feel the metamorphosis and cleansing of enduring.
My shadow. My shadow.
Change is coming,
Now is my time.”
46 & 2 ~TOOL
Kerry invited me to Tool, I fucking love Tool, in the music segment on my myspace it says “a choir of angles could not make a sweeter sound than when Maynard James Keenan sings”. It is the truth.
She said we were going to be in the pit, and to be honest with you, I was terrified. Every time she said or typed the word “pit” I would panic a little. To the point where I almost traded tickets at Tim Horton’s so I could have myself a nice safe seat, but I didn’t.
As we stood in line for beer I looked around and my fear was rationalized, compounded and multiplied, I came to the horrid realization that I was standing in the middle of a fucking frat party. No cool people in sight, just meat-headed jocks and little rocker boys, and a very small handful of women all of whom were in various stages of getting drunk. I was astounded by the number of flip flops adorning the feet of both sexes.
We walked onto the floor an hour early; we each pissed on our 18 square inches of concrete and claimed them as our own. Not enough space that we were being greedy mind you, just enough to move and breathe and see and experience and enjoy. We made friends with the cool people who had their pieces of concrete floor near to us. 4 deep from the barrier on the left hand side by the speaker. Our new friends included one big guy, three tiny 20 year old girls and one of the tiny girl’s boyfriends who shall now be known forever as “the nice boy on my left.”
I am by nature or nurture (I am not sure which), claustrophobic, my greatest fear is the mob mentality and being crushed by the masses. I had no desire to get shoved kicked pushed squished groped and yet I knew all of things were bound to happen. I steadied my self for a rough couple of hours, plotted my escape routes and finally just said fuck it.
At approximately 9:15pm the music started and I found myself in the middle of a war, a sea of little teenage dirt bag fuckers (who have no idea what a mosh pit is and just for the fucking record were in kindergarten and still wetting the bed when I first saw Tool) decided to interrupt me while I was absorbing and Maynard sang his lungs out.
Sweaty doped up sneaky fuckers trying to push ahead, moving the whole crowd as they cut and shoved trying to take what was ours. My chest constricted in panic, my veins filled with battery acid, bodies pressed into me from every angle and I was falling. I could still see the barrier to my left and I calmed down a little, I had fallen into a friendly back, he turned to check on me and gave me an arm to steady myself.
Fight or flee and I surprised the fuck out of myself. I fought.
Evidently I am not to be fucked with when Maynard and my personal space are involved.
Evidently I am a violent girl.
I grabbed the large friendly guy in front of me and twisted his t shirt into my hands, dug my feet in and shoved back as hard as I could while the nice boy on my left grinned his devilish grin at me and did the same.
Kerry turned and checked on me, and I was a little panicked, I admit it, but I signaled to her I was okay by making a mean face and holding up my elbow. My experience waitressing in the narrowest busiest bar on Yonge Street was easily applied to my present situation. My mini battle was won and I was kinda sorta starting to feel a little bit brave.
So it continued for the next 2 hours.
I was repeatedly invited into the fold, into the “safe” pocket. Fuck that, no thanks; something in me NEEDED to be able to back up. I felt obligated to keep my space hold the line and keep these numb fucks away from my friends.
Some asswipe put his arm around my waist in a protective familiar manner and got both his feet stomped with my boots and both my elbows to the gut, he backed off. One boy left his chin print as a contusion on my arm unfortunately for me I was aiming for his nose. I got kicked and elbowed and punched and I loved it. I kicked punched and elbowed back and I loved that even more.
Some other big stoned and drunk fuck tried to push me out of his way and I knocked him over on his ass and laughed so hard at the look on his face when he realized I was a girl. Another guy started howling triumphantly when he had successfully grabbed my tit as a mini mosh pit broke out behind us, the nice boy on my left saw it, waited for me to nod approval and punched the idiot in the throat and cut him off mid howl. It was a satisfying noise. I paid back the favour 5 minutes later when I pulled him out of the way of a crowd surfer just in time stop him from receiving a boot to the head.
Oh the nice boy on my left, he had my back and I had his. He looked up at me with great adoration throughout the evening. He never once insulted me by trying to shield me, he knew I was getting off on it and so was he, we held the line, fighting on and off back to back and sharing smokes in between.
I held my elbow up to a guy’s throat, screamed at him that he wasn’t welcome (not quite that politely mind you) and he backed off.
At one point we earned a 6 foot pocket of space behind us.
I watched Kerry through the crowd; she grabbed and shoved a kid back by his throat never missing a beat. She took on a huge fucker Harry Manback asshole who was going to step on our girls and she won.
My moment of triumph came when some dumb fuck tried to cut in front of me and step one of the tiny girls I was feeling maternally protective over and I could not abide by that, I hooked my arm around his neck picked him up and put him behind me then elbowed his kidney for good measure.
I feel SO GOD DAMN STRONG.
Something happened to me last night. I changed. I have been feeling weak and now I am so far from it. I am bruised and sore and so very deaf and I have never been more full of pride. I danced hard when I could and I fought hard when I had to and I started wanting it, I wanted someone to shove me so I could shove back. The scared girl I was is gone. Last night I fell asleep sated and dreamt of fighting.
That feeling isn’t going away. I spent 33 years avoiding physical confrontation, now all I have to say is please fuck with me, just give me one good reason.
Oh yes, I really hadn’t forgotten, the music was magnificent wondrous glorious and spectacular. I was filled and refilled with great reverence and awe. Maynard’s voice was seraphic. I experienced an auditory and visual orgasm that rarely waned and constantly climaxed, and just when I thought I couldn’t possibly stand the beauty and power of it there was another wave to carry me further along to a new pinnacle of ecstasy. We were so close I could feel every bass chord and drum beat resonate through my chest. I have never experienced something so perfect, and I might never again. My eyes sparkled and shone while I cried from the joy of simply being there, and I would not have been surprised if Maynard had grown wings.