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TOOL's Tour Designers Detail A Night In Their Lives

Tool does not play to a click.


Seeing Tool is an experience. While that has a lot to do with the music, it also has a god amount to do what lighting and video managers Mark “Junior” Jacobson, Breckinridge Haggerty, and Scott Wilson are doing. The trio recently sat down with PLSN to discuss what it's like to work with the band.

Jacobson reveals right up front that vocalist Maynard James Keenan, well known for his need to be in the shadows, has specifically requested to be lit on the Fear Inoculum tour.

“After 18 years of requesting no light, the timing this time around just felt right to start lighting Maynard. He has come to me and requested certain times that he wishes to be lit. I think if he is expecting the light to come on, it’s fine. We try not to surprise him and throw him off balance.”

Jacobson adds later that Tool does not play to a click, making each night a little different.

To some, it may seem surprising to learn everyone at FOH is required to trigger every cue without the use of timecode. Even if that results in a few rim shots every now and then — after all, it’s rock ‘n’ roll. Jacobson spells it out. “The band doesn’t play to a click, so we don’t have a bitstream we can latch onto; hence, we’re responsible for making everything happen on time. If something visual has to be in time, it has to be done by hand.” He later adds, “As consistent as this band is from night-to-night on tempo, they are not machines — which is a good thing.”

Because most songs have intricate timing changes, it adds to the challenge. Says Wilson, “Cueing lasers is a combination of small timed segments that are triggered and then also some free-time clips…., that I manipulate based on the feel or timing of the music.”

Catch Tool with all their magnificent lighting at one of the dates below.

March 9 Spokane, WA – Spokane Arena [Tickets]
March 11 Portland, OR – Moda Center [Tickets]
March 12 Eugene, OR – Matthew Knight Center [Tickets]
March 14 Boise, ID – Ford Idaho Center Arena [Tickets]
March 16 Salt Lake City, UT – Maverik Center [Tickets]

w/ Blonde Redhead
April 16 Miami, FL American Airlines Arena [Tickets]
April 17 Orlando, FL Amway Center [Tickets]
April 19 Tampa, FL Amalie Arena [Tickets]
April 21 Charlotte, NC Spectrum Center [Tickets]
April 22 Charlottesville, VA John Paul Jones Arena [Tickets]
April 24 Baltimore, MD Royal Farms Arena [Tickets]
April 25 Uniondale, NY Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum [Tickets]
April 28 Montreal, QC Bell Centre [Tickets]
April 29 Quebec City, QC Videotron Centre [Tickets]
May 1 Wilkes Barre, PA Mohegan Sun Arena [Tickets]
May 2 Buffalo, NY KeyBank Centre [Tickets]
May 4 Toledo, OH Huntington Center [Tickets]
May 5 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena [Tickets]

w/ The Acid Helps
May 29 Tacoma, WA Tacoma Dome [Tickets]
May 31 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena [Tickets]
June 2 Edmonton, AB Rogers Place [Tickets]
June 4 Winnipeg, MB Bell MTS Place [Tickets]
June 6 Minneapolis, MN Target Center [Tickets]
June 7 Sioux Falls, SD Denny Sanford Premier Center [Tickets]
June 9 Madison, WI Kohl Center [Tickets]
June 10 Moline, IL TaxSlayer Center [Tickets]
June 12 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Festival [Tickets]
June 13 St. Louis, MO Enterprise Center [Tickets]
June 16 Wichita, KS INTRUST Bank Arena [Tickets]
June 17 Oklahoma City, OK Chesapeake Energy Center [Tickets]
June 19 Colorado Springs, CO Broadmoor World Arena [Tickets]
June 22 Sacramento, CA Golden 1 Center [Tickets]
June 23 San Francisco, CA Chase Center [Tickets]

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