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ToolLanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany
18th June 2024
Tool - “In concert MMXXIV” European Tour - Special guest: Night Verses

Progressive Metal gods TOOL listened to their fans, and after headlining major festivals in North America, announced a few gigs, which will take them to arenas all over Europe. So, the band around master mind Maynard James Keenan has apparently decided not to disappear into oblivion, as they did for 13 years after publishing ‘10,000 Days’, which again is good news for the fans.

Night Verses

The task of opening up the evening fell to NIGHT VERSES, a Progressive Metal band from Los Angeles, California. The band was formed back in 2012 and is on its fourth release ‘Every Sound has a Color in the Valley of Night’ from August 2023.

Music & Performance
Arriving early paid off that night, as NIGHT VERSION proved to be an excellent choice for an opener. With a main act like TOOL, it was clear that the opening spot could not be filled with any run-of-the-mill Rock band. Instead, three incredibly talented musicians performed a purely instrumental (aside from the occasional spoken word sample) spectacle, which took its audience for a kinetic ride from spherical ambient sounds to brutal Metal riffing and double-bass kicks, and everything in between. Especially the drummer gave on an extremely hyped impression, as he stood up and jumped from his drum chair, while continuing to drum and operate all kinds of electronics. This energy, coupled with the tightness in the band’s sound made NIGHT VERSES’ live performance was quite captivating.

Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10


The band goes way back to 1990, and so far, they have released five studio albums. The last ‘Fear Inoculum’ has put the band back on the map after a long hiatus, and reportedly there is new material in the works. Anybody who saw the band in the past understands that TOOL’s live performance is more like an out-of-body experience, so tickets sold fast, and swaths of fans braved the heavy rainfalls and flocked to the Lanxess Arena in Cologne. Once they gathered inside the huge arena, they were informed by thousands of leaflets and relentless audio announcements that there would be a strict “No Camera”-policy in effect, threatening violators with immediate eviction from the venue. This, plus the fact that the inner area of the Lanxess Arena was filled with chairs, lent an extraordinary aura to the evening.

Music & Performance
The TOOL performance was very high on the bucket list for the Prog Rock faction, as the number of approx. 16,000 fans showed. Who would have thought that the TOOL army would have grown so large during these times of neglect? Initially, the stage set-up did not look spectacular. That changed when the band took the stage at 8:20 pm sharp. The musicians took their places in the familiar half circle, with singer Maynard James Kennan in his Cyberpunk-look taking his place next to drummer Danny Carey on a large podium towards the back of the stage. With the opener ‘Jambi’, also the visual part of the stage came to life with an enormous impact. The band’s giant Septagon symbol appeared from the ceiling, the giant visual screens taking up the back of the stage and on the band members’ podiums, started to display a mesmerizing array of projections.

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Last night's TOOL concert in Cologne wasn’t just a show, it was an experience. Phones were a forbidden fruit - security enforced the no-phone policy with an intimidating edge, sometimes using powerful flashlights to identify the perpetrators. Maynard James Keenan, the band’s enigmatic frontman, addressed the crowd with a mischievous glint in his eye: “Hello Cologne”, as the initial crowd response was not sufficiently loud enough, he threatened: “If you don't respond well enough, then I will start calling you Berlin”, which earned him loud boos from the crowd. He then smirkingly declared: “See? You don’t want that” eliciting a playful groan from the audience. The message was clear - TOOL wanted our full, undistracted attention. And they deserved it. The set was a mesmerizing journey, fuelled by TOOL’s signature brand of Progressive Metal. The stage was a canvas for a captivating visual spectacle. Organic horror projections morphed into what could only be described as Dall-e on a truly bad acid trip - a fitting accompaniment to the band’s complex and often unsettling soundscapes. Lasers sliced through the air, bathing the venue in a sea of vibrant light filled with artificial fog.

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The band themselves were a powerhouse. Each member delivered a flawless performance, with Danny Carey’s drumming a thunderous heartbeat beneath Adam Jones’ intricate guitar work. Justin Chancellor’s bass lines pulsed through the room, while Maynard’s vocals soared and snarled, adding another layer of depth to the music. After a brief intermission at 9:50 pm, the band returned for a final batch of songs. For the very last song, ‘Stinkfist’, the phone ban was lifted. “For this last song you may now take out your stupid phones and film it”, Maynard quipped, before launching into a powerful conclusion. The crowd erupted, finally capturing the magic on camera, albeit with a strict “no flash, no light” policy. The concert ended at 10:45 pm, leaving the audience buzzing with an afterglow of intense emotions. TOOL didn’t just play a show - they offered a complete sensory immersion, a journey into the darkest corners of the human psyche illuminated by brilliant visuals and bone-crushing music. It was a night that will stay with Cologne for a long time to come.

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01. Jambi
02. Fear Inoculum
03. Rosetta Stoned (With Lost Keys intro)
04. Pneuma
05. Intolerance
06. Descending
07. Schism
08. The Grudge
09. Chocolate Chip Trip
10. Flood
11. Invincible
12. Stinkfist

Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 9
Light: 10
Total: 9 / 10

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All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /

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