There are few fanbases more passionate or willing to defend their chosen band than Tool’s, but it seems that a lot of their most hardcore hometown contingent have been left thoroughly disappointed by the band following their tour-closing show in San Bernadino, CA.
Having promised via social media ahead of the gig that the band had “a couple of things up its sleeves to share exclusively with its hometown crowd,” Tool went on to play… well, pretty much the exact same set they’ve been running through all year, leaving fans who were hoping for a glimpse of new material or, well, anything to wonder what the band were trying to pull.
With the next album’s release an open secret at this point (bassist Justin Chancellor has now said that the album everyone’s been waiting almost a decade for is now “90% complete”, in fact) it wasn’t unreasonable for fans to have gotten a little excited. But while their patience over the decade-long wait for the album has held strong, the set found some of them at the ends of their tethers.
“Okay, so what the fuck exactly were the ‘couple of things’ that Tool had ‘up its sleeves to share exclusively with its hometown crowd’ (per Tool’s website on 06.19.2017)?” one fan asked, kicking off a vicious Reddit thread among angry fans, Alternative Nation reports.
“Discuss,” the post continued. “And help me understand why this wasn’t blatantly deceptive advertising on the part of a band who repeatedly promises their fanbase that new material is coming ‘soon’.”
“Here are the official changes,” one fan said as they attempted to defend the set, listing some pretty mundane additions including the band having played both ‘Vicarious’ and ‘The Pot’ (rather than one or the other), a “jam” leading into the latter track, “Tool confetti” and a mysterious “special poster”.
“That can be considered special,” he continued. “I personally wouldn’t go that far, but hey this show was different.”
This wasn’t really cutting it for the hometown crowd, with more and more bitter fans jumping on the pile. “These guys give zero fan service,” one wrote, “which we let slide because we enjoy the music so much. But fuck this shit… In the future, don’t promise your fans ‘surprises’ if you’re not going to deliver!”
Another mega-fan told Reddit “this was my 24th Tool show, and I’m sorry to say it was the worst one I’ve seen,” before pointing out the wealth of material that could have been brought out to fill the promise of a surprise, claiming that ‘Prison Sex’ and ‘Crawl Away’ hadn’t been heard in 16 and 19 years respectively.
The lesson here, we suppose, is if you promise some of the most dedicated fans in the world something even a little bit special, you’d better deliver. Or, on the flip-side, never get your hopes up too high.
Plenty of other fans were perfectly happy with the set, it seems, and you can watch it in its entirety below.