Posted by Sid Smith on Dec 6, 2007 - This post is archived and may no longer be relevant

My thanks to Halbie for mailing in this review of TU supporting Tool last night at the Memorial Coliseum, Portland Oregon.

If not in fact, then in spirit, King Crimson played last night as the middle act to headliner, Tool, and opener, Trans Am.  Crimson came in the form of TU, the duo of Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelloto.  They blew me away and stole the crowd.  In addition to their own excellent material/improvs, TU's mini-set included a 21st-century (i.e., modern and fresh) version of 21st-Century Schiziod Man.  During the normal lyrical portions, they played intense, pre-recorded talking voices.  TU's version paid due respect to the original tune but was still original in its own right.  Also, the measured intensity of Fracture was dead on.  In short, these guys F-ing rock (or, rawk, as they say in my part).

Tool was also superb.  Their video and visual effects make their live show more of a broader artistic performance than merely a musical one.  Unfortunately, my seats in the arena (a 60s-era multi-purpose sports and arena rock hall) were in the middle of a seriously hollow, screechy echo zone.  I could barely here Maynard's voice, and when the music was loud (i.e., most of the show), it was impossible to make out melody or tune.  I know most of the songs, though, so was able to make the best of it.

Trey and Pat sat in with Tool for one song.  Maynard held up numbered cards to rate Pat and Danny Carey's drum duo during that portion of the show.  Maynard seemed disappointed when Pat and Trey left the stage, as if he wanted them to play more, and he jokingly asked, "Was it something I said?"

Maynard also praised "King Crimson" several times during the show, when thanking and acknowledging Trey and Pat.  His best line of the night, in connection with one of the King Crimson references, was, "we robbed those guys blind."   As in, we stole Crimson's best players.  Again, tongue in cheek, but, as I said, Pat and Trey were King Crimson -- or, at least, channeled the essence of Crimson for the night.  So, perhaps it wasn't theft after all.

Congrats to all on a great performance, crappy acoustics in my seats notwithstanding.