Three hard rockers from Tool tantalize with (very pricey) music clinic at Agora

Well, you don’t see this one every day.

My eyes lit up yesterday when into my email inbox arrived a message from the folks at Agora Cleveland related to the band Tool.

Wait, wait, wait.

Tool — a hard-rocking, musically and lyrically brilliant and altogether enigmatic band couldn’t possibly be announcing they would play a show at the relatively intimate Agora theater, could they?

After all, this is a band that can pack at least smaller arenas, such as the Wolstein Center in Cleveland and the Huntington Center in Toledo, two places where I’ve seen them perform.

Could one of my favorite bands — the heaviest band that I’m passionate about — actually be playing the Agora???

Uh, no.

The announcement was, instead, for a series of events billed as the “Tool Music Clinic” — a “rare immersive dissection” of the band’s music with their amazing drummer, Danny Carey; their unforgettable guitarist, Adam Jones; and, last but not least, brilliant bassist Justin Chancellor.

Well, you may have noticed one name is missing, that of fascinating frontman Maynard James Keenan, who very obviously isn’t taking part.

Still, this event — promising “a rare glimpse behind the scenes,” according to a news release for the short series of clinics slated to conclude with the Agora gig — sounds really cool. From the release:

The discussions include drummer Danny Carey, bass player Justin Chancellor and guitar player Adam Jones walking attendees through a handful of the band’s songs, from the process of writing them to playing them live. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions via an open discussion, as well as mingle with the band following the session.

Ticket holders will receive commemorative merchandise, exclusive to the series of events and limited to the number of people in attendance. An accompanying, traveling exhibit will be on display at each event, featuring unique items from Tool’s history.

Sounds really cool for a fan interested in what the release calls “the inner workings of one of rock music’s most mysterious bands,” a description of the group with which I agree.

You know what doesn’t sound so great? A fact not paraded in the release but apparent when you go to the page to buy tickets, which you can do starting April 12: Going to this event will set you back a cool $500.


OK, as much as I’d love to experience this, that most certainly is not in the budget.

If you have that kind of disposable income, however, this sounds like a pretty cool way to get a taste of Tool as we continue to wait — dying a little bit more with each passing day — for a follow-up to Tool’s last album, 2006’s “10,000 Days.” Every so often we get dribs and drabs of information promising that, oh yes, more music eventually will arrive — like this story — but we still have nada.

And, sure, I’m excited that we soon will get a new album from one of the other Keenan-fronted groups, A Perfect Circle — “Eat the Elephant” is set for release on April 20 — but nothing else compares to Tool.

I’ll leave you with this, my favorite fan-made video exploring the band’s epic song “Lateralus,” one of my favorite songs and, in my opinion, the band’s best:

Stream of the week: On April 13, we were treated to pair of albums paying tribute one of the best pop songwriting duos of all time, Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Both “Revamp” — featuring interpretations of some of John’s most-loved songs by pop and rock acts — and “Restoration” — its country-artists counterpart — bare the subtitle “Reimagining the Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin.” More of a pop-rock fan myself, I’ve been drawn to the former, and, as a fairly big fan of Florence + The Machine, I most enjoy their largely faithful take on “Tiny Dancer.” However, a review from Variety favors the country album.

Mark Meszoros hopes — but is not optimistic — the guys from Tool will allow media coverage of their music clinics. Follow him on Twitter @MarkMeszoros. Credit for photo of Tool performing: The Associated Press.

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