Fear Inoculum Tour 2022

Apr 6, 2022

3 min


Before joining University of Maryland, I was a part of a discord group for all the Fall’21 incoming students. I was hardly active on that server but managed to get in touch with a few people. One of them being Shiv, who’s now my close friend.

Now, this guy is also a music enthusiast and believes he has a supreme music taste just like me. So we started bonding over some good music and made plans of attending a lot of live gigs. Tool being one of them.

Now the thing with Tool is that they hardly go on tours and we were not even sure if we will get to attend one.

For me it was just another “Goa” plan.

But back in December (maybe even before that) 2021, Tool announced their North America Album Tour and we booked the tickets as soon as they went on sale.

For those of you who don’t know what Tool is - Tool is a band that released their latest album after a gap of more than 10 years and came up on music streaming platforms in 2019 only to beat Taylor Swift off the billboard charts. Taylor Swift fans were pissed.

Now, I started listening to Tool during my time in Manipal University and immediately got obsessed with the unusual vocals and sound. It was probably the first time I heard “tabla” in a progressive metal song and I just lost my mind. I remember listening to tool on those long ass train journeys while commuting between Delhi and Jaipur. Not just me, all of my friends were obsessed with that sound.

In my third year of college, we had an inter-branch instrumental band competition in which all of my band members (Casablanca) were in different teams. This event would usually get very competitive and people wouldn’t really share much information about their sets. On the day of the event, there was another team performing with Rishik (Casa’s drummer). They were performing some Periphery medley and then suddenly I heard a Tabla section which is from “Right in Two” by Tool. I looked at the stage and thought to myself - “You motherfucker never told us that you could play Tabla”

Immediately after the event, Casa decided to cover Right in Two and I was up all night trying to figure out the song on the guitar.

22nd February 2022, I went to Capitol One Arena in Washington D.C. with Shiv and Mukundhan. The arena was filled with different generations of people, starting from kids who were not even 10 years old to some 60+ year olds. Honestly, I had no expectations from the performance because it is such an unconventional band by nature and they don’t even have a lot of videos on youtube. I actually don’t want to share the details of the stage and what we expereinced because I don’t think I will be able to do any justice to it with my words. Moreover, we were not allowed to take any pictures or videos but I managed to click one.

All I will share is how Maynard was not under the spotlight and was on a riser beside the drum kit (which is unusual) Apparently Maynard has an eye issue which manifests itself in a sensitivity to bright lights and flashes. The only time Maynard interacted with the crowd was 60 minutes into the set where his exact words were - “How desperate are you guys to point your shitty little phone cameras towards us? Fuck Off” The best part was how they never announced their last song of the set and just left without saying goodbye. They never came back for encore.

Thank you for reading. Until next time. :)

© 2023 Mehul Gupta.