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Junior, Breck and Co. talk about the stage setup for Tool’s 2016 tour

I came across this fantastic article on PLSN yesterday, in which Mark ”Junior” Jacobson (lighting designer & director) and Breckinridge ”Breck” Haggerty (video designer & director) talk about the stage setup for Tool’s recent 2016 winter tour:

Mark ”Junior” Jacobson
Lighting Designer & Director

“The band hadn’t played live since Spring 2014, and they were offered a festival date in Tempe for Halloween 2015. We found out about it in July 2015, and thought with three months notice, this would be a good time to put together a new show from scratch. It also gave me a chance to finally move Tool off of grandMA1 and into the grandMA2 world.
“In the past, we had always taken our arena design and tried to fit as much of it into a festival stage as we could. There always seemed to be mixed results. This time, we thought we would make a new design that is based on the space you have in a festival stage and geared to work well within those limitations, and maybe even exploit them. This would become our ‘Festival’ rig and we would use it any time they played festivals in the near future. The thinking was that when they do finish the next album we will make a new ‘Arena’ show from scratch, and then we would have two application-specific shows to choose from, depending on the type of show and venue.
“The band enjoyed playing that Halloween festival with their old friends, Primus, and decided to put together a January arena tour with them. We are not quite ready to put together a new ‘Arena’ show, we didn’t want to regress to the old show, and the set list from Halloween is similar to what they planned to play on this tour, so we decided to modify the ‘Festival’ rig to work for this tour. It seems like it goes against our ‘separate rigs’ plan a bit, but we didn’t have to modify it too much to make it work. Mostly sight-line issues you wouldn’t have on a festival stage, since the band is in a box there. We had to move some side lighting trusses up to accommodate the potential 270-degree seating. That was about it for lighting. Video made a few changes, as well.”

It’s a great article, and worth the read. It also features many great photos taken by Steve Jennings.

Tool 2016 tour photo by Steve Jennings

Alternative Nation and Junior reckon the tour is set

An article on Alternative Nation, as well as a comment Junior made on Fourtheye suggest that the 2016 Tool tour is pretty much set and that there won’t be many, if any, more dates to be added. This is despite rumours (and that’s all they were) that Failure were to join Tool on a second half of the run across the USA. Looks like those of you in the northern half will be missing out once more!

From Alternative Nation:

In a direct quote from our source, “This is it, these tour dates are what we have and as of this moment there isn’t any new plans to release more tour dates.”

From Junior:

I would lean more towards the first announcement containing “half the total shows” than there being a “second half”.
ie: some of the empty dates will fill in, rather than there being a longer tour. I think it will end at January’s end.

Also, the announced lineup (with Primus and 3teeth) is likely the only lineup you will see on this round.

The good news is that Alternative Nation have listed that New Orleans show, show there seems to be some weight behind that one being added to the tour (albeit on a different date to what Ticketmaster leaked).

2016 Tool Tour Dates

January 9 San Diego—Viejas Arena
January 10 San Diego, CA—Viejas Arena
January 13 San Antonio, TX—AT&T Center
January 16 Tulsa, OK—BOK Center
January 17 Grand Prairie, TX—Verizon Theatre
January 19 Southaven, MS—Landers Center
January 23 Nashville, TN—Bridgestone Arena
January 25 Atlanta, GA—Infinite Energy Center
January 26 Charlotte, NC—Bojangles Coliseum
January 30 New Orleans, LA—Smoothie King Center

Negative Tool Fans, the pattern is full!

Tool May 2015 Newsletter

Blair has posted the May 2015 Tool Newsletter for your reading pleasure. It’s one that is unlikely to win many fans amongst Blair’s critics, however may drop a few cryptic hints as to what Tool are up to these days. The most interesting part I got from it was:

How about the rumors of the band playing some festival date, where they can finally unveil Junior’s drone-suspended lightning configuration? No… what if the show never happens, or happens so far in the future that many Tool fans – believing this to be the most important event to ever occur on our aqueous gem in the cosmos – will incessantly question whether or not it is really going to take place, with some even driven to a premature madness by the very thought of it… But what about my commenting on the reaction of those fortunate souls that heard a (very loud) sampling of some new Tool material during the after party of Rynne and Danny’s baby shower the other night? Certainly not, much better to wait until the vocals are added. Maybe… just maybe, I could update people on the so-called “curve ball” now that it has finally left the pitcher’s grasp, and is – as seen by our slow-mo camera – heading towards the awaiting batter. No way, Jose, that’s old news!

It suggests to me a couple of things:

  • That Tool are looking at playing in the festival season, presumably in 2016. This would suggest they expect the album to be done by then
  • Danny & Rynne’s baby is due very soon, and that the new Tool material is getting closer
  • The curveball should finally be revealed, presumably in the next month or so

There are also further parts of the newsletter that make me wonder if the curveball is a movie. I’ve always maintained that I think the “curveball” is some form of movie, possible integrated with live performances. We’ll see I guess!

Junior and Breck discuss Tour 2014 Lighting and Video production

In a recent article on PLSN (Projection, Lights and Staging New) Tool crew members Breckinridge Haggerty (Video Designer & Director) and Mark “Junior” Jacobson (Lighting Designer & Director) discuss their jobs and the tweaks to the recent Tool tour set:

The band members have been fairly good about giving us a potential pool of songs for each tour leg. The songs we know will be there almost every night get the most cued-out attention; we are always adding and changing things as the tour progresses. Having several independently operated departments (lights, video, lasers, and motion) gives us some flexibility to add and subtract elements, but also requires communication…The different departments don’t communicate as much as we probably should, though we do get together on most of the overall objectives. There are checks and balances, I suppose. Many of the songs have a color set that I can be a bit stubborn about, especially the older ones, so Breck will tailor the video to try to match it. If he has clips that he feels strongly about, I will also try to meet him on that.

There’s also a great slideshow from Stephen Jennings:


Find more photos like this on ProLightingSpace

Stuff that happened while I was away

As usual, I go away for a few days and a bunch of interesting things happen. Here’s an overview of some largely non-Tool news that’s happened over the weekend:

Firstly Blair posted the latest Tool Newsletter, which features a great interview with Tool lighting dude Junior. He answers a range of questions regarding his work with Tool (and other bands) and even name drops Adelaide as one of his favourite places! Luckily for both Junior and the rest of us from Adelaide, he should be here in March with A Perfect Circle…

Speaking of A Perfect Circle, I reported the other day that they were likely to play on the South American Lollapalooza – that was confirmed over the weekend, and they’ll also be joined by Puscifer, Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone Age and a bunch of other excellent bands.

In other news that excites me, Tool touring buddies Yob will be playing the Doomnations festival in Melbourne. Word is that it may be their only show, but personally I find that hard to believe, and I hope for more dates personally, preferably in Adelaide!

Mastodon & Meshuggah join Soundwave 2012

Tool touring buddies Mastodon and Meshuggah have both been confirmed as part of the 2012 Soundwave Festival down here in Australia.  The festival, which also includes headline acts System of a Down (which may well feature our buddy Junior on lights) and Slipknot, tours around Australia in February and March.  Here’s the dates:

  • Saturday 25 RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane
  • SUNDAY 26 SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK
  • FRIDAY 2 MELBOURNE SHOWGROUNDS
  • SATURDAY 3 ADELAIDE BONYTHON PARK
  • MONDAY 5 PERTH CLAREMONT SHOWGROUNDS

Tickets go on sale on the 20th of October.  The full lineup for the event is:

SYSTEM OF A DOWN
SLIPKNOT
LIMP BIZKIT * MARILYN MANSON
HOLE * A DAY TO REMEMBER * MACHINE HEAD
LAMB OF GOD * TRIVIUM * ALTER BRIDGE
LOSTPROPHETS * ANGELS & AIRWAVES * COBRA STARSHIP
THE USED * YOU ME AT SIX * DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT
UNWRITTEN LAW * COAL CHAMBER * DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL
THURSDAY * FOREVER THE SICKEST KIDS * RAISED FIST
DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN * ZAKK WYLDE’S BLACK LABEL SOCIETY
MASTODON * UNDEROATH * SAVES THE DAY * CIRCA SURVIVE
STEEL PANTHER * JACK’S MANNEQUIN * MESHUGGAH * ZEBRAHEAD
THE SISTERS OF MERCY * ENTER SHIKARI * FOUR YEAR STRONG
BLACK VEIL BRIDES * MADINA LAKE * HATEBREED * BIOHAZARD
TIMES OF GRACE * CKY * STREET DOGS * DRAGONFORCE
GOJIRA * KVELERTAK * LETLIVE * HELLYEAH * CRO-MAGS
THE CAB * RELIENT K * VERSA EMERGE * HEROES FOR HIRE
KILL HANNAH * CHIMAIRA * THE DANGEROUS SUMMER
FRAMING HANLEY * WATAIN * ROYAL REPUBLIC
I AM THE AVALANCHE * TURISAS
RIVER CITY EXTENSION

Personally while not many of the big names interest me, I’m keen on seeing Meshuggah (we may well be the first to hear tracks off their new album), Mastodon, System of a Down, Machine Head, Dillinger Escape Plan, Steel Panther, Hatebreed, Biohazard, Gojira, Kvelertak and Hellyeah.

Happy Birthday Junior!

Happy Birthday to Tool Lighting Director Junior!  Looking forward to seeing what new lighting tricks you can show us all in 2012!  To celebrate here’s some of his finest work:

Aenima 2010

Monday will be a good day….

…to be an A Perfect Circle fan according to Billy’s Myspace page.  Combined with a Facebook update of “Stay Tuned” we can only guess that tour dates will be announced then.  Or perhaps just some more information regarding their plans.

In other social media related news, Junior posted on Facebook just a little while ago that he’ll be working with Devo the next couple of months.  Possibly importantly for us Aussie fans he mentioned that he’ll be “Done before January. :)”.  I’m pretty much 100% convinced now that Tool will be Big Day Outing.

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