When you release albums as infrequently as Maynard James Keenan does with his two primary bands, other accomplishments are slow to follow. As such, it took the frontman 27 years since the start of Tool to finally headline the Hollywood Bowl, landing the coveted gig on Sunday night, even though it wasn’t Tool performing. A Perfect Circle, a side-project that began in 1999 and has turned into an institution of its own, became Keenan’s first appearance at the hallowed venue, but that didn’t mean Tool wasn’t on his mind, too.
“Maybe Hollywood doesn’t totally suck,” Keenan joked early in the set, calling it an “Irish compliment” before hoping that the “earthquake doesn’t happen tonight.” The reference was to a Tool song “Aenima”, on which Keenan sings unceremoniously about a natural disaster destroying Southern California.
It’s a complicated relationship between Keenan and the city in which Tool formed, and he was sure to have fun with it. At least one Tool member was spotted in the crowd, and Keenan even gave the band a shoutout, dedicating a mid-set rendition of “Thomas” for the band.
This was the last night of A Perfect Circle’s national tour, with Tool scheduled to begin a run in a few weeks that will include major appearances headlining festivals like Governors Ball in New York City and Boston Calling, while also visiting Southern California on June 24 at Glen Helen Amphitheater in San Bernardino. The switch over for Keenan would be so swift, you’d almost assume that either of the bands had new music to support.
But that’s not the case. It’s been more than 10 years since the last Tool album, 2006’s “10,000 Days,” and even longer since A Perfect Circle’s last offering, 2004’s anti-war cover song collection “Emotive.” Keenan called this tour a “getting to know each other again” run on Sunday night, and though the band did feature a pair of new songs in the set, “Hourglass” and the night-ending…