Having sworn an oath with Franky many years ago that should Tool tour England at some point in the future we would go, when the opportunity arose, we were obliged to go and see them. And so we did, with Franky’s better half Oum caming along too.
The journey there was pretty straightforward, with us meeting in Charing Cross, and getting the underground to Wembley Park. On the way there, we had to change at Baker Street (I know you were wondering how on earth we managed to go direct from Charing Cross to Wembley, and now you know we didn’t!). The tube was packed, and we struck lucky, with the platform we needed to get off onto being on the right side for the door we were crushed against by the hundreds (literally!) of commuters and other random people who had the nerve to travel at the same time as us!
Upon arriving at Wembley Park, we wandered out of the station, and marvelled at the scale of the still incomplete Wembley Stadium. When it is finished, it will be truly amazing, but who knows when that will be eh? Wembley Arena is right next to Wembley stadium (unsurprisingly), and it really wasn’t difficult to find, though had it not been visible from a distance, all we would have needed to do would be either (a) follow the crowds of people in Tool t-shirts, or (b), face in the opposite direct to the touts and keep walking.
Half way to the Arena, we were stopped by a concerned looking man who seemed to think we were too sober. He claimed to be from the Alcohol Patrol, though it turned out he was simply collecting cash to feed the homeless, and was selling amusing stickers for £1 each. I decided to buy one simply because he, or someone else working for the charity, had gone to the effort of writing an amusing spiel for the charity people to use. I bought one bearing the legend "DON’T BE A DICK" (I think it had something to do with safe sex, but who really cares what it’s about when it’s as funny as that? However, remember kids, always use a condom like your Uncle Phil does; kids cost more than condoms).
Having purchased our humourous stickers, we walked on to the venue. On the way in everyone, and I mean everyone was searched. It took absolutely ages. We wandered in and looked at the merchandise stall (Tool t-shirts £25+, Tool panties £15! Bargain!), decided against it (though Franky went back later to buy a t-shirt) and went to find our seats. As it turned out, we were right on the back row, but level with the front of the stage, so we still had a good view.
The gig itself was brilliant; the perfect setlist, and a great view. They played for the best part of two hours, and the spectacle provided was fantastic. There was a fantastic laser show which came on during "Wings for Marie" and "10,000 Days". These reappeared in later songs, but their impact was greatest when they first came on unexpectedly. (Check out my blog photos section for evidence of the lasers’ greatness). I’m not sure about Maynard’s choice of fluorescent orange jacket though…
Another thing great about the gig was that it ended in time for me to get the train home so that I was in bed by about 1.30am. However, the journey on the underground was not without hitch. Having got on a Metropolitan line train from Wembley Park, all I needed to do was sit on it until it reached Liverpool Street, and then get off. However, thanks to whoever organises these things, they decided to terminate the train one stop short of Liverpool Street. There aren’t adjectives big enough for the irritation I felt towards these people. I therefore had a momentary panic, got off at Moorgate (as everyone else had to), and get a different train to go that one stop more to get me to Liverpool Street. However, there was a train waiting, I hopped on it, hopped off it again at Colchester and got a taxi home.