Watch: Tool’s Stunning First Show After Ænima’s Release in 1996

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Tool’s landmark full length, Ænima, was released a whopping 26 years ago today. While Opiate and Undertow obviously ain’t too shabby, we think we can all agree that Ænima was the first creative output that elevated Tool to god-tier heavy music titans.

We fully celebrate their entire discography, but we had to take pause today to pay homage to the 26th birthday of this musical masterpiece. Perhaps aware that they had achieved heavy music nirvana, Tool considerably slowed down their creative output and timelines after the release.

In a recently published new interview with Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan, he went into detail about the band’s painstakingly slow creative approach and process:

“Again, it’s also logistics of timing. Like the guys in Tool, they just take longer to process information and get it together and then present me something that I can start building on. I’ve made the mistake in the past of trying to build on something that wasn’t ready yet, and then all the work I put into building on ‘the thing’, they changed the foundation.

I’m trying to decorate the house and then you move where the doors are and move the windows or add a floor. I got to start over as an interior decorator. So I have to wait for them to do it. So there’s time [for other musical projects]. I have time to do all these other things in between because I can and I should.” He continued:

“One could argue a little bit of discipline and a little prodding, a little cattle prod or a taser would help move those guys along a little faster, but that’s their process. You just kind of respect it. Um, you know it’s frustrating. I’m sure they’re frustrated with me because they hand it to me and I’m like it’s done, like you didn’t take any time with it? Yes, I took 50 years right for this reaction to these things. I’ve been preparing for decades to hear these things and be able to react honestly…”

Anyways, let’s all pour one on out today in honor of Tool’s magnum opus. While you do that, check out some incredible footage of the band’s first performance in the week’s following Ænima’s release in the fall of 1996:

Watch Tool Play Ænima Live in 1996:

Watch Tool’s First Full Concert After Ænima Was Released In Fall Of 1996: