Tool has been in the music game for quite some time, and while they are now modern prog-rock royalty, they too came from humble origins. A recently discovered live video of the band performing in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA from October of 1991 is likely the oldest known footage of the band. A much-younger Maynard James Keenan leads the group as they opened for a group called Too Free Stooges at the now-defunct Club With No Name. In the video, Keenan is every bit the enigmatic frontman that made him one of rock’s most recognizable names, alternately chanting, screeching and crooning into the microphone and sporting an impressive mohawk/mullet hair-do.
Just a few months after this concert, the band released their debut EP Opiate and a year later broke into the alternative metal scene with their debut LP Undertow.
Appearing a bit like Gollum on a speed binge, Maynard first guides the band through a rendition of “Hush” from Opiate. Later, the band performs one of their earliest hits, the unforgettable “Sober.” Despite being performed in 1991 and actually written by Keenan in the late 80s, it was not officially released until 1993 on Undertow.
Next in the video series is a performance of “Part of Me,” also from Opiate and the band’s demo tape 72826.
The penultimate track and shortest video is for “Sweat,” the opening cut from Opiate.
The final song in the video series is “Cold and Ugly.” This song was included on Opiate as a live version and was in fact recorded just a few weeks later in Hollywood by Tool in December of 1991.