Tool returns to San Diego for first time since pandemic, now with COVID-19-sniffing dogs

The band Tool is trying to minimize chances of COVID-19 infection on its just-launched 2022 tour.
Known for its intense performances, Tool is trying to minimize chances of COVID-19 infection for its band members and road crew on its just-launched 2022 concert tour. The tour is utilizing dogs specially trained to sniff people’s hands and feet to detect the virus.
(Travis Shinn)

Other notable San Diego concerts this week include Electric Ud Trio at Iranian-American Center and Cattle Decapitation at Brick By Brick


Tool, with Blonde Redhead

One of the last big indoor concerts I attended before the coronavirus shutdown of live events was by Tool on Jan. 10, 2020, at San Diego State University’s Viejas Arena.

It took place three days after the death of Rush drummer Neal Peart, who Tool saluted that night by performing Rush’s “A Passage to Bangkok” and “2112.”

Tool’s 2022 tour, which includes a sold-out Wednesday concert at Viejas Arena, opened on Monday.

The biggest change for this now-32-year-old band will be offstage. Like Metallica, Eric Church and the Black Keys, Tool is being accompanied by dogs specially trained to pinpoint traces of COVD-19 in members of the band’s road crew or anyone else with backstage access.

The dogs are provided by the Ohio-based Bio-Detection K9 company and have been trained to sniff people’s hands and feet to detect the virus.

It’s a sobering precaution that a growing number of other touring acts are now employing.

8 p.m. Wednesday. Viejas Arena, 5500 Canyon Crest Drive, SDSU. $129.50-$149.50. Check venue website for latest health protocols.

Electric Ud Trio

The rhythm section for San Diego’s Electric Ud Trio seems to change almost from gig to gig.

The constant is Farhad Bahrami, an accomplished and adventursome oud player who is also a World Music instructor at Grossmont College.

He specializes in expertly mixing Persian and Western music traditions to create an arresting old world/new world synthesis.

5 p.m. Sunday. Iranian-American Center, 6790 Top Gun St., No. 7, San Diego. $20 (general public), $15 (Persian Cultural Center members, $10 (students). Proof of COVID-19 vaccination status is required for all attendees.

Cattle Decapitation, with The Last Ten Seconds Of Life, Creeping Death, Extinction A.D. and Cave Bastard

It’s been 26 years since the San Diego grindcore and death metal band Cattle Decapitation was launched and three since its ninth and most recent album, “Death Atlas,” was released.

Some of the songs on 2019’s “Death Atlas” seemed to anticipate a worldwide pandemic, in particular “Time’s Cruel Curtain,” “The Great Dying,” “Bring Back the Plague” and “One Day Closer to the End of the World.”

Given such previous Cattle Decapitation songs as “Regret & The Grave,” “Everyone Deserves to Die” and “Do Not Resuscitate,” apocalyptic themes delivered with bloodcurdling ferocity are clearly this band’s calling card. The fact that lead vocalist Travis Ryan is a longtime vegetarian with a devotion to environmental causes adds arresting dimensions to his band’s music.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Brick By Brick, 1130 Buenos Ave., Bay Park. $25 advance, $28 day of show (must be 21 or older to attend). Proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of show is required.