My Experience: (Trying) to get a Tool poster

by Casey Ashlock

022822B-1024x536 My Experience: (Trying) to get a Tool posterWhen the enigmatic metal band Tool released their latest studio effort Fear Inoculum on August 30th, 2019 I was very excited. Fear Inoculum was the band’s fifth studio album and marked the end of a 13-year wait for fans. The band toured briefly in the fall of 2019 before ultimately being forced to cancel the entire tour in March of 2020 amid the nationwide lockdowns thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A long 2 years later, I finally had a chance to witness the arena rock spectacle that is Tool. And at least try to snag an elusive Tool concert poster. ToolVegas-1-236x300 My Experience: (Trying) to get a Tool poster

Tool Army.

Tool fans are known for their fierce loyalty to the band, a loyalty that was only strengthened by the pandemic; they are ready and willing to pay. On January 10th, 2022 the band finally kicked off the tour that was delayed by almost two years.

The fans grew rabid, snatching up VIP concert tickets with Tool Army memberships (Tool’s official pay-to-play fan club) ticket prices soared.

Each concert an event-specific, limited edition poster would be released. Tool Army members lined up early with cash in hand.

Concert Eve.

ToolTacoma-300x225 My Experience: (Trying) to get a Tool posterI was able to score a ticket to see Tool on February 19th, 2022 at the TD Garden in Boston. After jumping through the hoops in the digital-only ticketing process, I began outlining my plan of attack to land a poster.

Like a general before battle, I researched the venue, public transit maps, and message boards gathering intelligence. Reports filtered back from the front lines of rabid collectors storming the venue gates and snatching up merch at fever pitch.

eBay searches returned results of posters selling for double, triple, and sometimes quadruple the original retail price. I would need an efficient plan of attack if I wanted to succeed.

Go time.

IMG_4703-225x300 My Experience: (Trying) to get a Tool posterThe day of the show, I put my half-baked plan into action. In the back of my mind, I had a lingering doubt my efforts would be successful. But I knew I wanted to at least try. Around 12pm, I began my journey into Boston. At first by car, by subway train, then by bus, and ultimately on foot. I arrived outside the TD Garden and saw a line forming just after the statue legendary Boston Bruin Bobby Orr.

Fans gathered in the cold, some standing in groups, some sitting in camping chairs. Once I saw the cardboard poster tubes, I knew was I was in the right place. For the record, I was maybe 20th in line by 3pm, a full 3.5 hours before doors opened at 6:30pm.

The temperature that afternoon was in the 20s with gusty winds howling down Causeway Street. My hands were so cold I could barely operate my phone to send updates. Fortunately, I made a friend in line who was kind enough to share some whiskey to help fend off the cold. During a demoralizing snow squall, we began to question our cognitive ability and decision making. Then, the line cutters started showing up, sneaking ahead and paying off their placeholders in cash. A decidedly wretched behavior that is too often commonplace. ToolGrey-227x300 My Experience: (Trying) to get a Tool poster

Once inside

At 6pm we were allowed to line up inside just before the metal detectors. I found myself corralled amongst a crowd of fans seemingly more interested in the merch than the concert. Conversations buzzing in every direction. Venue employees were trying in vain to explain entry procedures to the growingly impatient masses.

I had my digital ticket open and ready. 6:30 sharp, the flood gates opened and the crowd rushed the ushers. After a clumsy ticket check, I was granted admission. The crowd rushed upstairs towards the first merch booth they could find. I found myself in yet another line, but I could see the finish line.

A stack of gleaming foil prints by an artist Farronloathing. I was 30 people or so back and grew nervous when I saw people buying more than one copy. 5 minutes later my fears were realized when the merch booth attendant announced to the crowd “NO MORE POSTERS!” My stomach dropped through the floor and landed somewhere in the basement of the TD Garden. I struck out. toolboston-225x300 My Experience: (Trying) to get a Tool poster

Foil linings.

I walked away empty-handed, still half-reeling. Fortunately, at the end of the merch line, there was still a Tool concert. Once I realized this, the disappointment and pressure I had imposed on myself began to subside. I felt a warm sense of relief wash over me. I met up with my group and settled in for an incredible show.

Hearing the churning guitar and intricate, pounding drums live and in person for the first time is something I won’t soon forget. I was reminded that the music and the memories are what matters most.

Have you checked out our Concert Poster Price Guide?

000080221A_Posters-Footer My Experience: (Trying) to get a Tool poster*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not reflect investment advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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Eric Trojan March 8, 2022 - 4:59 pm

Still looking for a Boston poster?

Phil Murphy March 15, 2022 - 2:08 pm

Sadly they get scooped up so quickly because of the secondary market. Someone 30 people deep in a merch line should absolutely get a poster. I didn’t even try this Tool tour and am an avid poster collector generally.

Dustin March 23, 2022 - 2:21 am

I was there too I wanted a signed poster. I was the first 30 in line and still didn’t get one. But I did get a unsigned so it wasn’t a total loss I guess. That was a great show.

Dustin April 24, 2022 - 3:15 am

I have a extra Boston poster I was trying to trade and I was right behind you in line I was standing by the street freezing hit me up

Jibsteezy July 4, 2022 - 3:02 am

Yep and a few lifelong fans like myself, will never afford the aftermarket prices for these posters. Same with some of the shirts as well. I only wish I was made of the same money some of these so called “merch fans” are. At least I got the music tho🙏


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