No matter what you think politically, the fact remains that talk about drag shows and how many conservative state legislatures have moved to ban them has been on the rise over the last year. Politicians say that the potentially lewd acts during a drag show are inappropriate for minors. Mind you, I don't know how many unsupervised minors are stumbling accidentally into drag shows but I digress.
One artist that isn't digressing, however, is Tool's Maynard James Keenan. Over the weekend at the Welcome to Rockville festival at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, Keenan took the stage in drag wearing lipstick, a blonde wing, and fake breasts. It was clearly an intentional act to protest Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' recent legislative acts to shut down drag shows across the state, at least those that aren't only 18 years and older.
The Welcome to Rockville festival has no age limit, however. Therefore, technically, Keenan could be viewed as breaking Florida law. He wasn't arrested, however, as he wasn't doing anything else but being in drag by himself. Still, it's nice to see rock and roll has lost all semblance of "fighting the man."
Maynard James Keenan of Tool dresses in drag in protest of Florida legislation
Again, you might disagree with Keenan's stance on a protest against drag shows, and you have that right. The point is that music is an art form and when people use it that way to express themselves it's refreshing. Too often we get canned songs and albums that record companies put out simply to make money. Music isn't only about making money, though.
It's also refreshing to see an artist as original as Keenan not just behind a mixing board (or in Keenan's case, a wine cellar) and make records. Artists have a microphone and access to an audience and it is their right to voice their opinions. Especially with bands like Tool, their fans anticipate opinions being expressed, whether they agree with them or not.