Tuesday, July 6, 2010


First off, I should mention that I took this photo from Roddy Bottum's blog. In his post about the show, Roddy said that the Brooklyn shows (Faith No More played Friday and Monday) was one of the highlights of his career.  Wow! I was lucky enough to be at the show last night, and it was indeed amazing.  I'm sure they did some shows that were as good, or better, back in the day, but maybe it's just that Roddy was able to enjoy this one more.

Faith No More had such a weird history.  They were sort of a cult thing with former frontman Chuck Mosley, but when Mike Patton joined, they exploded. Their first album with Patton, 1989's The Real Thing, sort of accidentally invented rap-metal.  They were doing the rap-metal thing with Mosley, but it got much more popular with Patton, which is ironic, as Patton seems to disdain anything popular. With their next album, 1992's Angel Dust (my favorite FNM album by far), they left rap behind and got more experimental, and continued on that path for their next two albums, King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime and their swan song, Album Of The Year. But they would only get less and less popular and that was probably a bummer to them. I remember one of the last times I saw them they did a Halloween gig at Irving Plaza for a radio station, and Monster Magnet were on the bill.  Great show, but it didn't even sell out! After that, I remember not being able to get tickets to what turned out to be their last NYC show at Roseland. It was sold out, but I think that was because of the opening act.  Believe it or not, that was limp bizkit. I remember being bummed out that I couldn't get a ticket, and even more bummed that limp bizkit was what people were getting excited about.

Cut to last night.  I was wondering if Patton was going to be into it. He has been ambivalent on the topic of Faith No More reuniting over the years (and has occupied himself with lots of other projects like Fantomas, Tomahawk, Peeping Tom, solo projects and collaborations). From the second song of the show, it was clear that he was way into it.  The first song was FNM's cover of "Theme From 'Midnight Cowboy," but then they played "The Real Thing," and Patton just went off. And from there it was on.  There was a lot of the easy listening music that FNM love, or love making fun of, like their classic covers of Lionel Richie's "Easy," The Bee Gees' "I Started A Joke" and their own "Just A Man." But they also roared through "Last Cup Of Sorrow," "Be Aggressive," "Midlife Crisis" and especially "Land Of Sunshine." The show had everything that was great about the band.  Lots of aggression, but also the soft rock stuff, and Patton's cutting and cynical sense of humor. Sometimes I hear about people feeling ripped off by reunions because the artists are just there to get paid, and I was worried about that with this particular one, but in fact, the band were awesome. Mike Patton gets a lot of attention, but the band's secret weapon is the unrelenting super powerful drumming of Mike "Puffy" Bordin. I've seen him in Ozzy Osbourne's band (and even in a 75% reunion of Black Sabbath) and I'll say he's one of the best drummers of the past 20 years.

I don't know why they are only doing a handful of U.S. dates - but I hope they come to the area again, I would definitely want to see this tour a second time (and my wife missed it, much to her chagrin).

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