Artist: Faith No More
Venue: Webster Hall (New York, NY)
Opener: Les Butcherettes
Label: Ipecac Records
Before getting into this report I wanted to cite some recollections that I had about the band Faith No More in my own musically interested life. The first and probably most important recollection is that the very first time that I heard them was on one of those local radio programs that used to be a lot more prevalent back in the day. There was a show on the WNYE airwaves that was stationed down in Brooklyn Heights near where I was going to college and on the program “Metal In Your Face”, the show host “Rebel” used to play all kinds of awesome stuff that was often ahead of the conventional Heavy Rock and Metal listener’s normal channels. It was there that I got my first copy of “The Real Thing” based on a friendship I had built with the host and this was on cassette since CD’s were not really often stuff that was given away. These were also the days when vinyl still ruled the roost. I played this cassette to death and when the band announced a show at the once legendary L’Amour club I knew I had to get myself in there. I remember that a friend and I had just enough money for the ticket and car service or the ticket and some beers. We would opt for the ticket and a case of beers and a lengthy walk to the club. Needless to say we arrived feeling no pain but recalling a very excellent performance by a still new to our side of the ocean Faith No More whose album was still rather new as well. Good times.
Fast forwarding to many, many years later it was great to learn that new material was being recorded and that numerous gigs were on the schedule for them. Each of the shows was quickly selling out and the two at NYC’s Webster Hall sold out almost immediately. Fans that didn’t act quickly were going to be shut out or forced to deal with potentially scamming scalpers lurking outside. Opening the show would be a trio known as Le Butcherettes. They had just started by the time that I got inside the venue since the line was so super long and there was a bit of a queue ahead of me. That said I think I arrived in the middle of the first song and I had to say that I liked their delivery. Still since they were a new act to my ears, I had to look them up after the show and discovered that they are considered a Garage Punk act and the main person in the group is singer/guitarist Teri Gender Bender. They are also signed to the Ipecac Recordings label so I will do my best to poke around in their sound for readers at some point in the future. I love the classic Punk stuff for sure and cannot say that this sounded entirely like that but there were some clear connections that might interest you as well. Now it was time for the main event and which was the second night return to NYC for Faith No More. It was so exciting for me since it was my first chance to be on point as a professional for such a beloved band.
Going into this show I didn’t really know much about what they would be doing as far as a set list or what their stage setup would be like but one of the photographers that I knew said that they had flowers all around the stage and that this hampered the view in some sense. I didn’t think anything of it when we stood near the pit area but have to admit that an exasperated sigh escaped me when I saw roadie after roadie after roadie heading toward the Webster Hall stage with boxes of potted plants and flowers. As a short dude this really was going to be an issue but oh well, it was still going to be an exciting show. The band’s new album is entitled “Sol Invictus” (or Unconquered Sun in Latin) and would be officially released to the masses the week after these couple of NYC shows but that would not stop the group from opening up the night with “Motherfucker”. Now since I had not heard any advance copy of the new stuff nor seen the group in more than twenty years the entire night was going to be a treat for me. Folks around me who attended the previous evening said that the show should mirror the last night in some sense as the band touched upon just about every album that they had. That’s never a bad thing.
Visually the members of the band were all dressed in white and the stage was also draped in the same color including the amps. It felt as if we were watching the goings on in a padded room in some sense and based on how the audience was reacting to each and every song this was pretty close to the mark. They also sounded fantastic and that was something else considering that the official debut hit the streets something like thirty years before and while Patton is not one of those stratospheric Metal range types of vocal guys, he still has a great and powerful voice which only came off as stronger as each song played through. “Epic” was the first song that I watched everyone seem to lose it during and it’s one of my own favorites as well. There would be a LOT of singing along throughout the night but perhaps the loudest audience accompaniment would come with their rendition of the Commodores love song “Easy”. Yes there were even a few groups of couples dancing if I was not seeing things. During “We Care A Lot” the band was joined by Rapper Rahzel and that brought a little different life to the tune. He’s a beatboxer according to the folks who told me this and I would be lying if I said that I knew exactly who he was. Not too up on anything Rap in the PiercingMetal HQ but it did sound good on the stage. To bad there was no means to get professional photos of the guest star but I am sure several hundred fans got the whole thing on YouTube.com by the time this “hits the Internet stands”. Patton kept the banter on the light side but did show extreme appreciation for the fact that all had come out and sold out these shows. He seemed genuinely moved by this and who could blame him. We live in a world where people are just not getting out to as many shows as they used to for one reason or another. Clearly the Faith No More resurgence is not proving to be affected by this.
I would watch the rest of the show on the giant monitors in the balcony since it allowed me the easiest means to do so as opposed to navigating many of the giants in front of me. The crowd was also a bit on the wild side and drinking quite a bit based on the excitement so better to scoot around here and there to absorb the show from a few different spots before setting up camp like I did on the balcony. After “Superhero” the proper set list was done but they would deliver two encores with the closing one being “From Out Of Nowhere”, my very favorite from the FNM catalog and that was fine with me. I hope to get a copy of the new album soon to indulge you with my thoughts on it and if I am lucky and in town when it happens, plan on catching the band when they play Madison Square Garden. That should be intense and if you missed any of these shows you at least have the means to catch them in a supersized spot with no excuses this time. Hope to see you there and welcome back to FNM, thanks for a wonderful night of music. Keep it up; it’s a shot in the arm that has been long overdue.
Full Faith No More Photo Gallery: http://piercingmetal.com/faith-no-more-live-photos-webster-hall-5142015/
2. Be Aggressive
6. Sunny Side Up
7. Get Out
8. Midlife Crisis
9. Everything’s Ruined
10. The Gentle Art of Making Enemies
11. Easy ((Commodores cover)
12. We Care a Lot ((with Rahzel)
13. King for a Day
14. Ashes to Ashes
16. Matador – encore
17. From Out of Nowhere – encore