I love all things Mike Patton and have seen many of his performances but I finally got to see Faith No More the other night resulting in long lasting goosebumps. I was also fortunate enough to witness the magic with great company including my writer friend Greg Klein. I went to this show as a fan but was hoping to pitch a review to one of the magazines I shoot for but I have yet to hear back from them and I just can’t wait any longer to share my photos, Greg’s review, and our excitement.
Faith No More
Austin Music Hall
July 26, 2015
Opener: Napalm Death
Faith No More has always been a hard band to pin down. Maybe it’s their frontman Mike Patton, who seems to have his fingers in five musical pies at any time. Maybe it’s their complex sounds: mixing funky bass chords with heavy metal progressions, only to follow these songs up with a lounge ballad. Or maybe it’s a band dressed in white linen on a stage full of floral arrangements, playing for a sold-out music hall full of sweaty rockers dressed in black.
Or maybe it’s all of these. Regardless, Faith No More took the stage Sunday night for the first time in Austin in almost twenty years, supporting Sol Invictus, their first album since 1997, and delivered an electric night of music. Before they played, though, British grindcore metal band Napalm Death warmed up a crowd already cooking in its own juices from the oppressive July heat. They certainly had their fans, and played a solid 45 minutes before the roadies began to set up the numerous flowers around the stage in preparation for the headliners.
Opening with “Motherfucker,” their first single from the new album, both the band and the crowd were ready to go out of the gates. FNM played a healthy spattering of their catalogue, drawing most heavily from Angel Dust. This didn’t feel like a band in support of a new album, and while the new songs all translated well to the stage, odds were this was most people’s first chance to see Patton and company live, and they played to the fervent crowd’s energy. The highlight of the night was “Midlife Crisis.” After letting the audience sing the second chorus, the band then broke into an interlude, playing the song to the tune of Boz Scagg’s “Lowdown.” FNM was raucous with “Be Aggressive” and “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies,” slowed it down with “Evidence,” and of course played their biggest single, “Epic.”
After “We Care A Lot,” they closed the night, and second encore, with Burt Bacharach’s “This Guy’s in Love with You,” precluded by Patton warning the crowd, “Remember, you asked for this.” As the room full of rockers sang along to a 48-year-old pop song, it seemed a fitting end to a dynamic night of music. Faith No More showed Texas they hadn’t lost a step during their 20-year absence. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait as long for their return.
“The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”
“Easy” (Commodores cover)
“King for a Day”
“Ashes to Ashes”
“We Care A Lot”
“This Guy’s in Love with You” (Burt Bacharach cover)