Faith No More | Alsterdorfer Sporthalle, Germany - June 23rd 2015
Faith No More's European and UK tour in support of Sol Invictus was five years ago.
FNM began their Sol Invictus tour in Japan, Australia and the USA before returning to Europe in May 2015. The sixteenth date was Tuesday June 23rd in Hamburg, Germany at Alsterdorfer Sporthalle.
"Nice to meet you. How are you? We are Faith No More, ”says singer Mike Patton, casually emphasizing the roaring cheers of the sports hall. As if the concert on Tuesday in front of around 6000 enthusiastic fans was the appearance of a hopeful newcomer band - and not the eagerly awaited return of the heroes of the 90s crossover.
Most visitors should know the band very well - from times when the mixture of hip-hop, metal, funk, easy listening and various other styles was something completely new. This is borne out by the perceived average age of the crowd - just over 40 - and the numerous T-shirts worn by bands such as Clawfinger and Alice In Chains.
For the band, however, time has not stood that clearly. Instead of relying on a classic as opening, the new song "Motherfucker" is on the program as an opener. Even if the current album “Sol Invictus” ties in seamlessly with the first phase of the band until its provisional dissolution in 1998: An entry with a song like “Falling To Pieces” from 1989 would have been the safer mood maker.
The crowd is still in ecstasy. If the reactions to the excellent support Dubioza Kolektiv were still rather reserved to accommodating, the sports hall with oldies like "Caffeine" and of course the hit "Epic" really went crazy. Even though the sound - as usual in this hall - is anything but perfect. “Faith no More” singer Mike Patton is a little gray, but he still masters the perfect show on stage.
The comeback of the legendary crossover band Faith No More was one of the remarkable recent news on music heaven. Their new album “Sol Invictus” – released in May 2015 – had been eagerly awaited and quickly encountered enthusiasm. Now they are touring again, so also in Hamburg. A stream of thousands of young and old fans crowded the trains and buses of urban transport, the Hamburg sports hall looked sold out.
The support made the Bosnian band Dubioza Kolektiv. Their Slavic-eastern mixture of hip-hop, punk, reggae and rock, mixed with Balkan folklore should go well with the unconventional genre-mix of Faith No More. The eight-headed band whirled energetic on stage, two frontmen ensured priority for Hip Hop mood, accompanied by hard guitar riffs and repeatedly erupting folkloric saxophone solos. Here punky fun & party was announced, dynamically and wild.
Dressed like a sports team – pretty fittingly here in a sports hall – the show was in fact quite sporty. The hall was well filled from the very beginning, the audience took the Slavs sympathetically. By the way, on the band´s website you can download their penultimate album “Apsurdistan” (2013) for free. The album “Wild Wild East” (2011) was released by Faith No More bassist Billy Gould on his label Koolarrow Records. Founded in 2003, Dubioza Kolektiv are among the most popular bands from the Balkans and East-Europe.
The conversion of the stage went smoothly and professionally very quickly. Everything was dressed in virginal white, decorated by lush (artificial) flower arrangements. The musicians of Faith No More appeared as well in white dress, perhaps as a contrary contrast to the otherwise prevailing in metal- and rock-zones Black…
Faith No More opened with the new song “Motherfucker”, which they had in 2014 already released as the first single. This was followed through one and a half hours by a well-balanced mixture of the most important old hits of the 80´s/90´s like “We Care A Lot”, “Epic”, “Ashes to Ashes” or the ballad “Easy” with songs from the new album. Rock, Funk Metal, Pop, HipHop as a proven mixture.
The difference between then and now was live recognizable: the old songs were despite style crossover more catchy, the melodies more straightforward, the compositions even more fresh and direct. In contrast, the new songs after the 18-year break are more labyrinthine and complex, very interesting and powerful, but in concert not so immediately captivating. Nevertheless the new album “Sol Invictus” is a very great piece of music; may be, more to listen than to party.
Less based on hip-hop elements of the previous years singer Mike Patton brought the full strength of his voice, partly broken by cracks of experimental vocal gimmicks via megaphone or stuffed in the mouth microphone; here greeted the influences of his solo projects. Sure, everything revolved around him on stage and vocally he was fully there – the famous bandwidth and the enormous expressiveness of his voice from deep-smoky up to shrill screaming, of operatic reveling to sonorously singing – he gave what he could. At the microphone temporarily accompanied by keyboardist Roddy Bottum.
The band played as if they had never parted, an experienced unit. Very impressive to see how real and accurate in tune also sounded all the old songs. The several thousand visitors celebrated, even in the back rows above the choruses of old hits were sung. The new songs have to enforce only and develop their awareness, even this just is not so easy to join in as with the earlier material.
Obviously, Faith No More are back. However, it looks the same, what already had been shown at the end of the 80s – without their singer Mike Patton they are just a great rock band among many. Only Patton manages to make the musical quality unique and extraordinary.
Land of Sunshine
The Gentle Art of Making Enemies
Digging the Grave
Ashes to Ashes
Rise of the Fall
We Care a Lot
I Started a Joke (Bee Gees)