Faith No More | Bayou Music Center, Houston - July 28th 2015
Faith No More's North American tour in support of Sol Invictus was five years ago.
FNM began their Sol Invictus tour in Japan and Australia, they returned to the USA for the first time since October 1997 in April 2015. After this they toured in Europe and the UK before returning to the USA for a second leg. The third date was on Tuesday July 28th at Bayou Music Center, Houston Texas.
They held out as long as they could, but at some point, Faith No More must have known they’d have to come back to Texas. After an 18-year hiatus, the band is finally back in the midst of a nice, long North American tour, with new music (and a few new T-shirts) to push. An entire generation of admirers has been raised since the last time Faith No More rolled sneering into town, and they’ve still got enough diehard fans ‘round these parts to fill Bayou Music Center to the brim on a Tuesday night.
It was only a rock concert, of course, but it would be a rock concert on Faith No More’s terms, and no one else’s. As if to alleviate any notion right off the bat that they’re a nostalgia act, the band opened with “Cone of Shame,” one of their lesser-known new songs from this year’s Sol Invictus. It would be the first of five new tunes from the album on the evening, and fans patiently gave each of them a shot, even though many were clearly still crossing their fingers for old chestnuts like “Zombie Eaters.”
But without the new music, Faith No More would have never taken this tour — and maybe never returned to Texas. Besides, they weren’t half bad. “Black Friday,” which saw vocalist extraordinaire Mike Patton take over on tambourine, sounded like it was taken from the forgotten soundtrack to a never-released Russ Meyer film about motorcycle lesbians. “Motherfucker” feels destined to be a cherished singalong someday, if the band manages to stick around for a few more years.
Naturally, though, people went wildest for the old stuff. The band’s sole radio smash, “Epic,” was slotted into the middle of the set, eliciting big cheers. “Everything’s Ruined” and “Midlife Crisis” from Angel Dust were highlights as well, with the band launching into a strange lounge version of the latter song’s chorus after allowing the crowd to take a crack at it first.
Some of the older selections produced as much chin-scratching in the audience as the new stuff did. I’m not sure anybody showed up on Tuesday night dying to hear the Angel Dust-era studio relic “As the Worm Turns,” but there it was, in the middle of the encore. “Spirit,” from Chuck Mosley’s time as front man, proved an interesting choice, too, as Patton forcefully demanded that the audience meditate with him.
Frankly, Faith No More didn’t much give a shit if we knew all the songs, or even liked them, for that matter. The band is plainly doing this tour simply for themselves, and they seemed to be enjoying themselves thoroughly on Tuesday — happy to be playing new songs for old fans in a place they hadn’t been in ages.
Hell, that was more than most of the assembled weirdoes at Bayou Music Center had dared hope for over the past 20 years. I’d certainly given up hope of ever hearing “Ashes to Ashes” live, but last night it sounded huge and glorious, as if the band had never broken up to begin with. As long as they find they can still surprise us, Faith No More might just keep at this reunion thing for a while.
Cone of Shame
Cuckoo for Caca
King for a Day
Ashes to Ashes
As the Worm Turns
I Started a Joke (Bee Gees)