Faith No More | Graspop, Belgium - June 21st 2015
Updated: Jun 24
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 fifteenth date was Sunday June 21st in Dessel, Belgium at the Graspop Metal Meeting.
Of course, Faith No More, which has just released its first record in eighteen years, has the same set throughout the tour. But we do suspect Mike Patton that he designed it with Graspop in mind.
As an absolute finale, how can you still be shocked after three days at a metal festival where Godfather of Shock Rock himself, Alice Cooper, has already brought out swords, guillotines and straitjackets? By doing the exact opposite. You should have seen all five of them: completely in white, in a bright white decor between colorful flowers. Not to mention that golden micro.
"Is this a metal meeting?" Patton asked sarcastically in the middle of "Evidence", which was given an extra sultry and funky arrangement as if to lurk the metalheads. And he rocked back and forth with a grin and snapped his fingers.
'Midlife crisis', one of the harder nineties hits, he stopped with demonic pleasure just before the audience wanted to go wild on the chorus. To give it an R&B twist. "Come on!" Our neighbor called out in frustration. Whereupon the bass player tingled on his instrument ... and the fans finally got what they asked for. Delayed highlights are the best.
And so the whole concert was a sublime game of attracting and repelling. If you were just entranced by a romantic 'Easy', you immediately got an extremely villainous 'Separation anxiety' in your face. Only a tormentor like Mike Patton can switch so faithfully between hardcore roars and jazz crowns and back again - preferably in the same song.
The songs of the new record Sol invictus benefited from that just as much as the old hits. The melancholic guitar of 'Matador' heralded subtle impending doom, closing track 'Superhero' roared like a bull facing his death in the arena. And the bissen? Patton concluded with 'Just a man', a song that starts as a stick with sugar dripping off.
It is quite possible that ninety percent of the meadow was left in a state of disaster after such an excess of irony. But look, that fickleness was just what we needed after the predictable shows of Motörhead, Within Temptation and Scorpions. Faith No More has clearly emerged from its midlife crisis. Now the fans.
Five group members in snow-white work suits, a stage decorated with floral arrangements to even compete in the Ghent Floralies ... Faith No More really stood out, as a closing act at this Graspop Metal Meeting. Was the main part black and blood-red here? Then the five of them reversed roles last night. Still, Faith No More was not musically out of place at the Stenehei in Dessel. The iconic crossover band soon released 'Caffeine', Mike Patton shoved his micro deep into his mouth and roared as if his intestinal tract was ablaze. Even Cradle of Filth had to respect that.
The San Francisco group always went against the tide, didn't care about box-office thinking. Do you even notice that in their composition: a keyboardist who likes pop tunes, a metal guitarist, a functioning bassist, a heavy jazz drummer and a madman behind the micro who make music together? It is that mix that continues to make Faith No More unique.
At Pukkelpop, Faith No More proved six years ago that there is a second life in this dirty beast. And now there is also a new record with 'Sol Invictus'. This was eagerly picked in Dessel. Opening song 'Motherfucker' and 'Matador' (where Patton got half the whey sitting) made the strongest impression. Just like the 'Cone of Shame', saved to the bottom of the box: heck of a song.
Could more songs from 'The Real Thing' have passed in Dessel? Certainly, please. Was 'We Care A Lot' missing in the bisound? Also. But Faith No More has always lacked conventions. So take off. Nobody can copy the attitude with which Patton disbanded his devils like an angry Tom Wates but at the same time kept sounding melodious. "Thank you for being so patient with us, Belgique!" The frontman winked when he played 'I'm Just a Man' at half past one in the morning. Faith No More was lovingly thrown back at the kisses that followed towards the audience. Metal fans are emotional wimps. It is not yet known whether and when the group will visit our country again. A second, longer round in the hall (from the hungry crowd on Graspop) would certainly be welcome.
Land of Sunshine
interlude Boz Scaggs, "Lowdown"
The Gentle Art of Making Enemies
Last Cup of Sorrow
Ashes to Ashes
Just a Man