Faith No More's Triumphant return at Brixton in 2009
On June 10th 2009 Faith No More played their first show after eleven years apart at Brixton Academy.
We Had Faith All Along
In 2009 Faith No More returned to save us all from weak pretenders to the alt metal throne. During the eleven dark years in which we roamed the wilderness starved of FNM shows we had all grown thin, struggling to find subsistence.
Mike Patton had crushed our spirit further by telling us many times that a reunion would never happen, at least not with his vocals leading the attack. And why would he, he was a busy man, with a new project via Ipecac Recordings every other month.
In those lonely years there were many regrets. 'Why hadn't I been to more shows?' I should've left school and sold all my worldly possessions to follow them around the world.
FNM had left us and we took it hard, tearful nights clutching the Album of the Year LP with harsh words ringing in our ears, 'Puffy did it'. This album wasn't a fitting end to such an illustrious career and none of us could find peace.
For those who haven't experienced their favourite band, who they have obsessively followed for years, split up and then against all odds return after such a long period. It's difficult to explain how it feels. Excitement yes but also apprehension for sure.
It did of course happen, FNM found each other again and were reunited for the first time at on June 10th at the Brixton Academy in London.
After missing out on the general sale, I personally had various bodily organs for sale on the black market to cover the cost of eBay tickets. It did however turn out to be relatively easy to get a couple and neither surgery or a second mortgage was needed.
A trip to London can be quite scary for a Yorkshireman, too many people in a hurry, imposing buildings and ways to get lost on the underground. But, thankfully on this occasion London was a welcoming city that beckoned fans of the greatest band in the world to join their homecoming parade. Even tube strikes, which any other time would have meant a 'small town northern meltdown', were easy to overcome. The journey was full of excited debate on which songs would make the set and would Bill be in his bumblebee outfit.
The majestic front face of Brixton Academy with its domed entrance flanked with pillars was crowned that day with three foot high letters reading F A I T H N O M O R E. Such satisfying and breath-taking sight.
There was already a queue of guys wearing classic shirts who would have had fuller heads of hair the last time they were here to see FNM play. Our party joined at the back with a phone open on Roddy Bottum's Twitter and delighted in a picture of biblical proportions, a megaphone sat centre stage. Oh my, Patton overload.
After the crowd filtered into the venue a well considered plan was put into action, we split up and set out for the merch desk to purchase shirts whilst also making camp front and centre stage. That's right man in Metallica shirt trying to push your girlfriend to the front, you were never going to rob us of this opportunity to once again be as close to our heroes as possible. You may have to prise dead fingers from the railing before you obscured the view.
Support act, can't remember. Too busy protecting our patch and enjoying bobbing up and down in the sea of fellow fans. However they were not well received.
Soon the moment we had anticipated for so long arrived. And, when five seasoned metal, rock, whatever legends step out of the darkness wearing pastel pink and blue suits to a Peaches and fuck knows song, you know these guys have meticulously planned their comeback for maximum effect.
The band looked happy and a little nervous as they blasted through a selection of their greatest hits. During the night we initiated the 'You Fat Bastards' chant, something I had dreamt about doing since 1990 - a tick on bucket list. Patton looked at us with a wry smile, "Now it's true." Damn we missed you.
After two encores, which included an unexpected cover of Chariots Of Fire, they were gone. But, this time we knew it was just the beginning and not an ending.
Naturally the stage show was of a slower pace than 11 years previous. Patton seemed to engaged with the lyrics and vocals rather than throwing himself about like an escaped lunatic. Not to say there weren't moments of lunacy during his performance and one security chap suffered a severe head slapping from Patton. Something that many in the crowd would've given anything to have inflicted upon them. Roddy and Jon Hudson held each corner of the stage with majestic stature. Mike Bordin hit the drums with furious aggression like is was 1995. Bill Gould looked liked a man who had returned home, at last.
It was fucking mind blowing. One of the best nights of my life. The impossible made very possible, the dream realised. Thank you Mike Patton for changing your mind, thanks FNM for getting your shit together and making us all so happy.
Our high would last for the next few days as we had tickets for download, but that is another story.
Reunited (Peaches and Herb)
The Real Thing
From Out of Nowhere
Land of Sunshine
intro and middle Black Eyed Peas, "Boom Boom Pow"
Surprise! You're Dead!
Last Cup Of Sorrow
interlude Gershon Kingsley, "Popcorn"
Cuckoo for Caca
The Gentle Art of Making Enemies
King For A Day
Chariots of Fire (Vangelis)
Just A Man
I Started A Joke (Bee Gees)