Faith No More | The Wiltern, L.A - April 22nd 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. The sixth date was on Wednesday April 22nd at The Wiltern in Los Angeles.
Cryptic Rock | FAITH NO MORE EPIC AT THE WILTERN LOS ANGELES
Many thought the idea of seeing Faith No More live was just a pipe dream after they broke up in 1998 when vocalist Mike Patton quit to pursue a solo career. Luckily, original members Billy Gould (bass), Roddy Bottum (keyboard), and Mike Bordin (drums) joined up with Mike Patton (vocals); and Jon Hudson (guitar) could not resist the magnetic pull of Faith No More and reformed in 2009, leading to a five year tour before they settled back down to record their first studio album in eighteen years, Sol Invictus, released May 19, 2015 through Ipecac Records. To double the excitement, the band also booked out most of 2015 with the round the world Soundwave Tour, stopping in all of the major cities. After a five year absence to the area, Southern California would get their dose of this hard-hitting Experimental Rock band with several separate dates booked, three alone taking place at The Wiltern in Los Angeles. On Thursday April 22nd, they piled through the doors at The Wiltern, with excitement and adrenaline coming off the crowd in waves. Faith No More fans from all over the world flocked to the famous Los Angeles venue to watch a band that they adored, including a woman who flew in all the way from Australia. As people piled into the venue for this mostly general admission show, they were treated to music provided by DJ Mexican Dubwiser, who continued to spin for the rest of the night. Hitting the stage at 8:30 PM, the opening band, HO99O9, pronounced “horror,” was interesting to say the least. It is near impossible to place them into a genre, but the group called themselves Experimental Thrashcore Rap/Crossover Punk.” Calling their members theOGM Eaddy, the band was made up of one drummer and two singers, one of whom controlled a midi pad for sound effects. The music flip-flopped all over the place, going from monotone to peppery Rap to angry, screaming vocals and then to a heavier Metal sound. It was clear that the audience, who were impatiently awaiting the headliners take to the stage, were not very excited by this performance. Their set was not as put together and well executed as it could have been, but was nonetheless entertaining. By the time HO99O9 left the stage, the audience was buzzing with nervous excitement. Every time there was a lull in the house music, the crowd fell silent, anticipating the start of Faith No More’s set. As the crown waited, set designers strung a billowy, white curtain across the back of the stage and added funereal flowers to the set, giving the place a heavenly look. The band kept the audience on edge for over an hour, which only made their eventual appearance all the more exciting. To say the crowd was ecstatic when Faith No More took to the stage would be an understatement. The band was clad only in white, while Patton had S&M hooks in his mouth and nostrils, making for an even more impressive vocal achievement as he hammered out the lyrics to Sol Invictus’ first single, “Motherfu**er.” Burning with an energy that did not quit, both the crowd and the band flowed with adrenaline for the entire set, playing songs such as “Caffeine,” “Evidence,” “Ashes to Ashes,” “Superhero,” “Sunny Side Up,” “Midlife Crisis” with an excerpt of “Lowdown” from Boz Scaggs, “Everything’s Ruined,” and “The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies”. There was no shortage of great songs that night as the band played tracks both new and old, handing the crowd a wave of nostalgia while also giving them a taste of the Sol Invictus, which still had a month before its release date. New or old, it did not matter, as fans danced, sang, headbanged, moshed, or merely sat and watched a show never before seen. Hudson’s hands lightly danced across the frets, producing a surreal, heavy tone. Patton had the audience right where he wanted them as he sang through the vocal spectrum of growls, screams, whistles, and falsettos. They even covered “Easy” by the Commodores, getting a huge response from the crowd. The chemistry between the bandmates was palpable as they played off of each other like a well-oiled machine. Not missing a beat, Patton yanked someone up onto the stage and slid a gimp mask over his face, creating for himself a new slave that he could order around as he performed. A three song encore, including “Sol Invictus,” “Separation Anxiety,” and a cover of “This Guy’s in Love With You” by Burt Bacharach, was not enough for the boys of Faith No More, and they came back out onto the stage to play the live debut of “Black Friday” from their upcoming album. After ninety minutes and nineteen songs, the band left the stage for good, leaving everyone on the floor feeling satisfied and well-spent. Faith No More is making up for lost time by leading themselves across the entire planet to spread the news and good word of their newest album in almost two decades. They had previously spent February and March of 2015 in Japan and Australia and are now making their way across the US until the middle of May where they will wrap up in Philadelphia. Then, a mere two weeks later, they are kicking off a European tour in Nuremberg, Germany, ending in the final weeks of June in Odense, Denmark. They will then come back to the US at the end of July for eleven shows before going down to South America for five dates throughout the month of September. With this many dates, one is sure to find a show to see.
Janky Smooth | Faith No More Wind Up The Wiltern on Opening Night
The curtain at The Wiltern opened to reveal Marshall stacks cloaked in what appeared to be a soft, white satin mesh. The entire stage was surrounded by soft, pastel, pink and white curtains. There was a forest of tall, expansive and expensive flower arrangements which covered the entire front of the stage and were mounted on every amplifier and platform that could fit these huge vases filled with tropical floral arrangements. I’m not quite sure how but even with all the pink and colorful flowers adorning the stage, the production still felt very metal. It was like attending a funeral and a wedding in the same day. The audience lost their minds immediately. An audience that comes from a time in which it was still acceptable to wear the t shirt of the band who you were about to see live. The band opened with the song “Motherfucker” which is a song off their still unreleased album, Sol Invictus. A bold move, to be sure. Instantly, there was hair flying everywhere. FNM went directly into “From Out of Nowhere”, which allowed me to lose my shit without any further delay. I can’t lie. I felt a bit overwhelmed at this moment. I thought to myself, “This might become one of the best shows I’ve ever seen”. The next series of songs was Caffeine, Evidence and Epic. The band didn’t seem to miss a note or a beat all night. To state that the band is tight and well rehearsed would be a humongous understatement. Original members, Roddy Bottum and Billy Gould talked about how the band originated in San Francisco but how Bottum and Gould were born and raised in L.A. Gould reminisced that before The Wiltern became the prominent music venue that it is today, that he had seen Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon there as a lad. Mike Patton unleashed a series of verbal towel snaps against that statement, Los Angeles and Gould himself before breaking into “Midlife Crisis”. Halfway through Midlife, the music cutout and Patton seemed to test the audience who stepped up impressively to loudly serenade Patton and company with the lyrics and melodies that they had written over 20 years ago. Patton looked at us, mushed his face and waved his hand in a “so/so” motion. Cunt. One of the highlights of the evening was “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”. That song really displayed that Patton hasn’t lost an octave or a step and every cadence, growl, croon and wise crack were perfectly executed. Everyone in the band is pretty gray including Mike Bordin’s dreads, which have transformed into a long, white bouquet of serpentine hair emanating from his follicles- everyone but Patton, of course. As raw and real as Patton and his music are, I don’t put it past his vanity to throw in some hair dye, here and there. One thing is for sure- I’d fuck him. Faith no More are one of those bands that might make one question the quality of music that is being put out today. Don’t get me wrong, I love the raw, garage, punk, DIY vibes that dominate the sound that is coming from this generation. I’ve always loved that. But sometimes I need something a bit more complex, with different layers and there isn’t much new out there that fits that mold or anything that can compare to Faith No More; love them or hate them. All in all, I was a bit disappointed in the selection of songs for the setlist. Epic was the last song off The Real Thing album played by the band that evening. Also, the band never played “We Care A Lot”. As air tight as the band was, the lack of selection of songs from The Real Thing left me wanting. I’m sure the band will be playing with the setlist on their tour which extends through mid August and even though Faith No More missed the chance to make me cry like a baby, it was one of the best shows I’ve been to in a while.
Motherfucker From Out of Nowhere Caffeine Evidence Epic Sunny Side Up Get Out Midlife Crisis [ Boz Scaggs, "Lowdown" ] Everything's Ruined The Gentle Art of Making Enemies Easy [ Commodores ] Spirit King for a Day Ashes to Ashes Superhero Sol Invictus Separation Anxiety This Guy's in Love With You [ Burt Bacharach ] Black Friday