When Faith No More Met Tom Jones
On February 18th 2010 Faith No More performed at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. FNM shared the same hotel as welsh crooner Tom Jones, who performed at A Day On The Green on February 21st.
From evoking the spirit of Tom Jones and having a mid-stage nap, to picking up a megaphone and using it to amplify his voice, Patton showed his talent for the bizarre. He also has one of the most versatile voices in rock and that was what the near-capacity Vector audience came to see.
Faith No More have been around in one incarnation or another since 1981 and Billy Gould on bass, Roddy Bottum on keyboards and Mike Bordin on drums have been there for the long haul. The 12-year layoff hasn't dulled their edge with Gould in fine form during Cuckoo for Caca and Bordin still hammering away with that mass of dreadlocks.
Latest-in-a-long-line of guitarists, Jon Hudson held his own from the crunching Epic to the jazzy sounding twang of Evidence, but it was Patton who made the show what it was.
His sardonic wit peppered the breaks between songs as Faith No More played a pretty fair selection from their last four albums.
There were a few classics left off the Auckland setlist - Be Aggressive and We Care A Lot spring to mind - but Faith No More reminded the crowd of why they were one of the most original and respected bands of the 90s.
Anyway, apart from the shortened set, the reunited Californian band - who mix everything from jazz and funk, to cabaret and metal into one tight rock'n'roll onslaught - showed they can still kick arse after more than a decade apart.
Besides Patton, who looked dapper and typically demented and ringmaster-like in an all-red ensemble, the rest of the band are a little greyer and balding these days, but they still play with venom.
Drummer Mike Bordin - still with dreads, although more snowy now - is a soul metal machine, and Patton has a throat from hell as he serenades, raps, roars, yabbers, and croons through microphones, megaphones and walkie talkies.
Nor have they lost the ability to whip your head off as they morph from the mooch and shuffle of songs like Evidence into the chug and lurch of slamming songs The Gentle Art of Making Enemies and From Out of Nowhere, off the band's 1989 break-through album The Real Thing.
And there were a clutch of songs mid way through that are testament to Faith No More's longevity and standing.