May 14, 2015 Faith No More Epic at The Wiltern Los Angeles, CA 4-22-15
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.
Photo credit Sarah Mankoff Photography