No MSG, No Problem as Faith No More Rocks the Theater No MSG, No Problem as Faith No More Rocks the Theater
The first cassette tape I ever bought for myself was Faith No More’s The Real Thing. I was seven years old and like many... No MSG, No Problem as Faith No More Rocks the Theater

The first cassette tape I ever bought for myself was Faith No More’s The Real Thing. I was seven years old and like many other people, I fell for their hit single Epic and was sucked into the endless loop of that video showing on MTV. As the band put out a new album every couple of years, I was there to buy it, listen to it and fall in love with it. But by 1998, the band broke up and I never got to see them perform live.

A decade later the band announced it was getting back together. Finally my chance to see them live! Their “Second Coming” tour made it’s way to the Williamsburg Waterfront in Brooklyn and it was a hell of a show. One more “must see” band off my bucket list. So now I was just being greedy by seeing the band again.

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When it was announced that the group would be playing Madison Square Garden I was quite surprised. It’s a big venue and while Faith No More has a solid fan base here in the U.S., I didn’t think a sellout at the Garden would be feasible. Not sure anyone did. During the show, keyboardist Roddy Bottum even noted, “MSG is for hockey. And Billy Joel.” And he was right. Faith No More needed a more intimate setting for their brand of soulful, funky, hard rock. What better place to rebook the show than, well, MSG’s theater.

“This is the first time I had a show cancelled and rebooked at the same venue,” lead singer Mike Patton joked before apologizing for the confusion and ticket SNAFU that resulted from the show’s cancellation and rebooking.

Honestly, it was for the better that the show ended up at the Theater. It was packed full of diehard Faith No More fans and the acoustics were spot on as Patton’s often operatic voice belted out fan favorites such as “Be Aggressive,” “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies,” and the song that started it all for the band’s fame, “Epic.”

The band is older now and not the same 20-somethings that ran around like maniacs on the stage of Saturday Night Live back in December of 1990. That doesn’t mean they aren’t still lively. They opened the show with the title track off The Real Thing and my god, was it sensational. That performance was jam-packed with the type of raw energy that very few bands can do night in and night out but these guys somehow find a way. Each one of them leaves a piece of themselves on that stage and there is no holding back the intensity. It’s hard to believe it’s the same band that had so much infighting that led to the implosion seventeen years ago. The band seems like they really like, no, love each other, and put all egos aside, much to the delight of me and thousands and thousands of fans.

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They remained active over the years between breakup and reunion. Patton put out a slew of albums with his bands Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk, Fantômas, Peeping Tom and more. Hell, I even saw Tomahawk and Fantômas both open for Tool a decade or so ago (to, um, mixed reactions from the crowd). And of course drummer Mike Bordin kept busy by playing with Ozzy Osbourne’s band and sometimes subbing in for Bill “Fucking” Ward of Black Sabbath. And while they all can list accolades outside of Faith No More I think they all can agree that when they get together, something magical happens.

The band displayed pure rock ferocity (“Superhero” and “Caffeine”), soulful and sensual moments (their cover of the Commodore’s “Easy”) and even funky, disco that rivals the Bee Gees (their “Lowdown” interlude during “Midlife Crises”). It’s like seeing four bands all at once but somehow it not only works, but also makes complete sense.

After their initial reunion six years ago, every fan had hoped it would lead to new music being written. The band obliged and put out the insanely great album Sol Invictus earlier this year and they played a good selection of those songs live last night (“Black Friday,” “Separation Anxiety,” and “Matador” to name a few). However, it was their album Angel Dust that got the most love last night at the Theater and the crowd couldn’t have been more pleased.

Photo credit to my buddy Dan McCarthy who was in General Admission having a blast

The band came out for a three-song encore featuring another new track (“Motherfucker’), another Angel Dust classic (“RV”) and a favorite of theirs to play live (“Just a Man”). From start to finish the band was feverishly giving it their all, sweating through their white outfits and making them pretty much see through by the end of the show. Patton’s voice never wavered once, hitting every single note with such ease that you just know he must be doing some kind of Voodoo to keep his singing capabilities so perfect after all of these years and shows. Billy Gould’s bass made the Theater come to life and Jon Hudson’s guitar work was so stellar, going from shredding to wah wah funkiness in a blink of an eye. Add in Bottum’s terrific keyboards (see the aforementioned “Epic” and “Superhero”) as well as Bordin’s relentless drumming and you have one of the most entertaining shows you will ever see.

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Dan Milcz

Dan is a co-host of the Movies and Stuff podcast found here on this great site. He's a father, husband, and lover of beer. His favorite film is Dr. Strangelove and favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut. Contact me via email: production@moviesandstuffshow.com

  • Tarmac492.1

    Hey Dan. This was a great fucking review. Sounds like a cool show. I have never seen a show in MSG theater, but would like to. I need to start seeing more shows. Unfortunatel, most of my friends just do the Billy Joel, U2 and all that thing. Which is great, love both of them. However, after my 15th U2 show a few years back I was like, enough. I love these music reviews and concert reviews is just even better.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    I love me some Faith No More, just wished their last album hadn’t sucked so bad (Sol Invictus). Kinda figured it would once Motherfucker was released as it’s first single. One of my all time favorite bands, hoping to catch them here soon. Patton has always been underrated as a singer.

  • Tarmac492.1

    yeah, also great pictures!!!!

  • Oh man, love the new album. Motherfucker does not work as a standalone single but in the context of the album is great. I really feel like they were so ahead of their sound 20+ years ago that putting out an album now allowed them to keep a good chunk of their old style without sounding dated. But I digress, to each is own. Listening to some Angel Dust right now. Hope you do get to check them out.

  • Theater is cool. Once saw QOTSA and the Black Angels play there as well as Heaven & Hell and Cohered opening. Nice venue for sure.

  • Hey, thanks! Tried my best and my buddy Dan McCarthy was in the standing area and snapped that cool one of Patton at the end of the article.

  • Tarmac492.1

    we used to watch the You Fat Bastards live VHS in college. That was pretty good, too. Lots of bong hits. Patton seems like one of those guys that is always moving, working, trying new shit. I really respect that. Even if you dont like everything he does at least he isn’t giving you retreads all the time.

  • gorgarwilleatyou1

    Love Faith No More! We had a video jukebox when i was in college I used to bug the hell out everyone playing Epic. Nice review, wish I could have caught them on this tour .. next time. New album sounds pretty good nice to see the guys still bringing it.

  • gorgarwilleatyou1

    i would love to learn how to take good concert pics with my phone, my pics always turn out shitty guess its the lighting or something…

  • Stalkeye

    My only experience with Faith was that MTV Video-“Epic”, “Falling to Pieces” and a feat they did with Boo ya Tribe for the Judgement Night soundtrack.

    Patton has a unique voice and I gladly rate him over the overrated (See what I just did there?) Anthony Keidis of RHCP.

    He was also known for his voice over in a certain Rebooted videogame that i was probably the only one who liked the game. /:

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    I pre-bought it, and once I got it, I listened to it twice and it pissed me off. Now that being said, I think I might have had expected something differently then what they gave us. I am going to give it a few more listens and see if it doesn’t grow on me. They were definitely waaaaaaay ahead of their time. Love Angel Dust!

  • Still trying to come to grips with the new album myself. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it sucks, but it’s not as good as Patton’s album from 2013 with Tomahawk, nor is it close to being as good as any of his many project’s best output.

  • Kiersten Ropp

    Hey There!! Yep I hear Ya!! Now rather than saying ‘It’ll Grow On You’ I tend to think of Sol Invictus as that random class you had to take at College, you had very little knowledge or interest in the class but Hey, Whatever, no way around it… Then outta nowhere you get this Ah Ha moment, something clicks and what you initially thought about the class is quickly overshadowed by a Passion for the subject and an Admiration for it’s Genius Founders…. or something like that anyway 😉 lol

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    What’s up there?! I hope you are right, because so far, this class has me wishing I hadn’t partaken in it at all! Now, it’s only week 1, gonna give it a few more weeks, and I am hoping for that A-Ha moment to hit! Now I got that damn song, Take On Me, stuck in my head! LOL

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    I actually saw Faith No More in a small club, waaaaay back in tha day, and I believe Pigface or Revolting Cocks opened up for them. It was an awesome concert! Patten has always been one of my favorite singers, so versatile! He can go from singing Easy, to I Started a Joke, to Epic, to The Gentle Art of Making Enemies. His singing techniques include crooning, falsetto, opera, death growls, rapping, beatbox, scatting, etc, you name it, he does it. To put it simply, he is awesome!

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Noooooooooooooo

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Might have gone too far with the sucks part, but it does disappoint, for me.

  • Kiersten Ropp

    You Know that’s a Big NOOOOO!!! DANG SUX Being You Right Now!!!

  • Kiersten Ropp

    He He He That’s the Point!!! You have No Choice but to partake in the class because it’s required in order to obtain yr Degree ;). Now ordinarily I wouldn’t suggest listening to FNM’s tracks selectively because I think a Start to Finish and on repeat, gives the overall best experience…. The exception to this would be the current situation YOU find yourself.. ‘STUCK’!!!! So, baring this very serious and most concerning dilemma, I’m willing to give you a heads up and point you in the right direction for optimal treatment of this illness!!! OK enough of the dribble and I’ll cut to the chase, what are some of your Favorite FNM Tracks and Vibes???? Hard and Heavy with a FNM twist, like Slayer with Borderline Personality Disorder – AKA- The Gentle Art of Making Enemies or are you an Evidence, Easy, not to sneezy kinda guy??? So the question to you is, What are you looking for? Hard/Heavy, Crooner/ Mess with yr head/ outta the box or a FNM Billboard Charts??? HeHeHe. Later 😉

  • It’s friday night, and I’m blasting some Faith No More from the speakers:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8b88US-6ts

  • Awesome!

  • Not “That” Dr. Phil

    I had the opposite experience. I have seen them 3 times over the past 4 months. So I have heard the new songs live. I have only listened to the album once. Hearing them live gives you a real appreciation for them. Superhero is really fun live. Black Friday is great because it is so incredibly different. Roddy playing guitar is hysterical too. And Matador holds up with all of the stuff from 20 years ago.

  • S_D_M_F

    Cool! I still have it on VHS.

  • Demagog Dog

    <—-Jelly. Like, peanut butter & jelly.