It isn’t every day that Faith No More comes to play a show in New England or anywhere else. Nor is it every week, month or year. In fact it’s more like every couple of decades, so when they scheduled a date on their tour in support of the new album, Sol Invictus, on Monday, May 11, at The Orpheum in Boston, I knew it would be one of the most anticipated shows of the year and would sell out in a matter of hours, which of course it did.
Many of us traveling from the western part of the state to get to this show were treated to some stupendous traffic on the Mass Pike because one of those Bolt buses literally exploded on the highway. Even still you probably didn’t miss the opening act, Le Butcherettes, who played an extremely long set of something like an hour and fifteen minutes. Honestly, they were pretty good, but I couldn’t help but feel sorry for any band opening up this show. Most people were crammed into the lobby area like fish in a can, downing some sort of alcoholic swill instead of watching them. All they wanted to see was the band that has been absent for a generation. I’m not sure if the singer was acting out as part of her stage act or if it was along the lines of “hey pay attention,” but about 5 songs in she ferociously ripped off her candy apple red high heels and chucked them up into the balcony.Faith No More, by Hillarie Jason Photography
Faith No More started the set as they have for each show on this tour. With the stage and band members resembling something like a Buddhist slumber party version of A Clockwork Orange or maybe your Aunt Dotties funeral; everything wrapped in white socks or painted white and cheerful sprays of flowers lining the front and back of the stage; the band said hello with the song ‘Motherfucker’.
The set, which included at least one track from every studio album, was top to bottom flawless. Both the old and new songs were fresh and vibrant. They played like a band that had never stopped touring together and seemed even more cohesive than when I saw them in ‘97. The energy was palpable and the crowd responded in turn, but since The Orpheum is a very old seated theater without the standard “pit” it was more of a stand in your seat and scream your head off kind of show. Although, when I went up into the balcony, I could literally feel it bouncing up and down quite dramatically. It was pretty terrifying and I found myself checking to make sure I knew the location of the closest exit to run to in the event of it collapsing.Faith No More, by Hillarie Jason Photography
They had some fun with the crowd during the song ‘Midlife Crisis.’ Stopping mid-song just before the third chorus and letting the crowd fill in the words, Mike Patton then asked, “You proud of yourselves now?” Much to my amusement and the bewilderment of everyone in the theater, they continued the song after a brief pause to the tune of the Boz Scaggs’ song ‘Lowdown.’ And yes, I have had ‘Lowdown’ in my head since the show. Thanks for that.Faith No More, by Hillarie Jason Photography
Banter between songs was kept at a minimum other than a quick joke from Roddy Bottum regarding the age of The Orpheum as well as Mike Patton singling out one “hippy dude” about what he thought of Le Butcherettes. Though I had to laugh when Patton announced it was their last song (which it wasn’t) and the crowd erupted into a sea of boos to which he responded, “Boo my ass mother fuckers. Enjoy it. Shut the fuck up!” Enjoy it, we did.
Welcome back, Faith No More. You have been missed.