Faith No More
Theatro Vraxon, Athens, Greece

At last! The legendary Faith No More did us a great favor and they reformed for a series of shows this summer. One of the most controversial bands of all times, which you could either admire, respect and love a lot, or be totally against them as you wouldn’t put up with their constant music changes. It is one of the few times we should give praise to those who booked them, for we all witnessed a remarkable live performance (I personally consider it one of the ten best I have ever seen).

It was about half past eight when the support group called Bliss (their name wasn’t written on the ticket or the posters broadcasting the show) appeared on the stage. They played half an hour, four long songs which showed their full respect and love for another great band, the mighty Tool! The power trio managed to get the attention of the watchers with their powerful playing, being serious and concetrated on their organs, they are worth congratulations. Not only because they sounded like a band that is phenomenal, but also because they succeeded in producing a large sound. Their music is difficult and requires full attention.

Really good band, I wish them to continue like that and maybe one day see their dreams fulfilled. Music industry gets stranger as years pass by, and especially here in Greece we always tend to turn our backs to what is local and is really full of quality.

The time is ten to ten. Lights out and we get ready for what we came to Vyronas for. The quartet with drummer Mike Bordin first walks the stage, the people start get very enthused, but it is not until when Mike Patton (PS: it really feels so poor to describe feelings about him, so we’ll just refer his name from now on) appears in a red dress and frenzy starts to take place.

They choose to start with a cover of ”Reunited” by Peeches and Herb. Straight to the core, as soon as it is over, a familiar riff tears the air and it is ”From Out of Nowhere” that sounds so beautiful in our ears.

Moans, grunts, praises, shouts, screams and whatever you can imagine show the band that this night is going to be very long and promising. Then comes ”Land of Sunshine” and ”Caffeine”. These were the moments i started feeling i grew up with them, for ”Angel Dust” was an album that set the stage for a lot to come in music generally, and i had the luck to witness it when it was released.

Time to ease up a while with ”Evidence” with Patton coming down the stage and trying to convince the audience to sing the chorus in Greek. Nice effort but in vain unfortunately. ”Surprise! You’re Dead”… how can a song with such a title be less than godly? the metallic riff lounched on 10000 ears brings also some headbanging and obsession starts to take place. Only Faith No More can drive you to a molten riff, straight after a cute song. The program flows so easily and time seems to pass so pleasantly fast…

Next on the list is ”Last Cup of Sorrow”, from ”Album of the Year”, an underrated release which I truly love and this was one of the songs I really needed (and not wanted) to listen to. I close my eyes. Shut like a lock. ”Cuckoo For Caca”… The craziest song ever to be created on music! They are such godless…all of them… But they don’t seem to care. Patton really unleashed, like a convict of the most highly secured sanitarium… He owns Athens himself. I bow down to him… Hats off! After this point and on i feel like a puzzle which is lacking pieces, i am torn apart. Not even ”Easy”, a cover by Commodores (and a really sweet song by the way) can ease me. To make matters worse, then comes ”Ashes to Ashes”. I feel struck by a mass vehicle. Such professionals, such comfortable way to earn a crowd of 5000 astonished Greeks… How many can do it so easily? Then it’s time for one of the highlights of the night (and Faith No More’s career of course). Ladies and gentlemen, it’s ”Midlife Crisis” on the air and there is a moment when Patton leaves the audience sing the chorus. The audience does more than great and he pretends to drop the microphone as if he is shocked. Great moment, great sense of humor. Where were you all these previous years man?

Another cover, by Bee Gees this time took place. ”I Started A Joke” is a sweet interlude until the next hit. On this point, Patton accepted a fan in the scene just to give him some ouzo. A great moment which shows the union of band and audience. Not to miss the chance, the guy had a camera with which he made this moment remarkable for his lifetime, with Patton having absolutely no problem to pose while singing. In 1995, there was an album with a great title ”King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime” (which i consider the best FNM release). On it, there was a great song with an even greater title: ”The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies”. Holy Mother of God… This seems like it’s not happening. Changes in mood are so unique, like the attitude of a typical woman… Once calm and quiet, once enraged and filled with screams. Just like this godly performer.

Well, back to basics with ”Be Aggressive” and then ”Epic” (another highlight!). If you listen to Faith No More for years, you know what to wait. But to be honest, ”Just A Man” was the best surprise that night. The band leaves the stage, only to return a little later with ”Stripsearch”. Then they play what me and five more thousand were waiting. ”Digging The Grave” caused a large moshpit in the centerside arena and they left the stage triumphantly. They returned under numerous praises only to play ”Midnight Cowboy” by John Barry and then the night was over.

This was the one, the only, the amazing Faith No More. Witnesses of this performance will never see things the same way after this. It is most likely they won’t visit us again. But just in case, don’t miss them for the whole world once this happens again. It is worth postponing everything. ”We Care A Lot” was not played but none had complaints of this live concert.

Live of the year (and probably the years to come) !

Aggelos ”Redneck” Katsouras.