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9 out of 10
I had been looking forward to this for months, Faith No More had come to New Zealand and instead of playing the capital Wellington, as was originally planned, they changed the location to Christchurch. Seemingly, this change was to make sure that I, their biggest fan, got the chance to see them whilst on my ’year working holiday’ in this awesome country.
Not only were we to see Faith No More, but the support came from special guests The Eagles of Death Metal. This made my wife particularly happy, as she has been wanting to see them for a while. What made us unhappy was: no Josh Homme on drums. He was probably tied up touring with some super group, but as he was only in NZ a couple of weeks ago you’d think he could have made the effort for us! Also, they decided that they didn’t have to play the one song of theirs I really knew ’I want you so hard (the boys bad news)’. I may actually be being too hard on them as they played well and were entertaining enough, especially with singer Jesse Hughes mincing about the stage like a hillbilly Jagger. They did play fan favourite ’Cherry Cola’ and they had an impressive big end. This entailed the two guitarists taking places at either end of the stage and only the speakers matching their positions played their sound, making it into a sort of duel. Like I said, impressive.
But nothing could stand up to the almighty majesty of Faith No More, they were simply awe inspiring. From start to end I sang along with each and every song, never before have I witnessed singalongability of that magnitude. Just remembering it almost makes me speechless, which would make for a rubbish review, so I’ll just get on with it.
Kicking off with ’Midnight Cowboy’ and then straight into ’The Real Thing’ you could tell that this wasn’t just going to be, ’let’s play the singles and get out of here.’ Of course they played most of them: ’Epic’, ’Ashes to Ashes’, ’Evidence’, ’Easy’ and ’Last Cup of Sorrow’. Plus one of my favourites: ’Midlife Crisis’; towards the end of this one they stopped letting the crowd sing on and just when everyone had faltered singing they jumped straight back in. We heard plenty of songs from the last three albums, including some of the more unusual ones such as ’RV’ and ’The Gentle Art of Making Enemies’ which made for an interesting t-shirt on sale with large words proclaiming ’Happy Birthday F*cker’.
Stand out songs of the evening had to be my own personal favourites; ’Surprise! You’re Dead’, ’Caffeine’, ’Be Aggressive and ’King for a Day’ which was given a creepy Twin Peaks-esque ending. At the end we were treated to not one but two encores, the first saw them playing ’We Care A Lot’, the only song from ’Introduce Yourself’ and the awesome ’Just a Man’. The second encore was only one song and another unusual one, especially to finish with, ’Pristina’. I found this fitting as it’s the last song on the last album and it sounded bloody great. And that was it.
But what a night and even though I could have sang on for another hour, as there were plenty of other songs that they could have played, notably ’A Small Victory’, ’Falling to Pieces’, ’Digging the Grave’ and ’From out of Nowhere’, to name but a few. But we had to go home wanting more, clever really.