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To the majority of the world, Faith No More is a one hit wonder, thanks to the success of their single “Epic” in 1989/1990, and attending a Faith No More show is simply for the nostalgic factors. To the metal community, Faith No More are legends who continue to inspire and influence the genre, and attending one of their shows is a MUST. The band broke up in 1998, and since reforming in 2009, has only played LA once, in the form of a two night stand at the Hollywood Palladium in late 2010. So when they announced that they would be coming back around, many people jumped at the chance. Originally the band was going to play one Los Angeles show at the Wiltern and one Orange County show at The Observatory. The demand led to three more at the Wiltern, resulting in a four night stand in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Since I would only be able to attend one of those shows, I knew I had to attend the first one. In line, many people talked about having seen them before, or having this be their very first time. Either way, people talked about this show like a badge of honor, finally being able to cross off seeing Faith No More from their bucket lists.

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The doors opened around 7:30 PM, and everyone ran in to get a good spot to this mostly general admission show. As people shuffled, in the music was provided by a DJ onstage, known as DJ Mexican Dubwiser. He continued to provide music for the rest of the night. The first band began at 8:30 PM, and that band was Ho99o9 (pronounced Horror). I was not familiar with this band, so I didn’t know what to expect. They consisted of three members: One on drums, and two singers, one of which controlled a midi pad for sound effects. The music was a mixture, of punk and rap with elements of industrial and electronic music. It went from ambient and droning sections, to rap beats with aggressive and shouted vocals, to somewhat metal riffs where the two singers would run around and jump onstage to the music. It was a high energy performance, and the singers would provide hand gestures acting out with the lyrics were saying. They started the performance with masks, which were removed during the set. One of the members wore an army uniform and pretended to shoot his band members and the audience, further demonstrating the political nature of the lyrics. However, because of the screaming and because of how the Wiltern is (a big open room where sounds have to travel far), it was impossible to discern anything that they were saying. The audience seemed to be enjoying the performance. It was not necessarily my thing (as I am not really a fan of rap or punk), but it was exactly the performance you would expect to find as the opening band of a Faith No More show.

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Their set ended around 9:15 PM, and the stage crew began to set up for Faith No More. The first noticeable thing was that all the amps and monitors were covered in white sheets. All of Faith No More’s crew were similarly dressed in white pants and gowns. They then began to bring flowers and place them at the edge of the stage, as well as on top of the amps and around the drums. The band was supposed to start at 9:45 PM, but didn’t start until 10:00 PM. By that time, the audience was more then ready to get things going. The band walked onstage in all white gowns and pants just like their crew. However, Mike Patton walked out with BDSM hooks in his mouth and nostrils (in addition to restraints on his wrists). It was impressive that he was able to sing like that, but it was nothing short of what we would expect from one of the most unique and influential frontman in rock and roll history. They started the set with the first single released from their new album, “Motherfu**er”. It was a great opener as it built up throughout the duration of the song, and got the whole crowd to sing immediately. From there, they went through a set filled with old songs as well as new songs that the majority of the crowd had never heard before, because their new album does not come out for another month. The crowd was equally happy to hear the old and the new songs, and proceeded to dance, sing along, headbang, mosh, or just sit and watch in awe. The band had control of their respective instruments. Jon Hudson had such a light touch on the guitar that it was amazing to see it emit such a heavy tone. Mike Bordin continued to supply great fill ins throughout the course of the night. Roddy Buttum and Billy Gould continued to smile throughout their night as they played their instruments. Patton had the audience in the palm of his hand throughout the duration. He went through a wide range of vocal styles, constantly impressing the audience with his screams, whistles, and falsettos. Even covers of songs by Burt Bacharach or Commodores had the same reaction as the rest of songs from the setlist (if not a bigger reaction). In addition to the beautiful stage settings, excellent light show, strong and diverse setlist, and use of props such as megaphones, there were other things that made the set unique. The banter between the band members was funny to watch and listen to. And there was even a part in the set where a member from the audience was brought onstage so that Mike Patton could put a gimp mask on him and order him around the stage while continuing to sing and not miss a beat. After a 3 song encore, the band came back out for the final encore, which was the live debut of “Black Friday” from their upcoming album. 19 songs later, the band was finally done, and the 1 hour 30 minute set had finished, satisfying all who had seen it.

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The set just seemed to fly by, and it amazes me when I look back on it that I heard 19 songs that night. There were so many other songs that they could have played, but that’s what is so amazing about Faith No More. They are far from being a 1 hit wonder, and seeing them live really proved that. I am jealous for the people I talked to at the show that get to see them multiple times this week. Especially since they are the kind of band to change up their setlists night after night. But also, just because of the feeling it gave, to finally witness this legendary band in action after all these years.


Faith No More Setlist

    1. Motherfucker
    2. From Out of Nowhere
    3. Caffeine
    4. Evidence
    5. Epic
    6. Sunny Side Up
    7. Get Out
    8. Midlife Crisis (with an excerpt of Lowdown by Boz Scaggs)

    9. Everything’s Ruined
    10. The Gentle Art of Making Enemies
    11. Easy (Commodores Cover)

    12. Spirit
    13. King for a Day
    14. Ashes to Ashes
    15. Superhero

      Encore:

    16. Sol Invictus
    17. Separation Anxiety
    18. This Guy’s in Love With You (Burt Bacharach Cover)

      Encore 2:

    19. Black Friday (Live Debut)
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