By Joshua Erickson
April 15, 2015
VANCOUVER — San Francisco-based weirdo avant-metal band Faith No More have always had a bit a bad rap. Their 1990 mega-hit “Epic” inadvertently led to the creation of rap-rock and nu-metal as genres, even though the band and its members (minus ex-guitarist Big Jim Martin) always stood staunchly in contrast to the homophobia and misogyny associated with those genres. The band has always gone out of their way to make sure the “meathead” contingent knows this as well. Things such as making it known the band’s keyboardist Roddy Bottum is openly gay, writing songs critiquing the masculine “macho” identity, as well as choosing openers that will challenge their audience.
This show – the first stop on their tour to support their post-reunion album Sol Invictus and first show in Vancouver in over 20 years – proved to be no different, as their choice of an opener in Christeen is about as challenging as you can get. The best way to describe Christeen is, well, it was essentially a gay cabaret act set to heavy industrial goth techno, complete with full-on ass eating and the removal of a butt plug onstage (at an all ages venue, no less). People cringed, winced, grimaced and looked away, while others danced along and cheered for more. Either way, they evoked strong and hilarious reactions.
Continuing to test their audience’s expectations, instead of a stage of black with pyro, Faith No More greeted the crowd to a stage of white, filled with delicate bouquets—of real flowers. It is strange when the smell of fresh flowers is able to cover up the smell of pot at a show. Nonetheless, when Faith No More hit the stage and the crowd saw inimitable frontman Mike Patton’s face, the crowd went nuts. Opening with new single “Motherfucker” and then tearing through the first two tracks from cult classic album Angel Dust, the band came in hard. Playing a 20-song career-spanning set, Faith No More had the energy of a band 20 years younger and Mike Patton was as caustic and witty as one would hope. This is not the sound of a band cashing in on a reunion tour. This is the sound of a band with revitalized energy and a new purpose, and the more people they make cringe and/or question their sexuality the better.BC, British Columbia, Christeen, Faith No More, PNE Forum