Faith No More

Volatile rockers take the West Coast by surprise

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It’s a balmy summer evening and a noisy horde of beardy hipsters, slinky rockers with thick wallet-chains and tatted-up metalheads have amassed at the gates of the Troubadour – that storied Hollywood bastion of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll – in fervent anticipation for tonight’s band, LUMP.

Wait, LUMP? While ticket sales in the days leading up to this evening could generously be called ‘sluggish’, they took on a feverish urgency this morning when Faith No More announced via Twitter that they were the mythical LUMP and that tonight would be a rare, and heretofore secret, club date. With a capacity just north of 300, tickets sold out in 20 frantic minutes.

Mike Bordin hits a purple patch

Mike Bordin hits a purple patch (Image credit: Stephanie Cabral)

As Mike Patton looks on from the wings, drink-spilling impresario Neil Hamburger (comedian Gregg Turkington), opens with a set of jaw-droppingly tasteless, albeit occasionally side-splitting jokes about Gene Simmons and Eric Clapton and then just after midnight, FNM emerge, all in street clothes, to a thunderous reception. Keyboardist Roddy Bottum explains, “It’s Casual Thursday!” as the band ease into From The Dead. They just played the Jimmy Kimmel Show a few hours earlier and, appreciably warmed-up, we find them loose, grooving and impossibly tight. There’s hardly a foot to move either way as the band pile into Motherfucker, Mike making the first of several crowdsurfing expeditions, followed by Rise Of The Fall and a wall-trembling version of Cone Of Shame. By the time they unleash the frenetic call-and-response blitz of Superhero, the crowd has lost its collective mind, beholden to the push and pull of the rhythmic tides.

Roddy Bottum tries to steal the show

Roddy Bottum tries to steal the show (Image credit: Stephanie Cabral)

Playing up the rivalry between LA and the band’s Bay Area home base, Mike Patton points to the balcony and leers, “I see some jaded LA fucks up there!” The 18-song set covers most of Sol Invictus as well as belters like Be Aggressive, The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies, Ashes To Ashes and Caffeine. While they seem to cut the set short, foregoing Epic and From Out Of Nowhere, the two-hour show eviscerates all expectations, entirely transcending the duality of the band/
crowd dynamic, morphing into a deeply communal and utterly thrilling experience from start-to-finish. Once-in-a-lifetime stuff.

Joe Daly

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.