By: Tim Connors
Dream-show with Faith No More and The Refused in Raleigh
I have this list of bands that I never imagined seeing during my post-adolescence. When I got the chance to see Faith No More and The Refused at Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh, I was very excited to cross them off my wish-list.
After a two-hour drive, packed full of anxiety and excitement, I pulled into downtown Raleigh on a mission to find a good parking spot and a good seat (I always sit next to the sound booth for the best quality sound) in the Red Hat Amphitheatre, which is an incredibly beautiful venue with great seating and sound-quality.
As I pulled into my parking spot across from the venue, I could hear the intense and energetic start of the song “Elektra,” an aggressive-high energy track from their 2015 album Freedom. I found a good spot to watch and hear the show when the band plunged into “The Shape of Punk to Come,” one of my favorite songs off one of my favorite albums. The crowd and myself erupted into a blend of dancing and screaming lyrics in unison with singer Dennis Lyxzen.
Typically, bands like to sprinkle newer and less-popular tracks throughout their set which always seems to bore the crowd. Nothing could be further from the truth with The Refused. New tracks like “Dawkins Christ,” “War on The Palaces” and “Elektra” kept the crowd focused and excited. It was absolutely refreshing to hear The Refused play their new tracks while keeping their original, trend-setting, unique sound in tact.
The Refused’s set was to-the-point and powerful. They played to an audience thirsty for old tunes from the monumental album The Shape of Punk to Come and they did not disappoint. With songs like “Summerholiday vs Punkroutine” and “The Shape of Punk to Come” sprinkled throughout the short set, the crowd got their fix.
But something was missing and the whole amphitheatre knew. Then, it happened. That single guitar-riff ripped through the amphitheatre like a tidal wave, with the ‘E’ chord having the same effect as 10 dog-whistles being blown at a dog park. With millions of goosebumps rising and ears perking up in anticipation, The Refused slammed into their game-changing anthem “New Noise.” In my opinion, this is one of the most influential songs ever written in regards to music being ahead-of-its-time. I think most fans of punk/rock/emo or metal would agree.
I honestly thought “New Noise” would have been the encore, but after a short break the guys came back out and sent the crown off with an epic encore track from the 2015 album Freedom titled “Thought is Blood.” I can’t say enough about how great The Refused’s new material is. Every person who is a fan of music remotely related to rock music should own this album. I’m assuming you all already own The Shape of Punk to Come. If you don’t, you’re missing the fucking boat.
On to the main event:
Like many of the people in the crowd, my love affair with Faith No More began with their skyrocket-to-fame from the release of the ground-breaking album The Real Thing. As mentioned above, I thought I had little to no chance seeing certain bands, especially Faith No More.
In one of the most interesting, elaborate stage set-ups I have ever seen, the crew speedily put huge flower arrangements on stage to complement the all white back-drops over amps, stands and stage. It looked like heaven with a bunch of microphones.
The lights went out and the white background began to flash red. It was game-time.
Complementing the visually-stimulating intro, the metal/funk/jazz pioneers began their set with “Mother Fucker.” A aggressively-mellow track from their 2015 release Sol Invictus. Speaking of aggressive; after warming up the awe-struck audience, the band jumped right into “Be Aggressive.” It always makes for a good time when you hear over 5000 people screaming “ejaculation, I’ll swallow” at the same time.
After flawlessly performing the riff-heavy arrangement of “Caffeine,” Faith No More kept the energy sky-high by going into their break-through song “Epic” and it was exactly that: epic. Followed by a rendition of “Mid-life Crisis” that included a mid-song breakdown where the band threw in a version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,”’ and the rarely-played live track “A Small Victory” it was becoming increasingly-evident that the drive was absolutely worth it.
When keyboardist Roddy Bottum snuck in the intro to “Sunday Morning,” the crowd exploded with applause. Mike Patton flexed his vocal versatility by hitting every note from The Commodores’ smash hit. In a word: mesmerizing. The crowd reaction was just as priceless. It’s a rarity to see thousands of people go from screaming, yelling and being piled on top of each other, to slow dancing. It was as interesting as it was bizarre.
After classics “King for a Day” and “Ashes to Ashes,” the funk/metal pioneers closed out their set with the hook-heavy track “Superhero” off of the Invictus album.
Every great concert deserves an encore, and this concert was the definition of great. I wasn’t going anywhere and the thousands of screaming fans certainly weren’t either. After a brief break in the action, Mike Patton was accompanied by the rest of the band and marched back on stage, taking a page out of history with their Mike Patton-led version of the 1992 anthem “We Care A lot;” the last number of the evening was actually decided by the concert-goers when Mike Patton gave the crowd the option of choosing the last song. We chose the genre-hopping megatune “Just a Man.”
My night was perfect. I shared my evening with a few thousand friends with similar interests, drank quite a few beers and got the privilege to experience not only one but two incredible acts, whose music spans over 20 and 30 years. Faith No More and The Refused are acts that helped spawn genres and subgenres that are prominent today. Not only are they pioneers, their music is timeless and I’m grateful for today’s history-lesson.
Catch this tour!
|Aug 05||The Theater at Madison Square Garden||New York, NY||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Aug 07||Ricoh Coliseumw/ Refused||Toronto, Canada||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Aug 08||Heavy Montreal 2015w/ The Agonist||Montreal, Canada||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Sep 06||Bumbershoot||Seattle, WA||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Sep 08||Red Rocks Amphitheatre||Morrison, CO||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Sep 11||Riot Fest||Chicago, IL||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Sep 18||Royal Center||Bogota, Colombia||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Sep 20||Luna Park||Buenos Aires City, Argentina||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Sep 24||Anhembi Arena||Santana, Brazil||RSVP||Share|
|Sep 25||Rock in Rio||Rio De Janeiro, Brazil||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Sep 28||Hangares Suricato||Santiago, Chile||RSVP||Share|
|Oct 24||Gibson Ranch County Park||Elverta, CA||RSVP||Share|
|Oct 25||Aftershock Festival||Sacramento, CA||Tickets||RSVP||Share|