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Faith No More in Dublin: a considered negative review

August 29, 2009

Dublin’s online music bible State Magazine gives a considered but overall negative review of the band’s appearance at the Olympia in Dublin in Thursday. Sample quote: “You can’t deny the power of the performances here but the band’s self-indulgent side was tiresome first time around and even this euphoric atmosphere can’t disguise the fact that this still holds. It’s a point hammered home when they launch into ‘Midlife Crisis’ and ‘Epic’, both of which are simply sublime.”

Personally I can see the point the author – Phil Udell, who I heard explaining his viewpoint more as a frustrated fan than a media mischief maker on Dublin’s Phantom 105.2 FM yesterday – is making. But I think that rather than being tiresome, Faith No More’s refusal to do anything except on their own terms and in their own way is an essential part of their appeal. And it would have been a betrayal of their very essence if they did peddle a package of greatest hits live rather than seeking to evolve from where they left off.

37 Comments leave one →
  1. Ronnie permalink
    August 29, 2009 12:43 pm

    I dont think the delay was the bands idea they seemed to be having cabling issues before they came on and you could see the rodies installing new runs of cable to some of the speakers.

  2. Col permalink
    August 29, 2009 12:51 pm

    WTF ??? “in the end a waste of a massive opportunity”

    I think he’s bleeting on because he didn’t get the set list HE wanted. How fuckin self indulgent is that!!

  3. August 29, 2009 1:27 pm

    Come on, like anyone doesn’t go to see their favorite band wanting to see particular songs. That’s not self indulgent, it’s the reality of being a fan. And it IS disappointing when a band come out and play a largely obscure set and it’s not so enjoyable for it.

    • Col permalink
      August 29, 2009 6:48 pm

      Then don’t go then.

      Largely obscure????

      • griff19 permalink
        August 29, 2009 8:13 pm

        I agree . Obscure my ass. Not real fans if they think as the worm turns is obscure. Sounds like the guy who wrote article only has the real thing

    • September 7, 2009 10:50 am

      To any self-respecting FNM fan that set was not “largely obscure”.
      You want pop songs go to a pop concert….

  4. Joe permalink
    August 29, 2009 1:28 pm

    It was a pretty poor set in all honesty…

  5. August 29, 2009 2:45 pm

    Everybody’s a f***ing critic. And yes it did look like technical problems at the beginning causing the delay. These things happen, nonetheless, it was an amazing set, this is the third time i’ve seen them this summer, and it’s definitely up there as one of the best gigs i’ve ever been to. They didn’t play Pristina but you don’t see me crying.

  6. August 29, 2009 3:27 pm

    Seems like the reviewer has the same problem that Jim Martin had before he recorded the sound of his guitar being put down on Angel Dust. “It’s not what it could be!” they both say. I think the majority of the band wants the band to do something else. Jon Hudson seems to thank his lucky stars for the opportunity to live through this again after too short of a stint the first time. Personally, Faith No More could come to my town and play 2 hours of Commodores covers for all I care. One of the best of all time is back and I’m honored.

  7. August 29, 2009 4:45 pm

    What’s poor about it?

    Midnight Cowboy
    The Real Thing
    Land Of Sunshine
    Suprise! You’re Dead
    Last Cup Of Sorrow
    Malpractice (Eastenders snippet)
    Midlife Crisis (Eastenders snippet)
    Gentle Art Of Making Enemies
    King For A Day
    Ashes To Ashes
    Just A Man
    Chariots Of Fire/ Stripsearch
    As The Worm Turns

  8. August 29, 2009 5:40 pm

    I’d have to agree with the latter part of the summation above. Artists have a balancing act to juggle when putting together a setlist. On one hand you want to please the majority of your fans and play your “hits,” and often that creates a conflict between wanting to experiment and grow on a personal level and simply just wanting to play the songs you like more. It seems that a lot of people would rather see a band as a product, and not as individual people who can easily tire of monotonously playing the same songs over and over again. I think it’s a testament to tenacity that a lot of bands even try to appease their fans in such a manner.

    Personally, I think that’s an awesome setlist, and I’m really enjoying seeing that there’s variations in the others that are being posted here. Would I like to see other tunes show up on it? Absolutely. I don’t think I’ve seen Everything’s Ruined or Kindergarten on any of them yet, but you know what? I’m just DAMN HAPPY that FNM is even on the road right now.

  9. terry cloth permalink
    August 29, 2009 5:44 pm

    i agree; set list wise this is pretty good considering they were playing the same stuff for a while there…nice to see the Midnight, Real Thing, As the Worm Turns again and Malpratice. Like the Eastenders bit in between songs like they’re commercials or something….

  10. Miss Leo permalink
    August 29, 2009 6:37 pm

    Fart on him.

  11. Miguel permalink
    August 29, 2009 9:47 pm

    The set list is poor? Its impossible because there arent poor musics in all their albuns… For me they could play whatever they want… From Zombie eaters to Pristina, passing by the edge of the world or everything is ruined… I will also be there..

  12. Deframe permalink
    August 30, 2009 12:06 am

    I understand his frustrations but he seems to be overlooking something pretty obvious. Faith No More ARE performing a ‘greatest hits’ style setlist, just look at the songs with 20+ performances on this page –

    Remove Midnight Cowboy, Malpractise and RV from the Dublin set and what are you left with exactly?

    My one frustration with this tour is that with few exceptions they aren’t experimenting with lesser known songs. The festival performances probably play a large part in this but the ‘one off’ gigs could (and probably should) be a little more interesting.

  13. August 30, 2009 8:25 am

    nothin obscure about that set. dudes just a whinger

  14. mark permalink
    August 30, 2009 10:39 am

    Calling that Dublin gig a “missed opportunity” is daft. FNM have never released a bad album or a bad song. ‘Album of the Year’ is fantastic, and its songs deserve to be heard, as do the songs from ‘King for a day…’ If Phil Udell was sufficiently familiar with the bads history and attitude towards playing live he should have gone into that gig with no other expectations other then to hear some FNM songs.

    Great set. Great gig.

  15. Alan B permalink
    August 30, 2009 11:57 am

    I saw them in Edinburgh a couple of days before the Dublin show and they were 30 minutes late coming on there as well. So make of that what you will.

    • Col permalink
      August 30, 2009 10:08 pm

      They came on at 9.15

      • Irish Al permalink
        August 31, 2009 11:40 am

        Yep, and they were supposed to come on at 8:45.

  16. Brian77 permalink
    August 30, 2009 2:02 pm

    That was one of the best gigs ever. Sounds like he only owns ‘The Real Thing’.

  17. eric permalink
    August 31, 2009 12:56 am

    Can’t vouch for how they played these songs, but if this guy was really a FNM fan, being interested in watching them evolve is part of the deal. Surprised he didn’t get it.

  18. August 31, 2009 9:42 am

    Lol… What was he expecting? A 2hr marathon of We Care a Lot, Epic, Easy and Digging the Grave on repeat?

  19. August 31, 2009 11:34 am

    It’s clear that he’s a guy who has loved Faith No More in passing rather than as a devout – and that’s fair enough. What is unfair about his review is that he overlooks the fact that, actually, the band played a set designed to please us devouts, while hopefully also entertaining those passing fans of old (with the likes of Easy, Epic, Midlife Crisis). That’s what has been brilliant about FNM’s reunion – unlike so many of the high profile reunions of recent years, this one has celebrated its fanbase. (Witness Patton’s VIP-goading at Pukkelpop.)

    His reference to the audience making the gig as much as the band misses that key point. The reason the audience were so animated – and cripes was it animated in there – was precisely because the great majority of them were die-hards and they were blown away by an incredible set and performance.

    Another important point: I caught FNM at Pukkelpop a week before the Olympia and while the first was a great show it was mostly a great show for a FNM fan. The Olympia show, however, transcended all that. This was a triumph for live music. I have been to hundreds upon hundreds of great shows over the years but this was up there in the top ten. It was mind-blowing and it never let up from the moment Puffy’s drum lightly dallied their way into The Real Thing.

    Finally, it seems clear that Udell is really only familiar with The Real Thing and a few of the singles from Angel Dust. For my own money, each of those are without question FNM’s finest albums, the one capping the ’80s-era model, the other setting an impossible standard for the ’90s model ever again to follow. However, while Album of the Year and King For A Day, in particular the latter, are slightly underwhelming albums, the tracks in the Olympia set (Evidence, Enemies, and – holy fuck – Ashes To Ashes, Stripsearch, and Last Cup of Sorrow) were the best tracks from each of those albums. To query their bringing the set to a close is a total oversight.

    Anyone, meanwhile, who would wonder aloud about the merits of hearing As The Worm Turns live really doesn’t get FNM as anything other than a band that were popular for a bit on MTV circa 1990-92.

    • Chris Noone permalink
      August 31, 2009 8:56 pm

      well said. agree 100%

  20. Eric permalink
    August 31, 2009 12:47 pm

    Well put

  21. Daithi permalink
    August 31, 2009 12:59 pm

    What a bag of sh*te… This dickhead expects some kind of pandering to the demands of small group of ‘we came for the hits’ type folks.. who shouldn’t even be wasting tickets!

    Go check out JLS instead, gobshite.

    All genuine fans were thrilled with the setlist choices, I mean RV anyone?? What a trip!!!

    Come again FNM

  22. Christophe permalink
    August 31, 2009 1:10 pm

    PK is on the money.

    I never cared what Phil Udell said or did prior to this but holy crap, I’ll have an opinion now.

    It will be considered negative.

  23. August 31, 2009 2:01 pm

    PK excellent spiel, well said again. The atmosphere in Dublin last Thursday was unbelievable and I was just grinning ear to ear throughout the gig …I’m sure I wasn’t the only one! Midnight Cowboy was a pretty cool start but when the Real Thing kicked in …well I just couldn’t believe I was actually seeing Faith No More in the flesh again.

    Overall the set was great and it would be impossible to please everyone …. I totally agree about the Real Thing and Angel Dust being the best albums and FNM kinda’ went from being a headline act to being more of a cult band thereafter …..but whatever you have to say I think if they had stayed together they wouldve continued to make at the very least really interesting music …… they were and remain my all-time favourite band so I am biased but at the Olympia last week we were witnessing a great band really living in the moment…. really exciting and fresh ……

    My only three complaints are 1) I went to the bar/toilet and missed Midlife Crisis, Easy & Epic …. the feeling of guilt is something I’ll just have to live with! 2) would’ve liked to see We Care A Lot to finish but as we know they ran out of time and these things happen. I just felt sad that it was all over when it was ….. simply because it was so brilliant and I wanted to hear more…that’s gotta be a good thing!! 3) The gig was so great that I fear I may be in danger of redeveloping my old obsession with FNM ….. I deliberately refused to listen to them in the lead up to the gig so as the music would nearly shock me with its’ brilliance ….now I have them on in the car everyday …I just hope I dont ruin the albums for myself forever through too many repeat listenings!!

    Overall it was a real privilege to see FNM in such a great venue and hearing Land of Sunshine live was amazing …… I respect that reviewer’s opinion on State website fair enough …but for him to complain about the “Psychotic Nightmare” of Land of Sunshine and Caffeine??!! These are amazing songs!! yes they are a bit psychotic (!) but that is FNM and lots of my “normal” mates dont get them and that’s ok …it is offbeat music but absolutely brilliant. I guess it just all comes down to taste!!

    Anyway it was also a privilege to be at the gig with so many real fans……I just hope I can get to see them again someday…actuallyy the 12 year wait was probably what made it all so great!! Ok sin é ….. keep the faith folks!

  24. Miguel permalink
    September 1, 2009 8:55 pm

    200% right!! Both PK and CD comments are works of art. Both describes in a fantastic way what was to be in the Olympia last Thursday!! And of course, hearing As the worm turns live was absolutly amazing and inexpected…. ok, they missed some hits… but.. hey… wait a minute.. arent all FNM musics real hits?

  25. Kieran permalink
    September 2, 2009 9:35 am

    The Olympia gig was superb, full of energy and great variety from FNM’s catalogue, Patton’s voice is incredible and they sound as good as ever…No complaints from from side anyway…I would put a FNM show over many bands any day…

  26. Jessie permalink
    September 2, 2009 1:18 pm

    Some photos from the Olympia here:

    • griff19 permalink
      September 3, 2009 10:46 pm

      xlnt pics. Stormin gig.

      • Jessie permalink
        September 5, 2009 12:56 am

        Fuckin aye. Thanks 🙂

  27. born-again fanatic permalink
    September 2, 2009 8:02 pm

    baffling. maybe this guy is just trolling – what setlist could possibly have added more than a handful more ‘hits’ (and…war pigs? really?).
    it’s an awful pity so many tickets were wasted on ditzy musos and their mates/birds when hundreds of hardcore fans couldn’t get in.
    sure that fella can’t even spell adebisi shank, at least faith no more made the effort to get the name right.

  28. Johnny Aggro permalink
    September 4, 2009 7:09 pm

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But simply put, the band FnM have come back and, almost as if their previous tour was last year, not last decade, they put on a show that would teach any band formed in the last 10 years how it is done. The setlist, insofar as what they played is largely irrelevant. Yes, I was hoping to hear Digging the Grave and Everything’s ruined, but they could have played any set from their catalogue and it would have been awesome. For anyone who was at that gig, and I believe any show on this tour, and came out of it disatisfied, don’t get it. FnM are a band that transcend all genres of music. No other band exist that can pull off a live show that tight and still perform as if it was their last. It can’t be put into words, why it clicks, but there is no need for those who understand. I only hope they carry on, release some new material and maybe come back to Dublin. I was a couple of rows from the front and the energy and passion from everyone, especially Billy was amazing.

    FnM: Free to those who can afford them; very expensive to those who can’t.

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