Faith No More Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal QC, August 8

Faith No More Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal QC, August 8
Photo: Adam Wills
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We've all seen photos of the current Faith No More tour, weaving and wending its way across the continent: the stage festooned with flowers, the band members all in white, the ecstatic lighting design that makes the set feel somewhere between a sermon in a oligarchical mega-church and an orgy. But being present for it, being swept up into it, is an entirely different experience altogether, one that is impossible to prepare for.
 
It's hard to conjure the beatific command that Roddy Bottum holds, standing over his keyboard like a preacher at his pulpit. It's difficult to explain the chemistry between Jon Hudson and Mike Bordin and Billy Gould, tossing the focal point of a song between them effortlessly. And it's fully impossible to explain what it is like to watch Mike Patton howl, shriek and contort on stage, his slicked-back dark hair becoming wilder and more sweat-soaked with every song. Patton was in a mean mood: "Motherfucker," which they opened with, sounded like even more of a threat than usual, and there was something pointed, even cruel, about his delivery of the bit of "Power of Love" by Celine Dion that served as an intro do "Midlife Crisis."
 
He seemed to warm to the roaring, ravenous crowd eventually, however, diving into the pit at the end of "Ashes to Ashes" (and theatrically hobbling back to the stage afterwards), and seeming to genuinely mean it when he sang Burt Bacharach's "This Guy's in Love With You" as part of the encore. Faith No More have been doing this for a long time, but their longevity has only made them meaner, more cruel and decadent, with every passing year. Lucky us.