Fantômas / The Locust / Trevor Dunn's Trio Convulsant Le Spectrum, Montreal QC - April 14, 2005

Fantômas / The Locust / Trevor Dunn's Trio Convulsant Le Spectrum, Montreal QC - April 14, 2005
Between Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk and Fantômas, over the years Mike Patton has built up a rabid fan-base in Montreal, a city where the French have a longstanding policy of vouching for anything metal and arty. So it was no surprise when this Ipecac-reared triple bill set down in a 2,000-plus venue that had been sold out for weeks. Trevor Dunn's Trio Convulsant was up first on a stage too big for their slanted jazz-metal. With stand-up bass, guitar and drum kit, Dunn's latest side-project mines a territory close to mid-'90s era U.S. Maple and Denison/Kimball Trio: rhythm sections hell bent on deconstructing rhythms. Next up were San Diego hardcore cubists the Locust, who were expectedly fearsome and innovative as fuck. Decked out in their trademark denim one-piece jumpers (all the more to look like locusts) and brandishing an early make of a wall-sized moog synth, they ripped through some of the most angular anger this side of the Dillinger Escape Plan with razor-like precision. Live, they take over a venue with their sheer presence and become this hypnotic vortex of sadistic leaps through time signatures and lung-shredding screams. They would've stolen the show if Mike Patton wasn't the most twisted mad genius of them all. Even with a grey fro'd Buzzo on guitar, even with Slayer's Dave Lombardo holding down a drum kit that could house a band of gypsies, even with long-time collaborator Trevor Dunn, Fantômas is still unequivocally Patton's show. From his table full of gadgets, knobs and microphones, he led the quartet with an iron fist of cues through a labyrinth of impulsive genre jumps toward a goal only he seems to see. Covering their four albums in exactly 60 minutes and one encore, the band left no musical swerve untried, and in doing so proved beyond a shadow of a doubt to all in the room that they are one of the greatest live bands we have today.