Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Faint does it again

I must say that I've never been disappointed by concert from The Faint. I've seen them in Omaha a lot, but I'm never bored and I always leave wishing the set was just a few songs longer.

In fact, I'd venture to say that "Paranoiaattack" might be the best song I've ever heard performed live by any band that I've ever seen. The energy of the band, the crowd popping around, the call of "paranoia" and Todd Fink's manic look as he leads the band and the fans are superb.

After taking the stage with "Mirror Error," Fink said, "Alright! Waiting Room! Fuck yes!"

He generally looked more excited and happy than I've ever seen him onstage before. I wonder if it's because he's had a break from The Faint for a little while and actually gets to enjoy it.

Anyway, last night was a lot like other Faint shows that I've been to. Lots of dancing, both from folks in front of the stage and those on it. Lots of strobe lights.

There were a few differences. The lights were cool and timed to the music, but nothing fancy like in years past. No video screen or elaborate montages timed with each song.

And they were playing in a tiny venue. The couple hundred folks (maybe) that were at the sold out show is a far cry from the 1000 or so + that pack into Sokol Auditorium. It made for a much better show: You could actually see and hear the band, you didn't suffocate from the heat and the band connected with the audience a lot better. Jacob Thiele and Fink were talking to the crowd a lot, high-fived people and generally interacted a lot more.

The Faint were also feeling generous last night, giving everyone in the crowd a copy of their latest album, "Fasciinatiion." After coming back for the three-song encore, Fink broke it down thusly: "In the spirit of the holiday, we have a gift. Not the gift of leaving for a second, taking a piss and coming back on stage to play a few more songs. Well, we're going to do that too. But this gift is some merchandise. Anyone who wants a CD while you leave, we have one for you."

A Waiting Room employee handed out copies of the CDs while folks left. It was a pretty cool thing to do for their fans, although I wonder if they were just trying to get rid of some extra CDs.

Today, I popped "Fasciinatiion" in the CD player and a few things struck me. First, this CD is better than a lot of people made it out to be when it came out in 2008. Yeah, it's not terribly different from past efforts, but why does it have to be? Second, these songs fit into their live show very well. Watching last night, I didn't realize that they played so many tunes from their latest album.

Third, why have these guys never made a live album or DVD? The live show is what defines this band for me. I love bringing people that have never heard of them to see The Faint live. Usually it's a "Well, I heard one of their songs one time and didn't like it." My response is that you have to see them live because it's a totally different experience. For these people that I've dragged along, it's a life changer every time.

Here's the full setlist, which I took a picture of with my cell phone:

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