The Faint is an amazing live act.
I’ve been attending the Omaha, Neb., band’s concerts for more than a decade now (which is hard to believe), and I would probably rate them as my second favorite live act behind, of course, Depeche Mode.
The Faint is similar to Depeche Mode in that they both mix electronic music and rock in a way that can keep the crowd moving for the whole show. In fact, The Faint is relentless in that aspect, whereas Depeche Mode offers its fans a few breathers during some slower numbers.
The Faint is quite possibly the band I’ve seen play live more than any other. I’ve danced through more than a dozen of their shows.
So it was with sadness when I read last year that the band was uncertain of its future with the departure of bassist Joel Petersen. The last time The Faint played live was at the 2010 Maha Festival. It was an incredible show, as always.
Thankfully, they reunited (sans Petersen) to play a show in Des Moines and two in Omaha this past week. I caught the Saturday night performance at The Slowdown.
It was just like old times, although the band was obviously still adjusting to having four members instead of five.
They played one of my favorite songs, “Hospital,” which I caught on video for you:
They opened the show with a song that, as far as I know, is new. I would guess it’s called something along the lines of “An Unseen Hand.”
As you can see, the fans were certainly enjoying the music, so I’d say the remaining members of The Faint made a good choice in returning to the stage.
My only complaint as a long-time fan is that the band wasn’t dressed uniformly in black like it often used to do. It just fit the music much better than — especially — singer Todd Finke’s current choice of wardrobe. What can I say? It’s a matter of personal preference. It’s kind of how Robert Smith of The Cure got a lot of flack in the 1980s when he cut his hair and wasn’t wearing as much make-up. Some bands have a stage persona that goes with the music. When they depart from that, they arguably lose something. Robert Smith recognized that. Will The Faint? (Not that it will prevent me from seeing their shows …)
Tim McMahan at Lazy-i articulates some of what I was getting at with the wardrobe remarks:
If there’s a criticism of Saturday night’s show it was that the band seemed more stripped down, less “theatric,” and as a result, less sinister. At their best, there is a darkness to The Faint, a layer of dread that adds depth to everything they do. Hopefully, as they move forward, that dread will return.
Read his review of the show here. (Tim even includes a link to my video. Sweet.)
Read all about The Faint’s reunion here in an interview with The Reader.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t include the video for The Faint’s “Agenda Suicide.” The song is a fan favorite and often closes out the band’s shows, as it did Saturday.