[Click image for more photos]
BY VINCE ANDERSON
photos by Joe Morgan
Hailing from Sweden, ’90s rockers The Refused have refused to give up on Punk Music their way: raucous as they want to be, with influences of Metal, and even a sprinkling of Glam. Not really being too familiar with these guys but being pleasantly surprised tonight by their energetic, swagger-laden performance, I’d highly recommend you see them if you get the chance. With one of the more memorable moments being when Frontman Dennis Lyxzen made his way to the seats, close enough that I could have grabbed his junk, laid on his back and thrashed about as if possessed by the God of Punk, it’s no wonder they opened for such an erratic group as Faith No More.
Then FNM hit the stage like popping the top off of a vintage bottle of liquor…with a unique flavor only enhanced by age.
Bouquets surrounded the stage like that of high school reunion, befitting the night as the boys came together to put on a show for their old classmates, their audience, many of whom appeared to have been fans since the band’s early days. We were ready to be schooled by the enigmatic, eclectic arrangement conducted by the mad hatter and frontman, Mike Patton. Along with his classmates, Billy Gould on guitar, Mike Bordin on drums, Jon Hudson on lead guitar and Roddy Bottum on keyboard.
Their brand of music, with it’s orchestral bombardment of their classic compositions, shot out like a dose of audio hallucinogens. Listening, I felt like I was having either a flashback or a trip as Patton demonstrated his ability to manipulate his vocals whilst his band-mates delved into a menagerie of melodies. Eyes closed or open, the trip was intense, either way.
Audience participation was a big part of the night. Keyboardist Bottum pulled the crowd in with a yell and the band broke into the funky “Midlife Crisis,” contrasting Patton, who would speak to the crowd on an intimate level and rouse them to sing along to both the band’s classics and even a psychedelically-flavored cover of “Easy” from The Commodores. Probably the most intimate moment occurred when Patton talked to the crowd, found a young member in the audience and asked his name…
“Vincent,” the kid replied (ironically, my name too).
Patton asks the kid if he likes to party.
Vincent says, “yes.”
Patton then says, “I’m going to stop there,” perhaps realizing he could take this conversation where it need not go with Vincent, who looked about 14 years old, yet the humorous exchange served as a reminder to all of us aging rockers present that tonight we were all a little younger, traveling back to another time when music was diverse and didn’t have to follow any trend. I would “highly” (insert innuendo here) recommend a trip to see Faith No More if ever you have the opportunity.