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Concert Reviews:
Faith No More delivers a diverse, stirring show at the Fillmore Detroit

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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DETROIT -- There was plenty going on in Foxtown on Friday night, May 8. And Faith No More frontman Mike Patton was well aware of that.

"Why are you not at Hall & Oates?" he asked an exuberant Fillmore Detroit crowd, acknowledging his show's neighbor at the Fox Theatre just north. Patton then added, without irony, "That's a valid question. I would be."

Maybe so, but he and Faith No More, making its first Detroit area appearance in some 17 years, offered plenty of reasons why the Fillmore was packed for his group's concert.

Over the course of 19 songs and 85 minutes (streamed via Yahoo Live), the San Francisco quintet offered a not-so-gentle reminder about the diversity the group so creatively compelling during its initial run during the 80s and 90s as well as a demonstration -- via songs from the new "Sol Invictus" album, which comes out May 19 -- of how potent Faith No More remains. As is its wont, Faith No More, with members clad all in white (Wimbledon or a Unification Church service, take your pick) and boxes of flowers surrounding the stage, was eclectic above all else, shifting from the heavyweight slam of "From Out of Nowhere" and "Caffeine" into the smooth soul of "Evidence" with deft, offhanded ease and daring to deliver its biggest hit, the rap-rock anthem "Epic," just 15 minutes into the show, a statement of confidence in the strength of its catalog.

Faith No More played plenty for the moshers on Friday night, including "Surpise! You're Dead," "The Gentle Art of Making Everything" and "Ashes to Ashes," while "Spirit" hearkened back to what Patton called the group's "hippie" early days (before he joined, in fact) and a pulverizing "Midlife Crisis" was highlighted by the Fillmore crowd's recitation of the chorus and a quick bit of Hall & Oates' "Rich Girl." And Faith No More's knack for kitsch was aired via covers of the Commodores' "Easy" and the Burt Bacharach-Hal David classic "This Guy's in Love with You."

The group previewed five songs from "Sol Invictus," including the singles "Motherf*****" and "Superhero," the title track and the rootsy show-closer "From the Dead," while Patton's predecessor Chuck Mosley made a surprise appearance for "Mark Bowen" during the first encore. That was the proverbial cherry on top, however; the real treat was what Faith No More had already done during the show, proving that absence indeed made everybody's hearts grow fonder -- and the band, six years into its reunion, even stronger.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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