After being told for the past year that Red Rocks is perhaps the greatest music venue in the country, it was great to finally have the chance to go to the place. Even better when the cherry-busting show was Faith No More, a band this editor hadn’t seen since 1997 in England. The combo of FNM and Red Rocks made for a quite wonderful evening.A
Mind you, getting to Red Rocks involves quite some walking, doesn’t it? You Coloradans might be used to it, and good for you. Those of us that have transplanted from elsewhere aren’t used to CLIMBING A DAMN MOUNTAIN to get to a gig. But that’s cool.
Gogol Bordello opened the show and, while they weren’t ever in danger of stealing the show from Faith No More, they provided the ideal warm-up. Frantic, manic, and hella fun, the New York gypsy punks barely stopped to breathe. They’re so enjoyable to watch, this rag-tag bunch of multi-cultural, multi-generational stompers. There’s not a one of them who doesn’t seem to be having the time of their lives. “Start Wearing Purple” ends a killer support set.
So Gogol Bordello left the stage, the crowd breathless, and then we all composed ourselves, got ourselves together again, before the main event. Faith No More may have been reformed for a couple of years now, but they were gone for so long that this feels like a real event. The new album, Sol Invictus is such a strong comeback that the band knows it can open with a new tune, “Motherf****r,” and it won’t dampen the crowd’s mood in the slightest.
From there, the setlist is just a dream. “Be Aggressive,” “Epic,” “Midlife Crisis,” “Evidence,” “Easy,” a wonderful “Ashes to Ashes” and the set highlight “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies” – every single track, including more from the new record, hits home. Mike Patton’s voice has lost none of it’s eclectic, unhinged beauty, equally amazing crooning or screaming like a loon.
The stage looks wonderful, all decked out in white (as are the band members), with flowers everywhere. A large disco ball makes the red rocks sparkle, and Bill Gould’s bass bounces around gloriously in this environment too. “Denver’s happy,” Gould says. He’s right.
“We Care a Lot” closes the night perfectly, and we’re left to make out way back down the slopes. “Nice place you’ve got here,” Patton said during the set. “I might just move in to those rocks up there.” You’d be very welcome, sir.