The Faint @ the Boulder TheaterBy Joe Murphy | October 31st, 2008 | No Comments »
It has become trite to praise the Faint. Since I was as young as the fresh faces making out between sets, I have heard journalists rave about the Faint. Over the years I have seen the Omaha new-wavers more than any other band, and in an array of different venues, from a tiny club with a hundred or so people to a nearly sold out show at the Boulder Theater. And at the risk of sounding trite, Thursday night’s show in Boulder was easily one of the best.
One of my unknown favorites Darren Keen (better known as The Show is the Rainbow) has become a Nebraska counterculture Conor Oberst. He played a spastic opening set where he told the crowd, “None of you are getting laid tonight,” the crowd already buzzing in anticipation for the headliners.
The night before Halloween brought out the likes of Alex DeLarge, Slash and variuos zombies. However, at times it was hard to tell who was in costume and who were just hipsters. When the Faint took the stage, frontman Todd Fink was in a festive mood as well, dressed as a mad scientist.
The band wasted no time launching into “Get Seduced,” the first track off their latest record “Fasciinatiion,” then jumped into “Glass Dance,” followed by a version of “Dropkick the Punks” that had the entire theater dancing and throwing their hands in the air. Throughout their set the Faint did an excellent job of working in new songs while giving the dancing zombies an array of classics. The most impressive thing was that not a single song sounded dated — how a song recorded in 1999 fit perfectly next to a new single with ease.
The Faint’s signature stage show was more stunning and grand than ever. Synced music videos played on a black backdrop behind the band and an array of lights and strobes pumped with every song. During “Birth,” I hoped some of the people in front of me were just exhibiting their unique way of dancing and not having a seizure.
Just as the group finished the last note of “Paranoia Attack” I noticed that they had only been on stage for an hour. They had been flying through their set like rave DJs. After the first song of the encore, “Mirror Error,” Todd Fink announced he knocked out his front teeth for the second time this tour and “it isn’t even a long tour.” This could have been a Halloween prank, but I doubt it. Then, like a pro, he finished the encore eventually closing with fan favorite “Agenda Suicide.” The crowd went nuts and the St. Paulie Girl crowd-surfed.
It seems odd to think that after ten years as a band, the Faint once again seem to be on the cusp of something big as they continue to consistently deliver some of the best live shows. Sure, it’s trite. But it’s also a fact.
Kevin O’Brien is a Denver freelance writer and regular Reverb contributor.