By Rachel Chaparro
After taking a four-year hiatus, the Faint kicked off their 24-city tour at the Ogden on Thursday night.
The tour likely would not have happened without Saddle Creek Records’ push to reissue the band’s career-defining album “Danse Macabre,” which the Faint played in its entirety for a packed house of Cheetos- and goldfish-loving, aging punk rockers.
The Faint’s shows are as much a visual experience as a musical one, which has been the band’s intention from the start. When the band formed 15 years ago, they were so committed to their experiments with strobes and lights that they ran the light show while playing.
Now in the world of lasers, lighting rigs and LED setups, the Faint takes the relationship between lighting and music to a new level. Their digital screen at Thursday’s show was an outline of city buildings that lit up with splashes of vibrant, abstract art, trippy disco balls, ambulance rides and song videos topped off with strobes and lasers.
The band not only covered the 35-minute “Danse Macabre” album, they also blew through a lot of their popular songs, including “The Geeks Were Right,” “I Disappear” and “Worked Up So Sexual,” which explores the livelihood of strippers and the underlying reason the industry flourishes worldwide.
A combination of the intense light show, obsessive drum lines, wall-rattling bass, harrowing keyboards and Todd Fink’s ability to cut through it all like a machete still sets the Faint apart from other indie groups.
The band Trust warmed up the stage before the Faint. Trust’s mash-up of ’80s goth and electronica was schizophrenic and hard to digest. The lead singer shifted from sounding like Tinker Bell to being possessed by demons. His spastic dance moves and the band’s deafening bass were a bit much to take without ear plugs and squinting.
Rachel Chaparro is a Denver-based writer and a new contributor to Reverb.
Lisa Higginbotham is a Denver photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb.