Some concerts mean more than just the music eh…
The best ones are the ones you remember for years after
and for all the reasons – not just because it was a super great
band at the height of their powers playing the songs from their
very best album.
I saw Faith No More for the first time in 1993. First time in Wellington’s
Town Hall (R.I.P.) The best venue for a small-but-big gig. And Mike Patton
screaming all night – doing that Me Wan’ Cookie croak from death metal
and howling and wincing as he minced and prowled about the stage. Then
a change of tune, and just like that crooned to the mirror-ball light of that hit
Lionel Richie ballad. Made it look (and sound) easy.
Me and Sam got a ride to Wellington with my mum. She wanted to visit her
sister. We wanted to see the show. It was the school holidays – so that meant
we could go. And we stopped on the way in the shittiest mall to buy Angel Dust
to sneak a listen before the gig. And to bask in several thousand listens after and
The next day we got lost trying to find the motorway to home – then I bought a
Max Roach cassette tape – and that seemed as important as any musical discovery
even if it was probably the wrong crowd in the car, or not quite the right time.
We stopped in Woodville, hungry for something – but clearly not too worried about taste.
We ordered hot chips and whatever else and then when my mate asked for
hot chips too the woman behind the counter said no. Told him we’d already ordered some
and that when ours arrived since he knew us he could have some from our plate.
It felt like a long drive back – longer than most. It was raining as I recall.
And my ears were ringing from some of the best live music I’d ever heard.
That intensity. That energy. And me and one of my best mates had been there.
And we’d see the band again. And again. And see other bands of course – far too
many to count.
But that was one of the ones. One of the very best. One of the gigs that started it all
for me too. That got me absolutely hooked on the experience. I still think about it often.
I still think, too, of the perfect anomaly of going to a Faith No More gig and buying a Max Roach tape the next day. That sums up my approach to music listening, to music loving
better than any other words could put it. Which is only a worry if I stop to think
for too long about the hundreds of thousands of words I’ve wasted having a go. But that’s all been with the best of intentions if not always the best execution.