Saturday Night at The Mann Center’s Skyline Stage, Faith No More graced the Philadelphia faithful with their second trip to the area this year after May’s raucous performance at The Electric Factory. The band themselves even commented on the situation, joking that The Mann’s capacity crowd was getting tired of them. Nothing could be further from the truth though, as the reactivated hard rock heroes were greeted with a rapturous reception befitting the church like atmosphere of their white clad, flower strewn set dressing.
Similarly recently reunited 90’s punk legends Refused opened the show with a highly energetic and well received set, charismatic frontman Dennis Lyxen first stage walking, then diving to the joy of the attendees. The set consisted of several old favorites as well as a surprising number of tracks from the band’s recently released and well received comeback record “Freedom”. Many in the crowd sang along with every word, and I assume those previously unfamiliar or unconvinced were quickly converted. If you weren’t a devotee of the Swedish prog-punkers’ “New Noise” before, you were now.
As night fell on the venue Faith No More’s elaborate funereal backdrop begin to take shape and at 9:00 sharp Mike Patton and co. assaulted the stage with “Sol Invictus” ripper “Cone of Shame”. The band sounded extra tight, all members at the top of their game, and punishingly loud in the outdoor venue, almost seeming like a revival in the shadow of the stage’s blinding whiteness. FNM treated Philly to a slightly different set than in May, but still hitting all the high spots like classics “Epic”, “Midlife Crisis” and “Easy”, and ending with new favorite “Superhero”.
FNM returned with a short encore before ending the night for good on “The Last to Know” from “King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime”. We’ve been lucky here in Philly to see Faith No More not just once but twice after their protracted absence. They may not return any time soon, if at all, so it’s good that we got a second awesome helping, though we’d always be hungry for more.
Photos by Megan Hawkey