The Faint w/ Gang of Four & Pictureplane
The Showbox, Seattle, WA
You didn’t have to be dancing to be moving at The Showbox when The Faint and Gang of Four came to Seattle. The storied venue’s floor was bouncing whether you liked it or not. But given that fact, I’m guessing most fans were enjoying the revival of these cross-generational post-punk acts tearing it up in tandem.
Opening the night, Pictureplane – née Travis Edegy – dressed in all black, delivered a solo set of his twisted, dark noise pop. Mostly center stage twisting dials, he added disembodied vocals layers live. While the crowd was still sparse, his shifty, twisted concoctions served well to fuel the buzz.
Post-punk legends GoF were up next. Formed almost 40 years ago, and with guitarist Andy Gill as the sole original member, they are touring again in support of their just released Live…In the Moment. Gill came out and immediately smashed a guitar, but not to worry, stage hands were on the ball. With guitar number two in place, they proceeded to deliver an unpredictable, edgy performance from deep within a thick fog.
Half of their set was material off their 1979 debut Entertainment!, and no one was complaining. Vocalist John Sterry was enigmatic – they all were really – in the most deadpan way possible, and they all moved around quite a bit. Interacting with each other and shredding away. Every time Sterry tossed over a mic stand or dropped anything on the floor, that stage hand would appear, righting everything just in time for it to happen again. Always challenging the status quo, it’s hard to argue with the staying power of GoF’s tunes.
Their chaotic energy perfectly carried into Omaha’s dance-punk kings, The Faint. With the release of last month’s compilation album, Capsule: 1999-2016, and nearing the 20-year mark, the band has maintained a cult following that definitely showed up. While this show wasn’t sold out – I blame M83 also playing in town that night – there was just enough space for people to dance their little punk hearts out throughout the venue. And dance they did.
Their set was exactly what you would want it to be, heavily-synth laden, frenetically energetic, with signature dance floor beats, and all-important keyboards. They kicked off with fan favorite opener “Southern Belles in London Sing” and right from the get go all four band members are fiery balls of energy. Amidst seizure-inducing strobe lights and a rainbow of colors, vocalist Todd Fink wore his trademark wide brimmed hat and back brace to deliver distorted and glitchy vocals. Guitarist Dapose spent much of the time in constant motion, or bent at the waist wrangling massive riffs.
Classic tracks like “Victim Convenience” from 1999’s Blank-Wave Arcade and a heavy leaning on 2001’s popular Dance Macabre kept the crowd singing along. Their music provided a non-stop dance party, fists in the air. By the time they hit the closing “Agenda Suicide” Fink just let the crowd take over, shouting “Like a cast shadow” back at him with all their might. A throbbing three track encore including “Paranoiattack” and the finale, “Glass Danse,” wrung every last drop of sweat from the crowd.
The Faint Set List
Young & Realistic
Gang of Four Set List
Isle of Dogs
Review and photos by Stephanie Dore
Gang of Four