The Faint | 3.15.07

faint0307The members of the Faint danced on stage with their instruments as partners while some extremely abstract images of sex were projected behind them.


The Pageant, St. Louis

It's really easy to pick types of people out in crowds at concerts. There is the ever-present toe-tapper, the head-bobber, the hipster ass-shaker, and the people who cross their arms over their chests and watch with a scowl. But then there are the dancers—the elusive kids whose glow-sticked fingers stretch toward the roof of the venue, their hips moving with the music, screaming along to the lyrics of the song. This dancing species is the type of people that the Faint play for, and The Pageant was full of 'em this night.

I won't go into detail about Flowers Forever, the opener, because they definitely don't deserve it. They had a trumpet, which was their one redeeming quality. The threesome sounded like a cookie-cutter dance-pop band, but…they probably weren't even that good. With their cult-y lyrics, incense burning on a Coke can, and the occasional screech from the lead singer, I was less than amused. Their stage presence was nil, and they spelled words out in their songs (I know how to spell "H-A-P-P-Y", and perhaps they were trying to be cute when writing this song, but needless to say, I wasn't very "H-A-P-P-Y" about their set).

Then, a marching band (from Francis Howell High School) marched into stage, wearing black and bright colored ties. I was sort of perturbed by this, but then they started beating their drums, playing their xylophones, and strumming the bass…and a medley of Faint songs emerged. It was sensational and a perfect way to begin the Faint's set.

Like a rumble from beneath the earth, the set-change music suddenly stopped, the lights went down, and resounding bass beats killed the eardrums of everyone in the crowd. The Faint emerged, instantly launching into "Drop Kick the Punks" as the projection show simultaneously began behind them. After a new song about centipedes, the spectacular dance-rock band began the slower, slightly creepy ballad of "How Could I Forget" then, without missing a beat, continued right into "I Disappear." The light show during this song was so brilliantly magnificent, washing the stage with red, purple, blue, green, and yellow hues, shining light into every nook and cranny of the venue, as strobe lights erupted all over the stage.

When the band fired up the crowd with "Birth," the projection show changed to something straight out of The Miracle of Life—sperm traveling through the fallopian tube, the baby growing in the mother's uterus, and finally, the baby being birthed. This lovely piece of footage blended into a clip from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, with Marilyn Monroe singing to all of her favorite diamond-baring bachelors.

The whole place erupted when "Worked Up So Sexual" began; as the ravers flailed their X-ed arms, losing themselves in the music, the venue became one giant dance party. The members of the Faint danced on stage with their instruments as partners while some extremely abstract images of sex were projected behind them.

As the band encored with a three-song set (including "Desperate Guys" and "Glass Danse"), they threw themselves into their music, more than they already had for the evening. The lights pushed themselves for a final 15 minutes, a little more sweat was shed…and I'm damn H.A.P.P.Y. about it. | Kaylen L. Hoffman

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