TOURING ON ANGEL DUST IN SHEFFIELD
1992 was one the most important years in the 38 that I've seen so far. I managed to pass all my GCSE's at school. I sneaked into my first certificate 18 (Reservoir Dogs). And it was without a doubt one of the most exciting years for music ever, with an abundance of innovative and life changing albums released. This list included what would become my favourite of all time Faith No More Angel Dust.
On June 13th I got to see the mighty FNM for the very first time at Wembley Stadium supporting Guns n' Roses. Six months later I attended the Sheffield Arena show as they toured 'on Angel Dust' as headliners. Even though I was at shows in 1995 and 1997 this night was unequalled for many years, in fact until 2009 when I was lucky enough to attend FNM's first show after their hiatus at Brixton Academy. Twenty three later I thought I'd share the experience of the night in Sheffield as best my memory can recall.
So on December 5th myself and my comrades arrived extremely early, being only 15 it was doubtful we would get a pint from the nearest pub which was fit to burst with long haired, bearded rockers. However we managed to hide amongst the crowd with our rolled up army pants, doc martins and FNM shirts. My brother being almost 20 got the drinks in.
After sinking a beer (slowly but manly) we got to the venue and joined a moderately sized queue of hardcore fans who had braved the cold weather to ensure they got the best view. Not long after we noticed a mini bus on it's second circle of the arena and recognised the faces squashed up against the glass as did many more standing along side us. Someone probably screamed 'It's Faith No More' which indeed it seemed to be. The frenzied crowd forgot the time they had spent assuring their place in the queue and sprinted after the now accelerating van, we however kicked a path through the abandoned bags to stand triumphant hands planted firmly on the venue doors.
When the doors opened we ran immediately into the open arena and celebrated our cunning plan with high fives and shouts of something of 'first in' (remember we were only 15) then made a bee line for the merch stall to buy one of each T-shirt available.
Wearing our three new AD tour shirts over our Own we made our way uncomfortably down into the cavernous hall. This was only the second time I had been to a stadium gig but I straight away realised leaving the seats in was going to be a big mistake! It actually turned out to be a blessing for us as when we found our allocated three chairs, which were two rows from the stage, the usher kindly ejected those sat there (seating politics). Also myself being on the short side, the chair made an excellent step to improve my view.
L7 were off the scale, I didn't know much of their set except the obvious 'Pretend We're Dead' but they were a really pleasurable kick in the balls ( if that is possible), spitting out aggressive 'grunge' noise and changing preconceptions of females in the metal music scene single handed. The tampon that bounced off my friends head added to our mounting excitement for the main act I'm sure.
Shortly after L7 exited the stage a rumble of noise began in the stands, the 'Final Countdown' rolled out from the huge speakers and Four fifths of FNM (Big Jim far too cool for this) ran out performing some bizarre exercise routine much to the pleasure of the now buzzing crowd.
My memory is a blur of euphoria sound and colour from here on in. They blasted out the classics and most of AD. 'Crack Hitler' comes to mind as being particularly awesome as does 'Jizzlobber', and 'Midlife Crisis' which had become my favourite song in the month since its release. A gigantic 'FNM star of chaos' comprising of hundreds of flashing bulbs raised in the heavens above.
Amazing and mind blowing as the set was, the most memorable part of the night came after the band left the stage for the second time having played their encore. Myself and my pal were right at the front looking for a souvenir plectrum or broken drumstick.......suddenly 10,000 people turned around rushed back towards the stage crushing us against the railing. Then from above us a hand grabbed our shoulders and we looked up to see none other than Mike Patton mic in hand clambering into the crowd! We screamed at him and outstretched our arms to touch, help, push whatever we could as he surfed over the heads of the delighted throng. Jim Martin appeared inches from where we were stood and pointed at our disbelieving faces with a grin! The band played 'Let's Lynch The Landlord' and disappeared this time not to return.
I didn't get the keepsake guitar pick but I still have the fingerless glove that touch Patton's beard to this day......which as I write this does seem a little creepy.
As Ive said I have been to quite a few gigs since and had equally awesome experiences, but this was the first time I really felt like a music fan and felt part of Faith No More's following.
I know many of you readers would've attended this momentous show, if so maybe you can help me fill in the gaps. Share your memories of this or any show that sits in your memory as fondly as this night does for me.
Cheers for reading..... Jim