FAITH NO MORE | 04.07.2014 | Hyde Park
On July 4th 2014 Faith No More performed a momentous show at British Summer Time Festival, Hyde Park in London.
This day was special for many reasons. The line-up was spectacular: Motorhead, Soulfly, Soundgarden, Black Sabbath and of course FNM. It would be just one of two FNM shows in 2014, and two years since their last time on stage together. This show would also announce their return to making music as a band with the premiere of two songs 'Motherfucker' and 'Superhero'. Here are some reviews of this epic day.
Classic Rock | Paul Tester
If it really does turns out to be Sabbath's final London performance, an on-form supporting cast - and flowers - ensured it was a day befitting it.
This is an historic event. Not because it's London and it's hot and sunny, but because it may well be the last ever big-scale London shows from Black Sabbath and Motorhead, with key members of both bands having health issues of late. And with Soundgarden and Faith No More also on the bill, it could be seen as a passing on of the flame.
Maybe it already has been passed on; many of the 55,000-strong crowd have doubtless come primarily to see Soundgarden and Faith No More, and if they happen to catch the living museum pieces that are Sabbath and the 'Head, so be it.
Soundly are the first band on the main stage today, and they get a decent reaction, especially set opener Prophecy. But having formed as recently as 1997, the Phoenix metallers are the main stage's relative newbies - Motõrhead, Faith No More, Soundgarden and Sabbath have been going for a combined total of almost 150 years - and so have less of the other acts' gravity and import. You could say it's a miracle many of them are still going. "We're Motorhead! And we play rock'n'roll!" announces Lemmy as he, guitarist Phil 'Wizzo' Campbell and drummer Mikey Dee launch into old faithful Damage Case. Lemmy seems somewhat enfeebled, although at 68, and with the life he's lived, he has every reason to be. Still, sensing a muted response, Campbell tries to rally the crowd with instructions to "make more noise than you ever thought possible!"
They play Lost Woman Blues, from 2013's Aftershock, and even Lemmy is dubious that anyone rushed out for a copy. "Did anyone buy it?" he asks, vainly. "Did anyone steal it?"
There is an extended drum solo, but really Motõrhead are about speedboat and concision, and it's only with Ace Of Spades and Overkill that the crowd's juices start flowing.
By contrast, Faith No More are in fierce form. Fierce irreligious form: they're all in black, with priestly dog collars, and frontman Mike Patton, in the guise of a deranged preacher,
keeps quoting from The Exorcist. "Let Jesus fuck you!" he yells. And "Your mother sucks cocks in hell!"
Meanwhile, the stage, bedecked with flowers, couldn't be more Sunday-church-service. Zombie Eaters is similarly deceptive, with its softly-sung, balladic beginning ahead of its transformation into a funk-metal monster. Patton is red, hot and blue, his voice going from a facetious croon to a death-metal squeal. And whether it's an admonition of bullshit pop sentiment or an admission that entertainment is a lie, their cover of soul tune Easy goes down a storm.
Patton throws 'holy water' on the front rows as he finally gets sincere. "Thanks for having us, guys, seriously." Faith No More: they care a lot.
Soundgarden present themselves as sepia classic rockers, flanked by large-screen footage of themselves performing in black and white - you'd think Seattle photographer Charles Peterson, responsible for many an iconic grunge-era image, was directing. Going by Chris Cornell's leonine mane and lithe frame, you could believe he'd just stepped out of
1994. Fact is, he's 50, but that Plant-esque wail is still intact as the band run through the whole of Superunknown, which has just turned 20. They might, in the minds of many, be about to supplant the headliners, but they're in no mood to kill the king. "If you're here for Black Sabbath, maybe this is annoying," says Cornell. "But that's okay, cos we're here for Black Sabbath too." Pearl Jam's Mike McCready joins them for Mailman, Cornell joking that, with three guitarists, "we're going to be like Skynyrd".
As the day grows darker and cooler, the growling menace of the music starts to take full effect. Black Hole Sun beats Nirvana at their own Beatles-meets Sabbath game. Cornell dedicates 4th Of July (today's date) to the headliners, reminiscing about supporting them on tour. "It was one of the highlights of our lives," he says, paying obeisance to the ultimate masters.
By the time Black Sabbath come on stage its dark, just right for the ominous grainy images of war on the screens. Suddenly the crowd is all devil horns and fist pumps. Tony lommi commands with his large cross, and even Ozzy Osbourne, despite the odd doddery move, appears strong. Whether you consider him the original Prince of Darkness or a comical buffoon, there's no denying he demands attention, although mention of his wife (it's his and Sharon's wedding anniversary) is met with boos, reminding us that Sabbath occupy a dual position: underground overlords, with a mainstream pop icon at their helm.
Into The Void is just one of many quintessential rock riffs, with lommi and Geezer Butler laying down awesome slabs of metallic slurry; pure heads-down, no-nonsense Midlands boogie. There are songs from all points in Sabbath's career, right up to last year's superb comeback 13. Inevitably it's the early ones with the aura of doom that, paradoxically, elicit the greatest pleasure: the darker the better. The title track of their debut, with its tolling bells, signals the onset of rain, and Children Of The Grave brings down the metaphorical curtain. "We'd play all fucking night if we could!"
declares Ozzy, proceeding to do a series of weird frog jumps that are worth the price of admission alone.
There's an encore of Paranoid, and then that really is the end. Possibly forever.
Still, they've had a good run,and helped change everything. We'll never see their like again. Or will we?
Kerrang! | James Hickie
Sabbs and friends celebrate summer bloody summer...
IT'S FITTING that Sabbath should be playing a Royal Park. They are, after all, metal royalty, and Ozzy himself is The Prince Of Fucking Darkness. That they're doing so with a suitably regal entourage in tow only serves to make today even more of a right royal knees-up.
First up, it's SOULFLY (KKKK), who blossom rather than wilt in the oppressive heat. Excitement levels peak when Igor Cavalera joins them for Roots Bloody Roots - highlighting that there are more original members of Sepultura onstage than there are of Soulfly. The only thing that could match that in the cool stakes is hearing Lemmy growl, "We are MOTORHEAD (KKK), and we play rock'n'roll," once again after his long illness. Unfortunately, what comes after isn't quite the steamrollering we were hoping for. The usually hammering Overkill seems to go by the motto 'everything slower than everything else' today, but just seeing Lemmy back onstage where he belongs is enough of a treat.
By comparison, FAITH NO MORE (KKKKK) are a religious experience. Not least because they arrive dressed as priests - albeit, in Mike Patton's case, with | (fake) facial tattoos. They don't just exorcise their classics, either, although Epic and Midlife Crisis are offered up for worship. There's also the premiere of two new songs (that may or may not be entitled Leader Of Men and Motherfucker). With so little fanfare from Mike, you'd think they'd been playing them for 20-odd years already.
In contrast, SOUNDGARDEN (KKKKK) focus only on the old, playing their essential 1994 album, Superunknown, in its entirety - "for the last time", according to frontman Chris Cornell. And, as if that wasn't enough to send the plaid-ometer into the red. Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready's cameo during the title track ensures we're taken to grunge heaven.
There's a similar sense of nostalgia when BLACK SABBATH (KKKK) arrive - not just for the band's heyday, but for their arena tour late last year, which this set doesn't deviate from too much. The main difference is that Ozzy's vocals are improved during the likes of
Snowblind ("You know what that's about," he impishly winks), while projections on the vast screens add a spectacular dimension to some of the trippier moments (Fairies Wear Boots, Rat Salad). At a lean - but rather fitting - 13 tracks, we could arguably do without the embellishments of the bass and drum solos. But when Sabbath are on this form, we'd take these metal overlords however we can get them. All hail!
From Out of Nowhere
The Gentle Art of Making Enemies
Cuckoo for Caca
King for a Day
Ashes to Ashes
We Care a Lot