The Perfect FAITH NO MORE Set List
If you are lucky enough to you have attended a Faith No More show you will have considered the possible set list prior to the gig. Excitedly discussing the tracks you hoped to hear whilst stood impatiently in line outside the venue, or maybe you had been deliberating what your ideal set months before.
FNM are undeniably at home on stage and absolutely blowing the roof off is a dead cert at any show. A part of presenting a kick ass concert is the set, FNM are meticulous about which songs to include and in what order to perform them. They have several factors to consider including: where to place songs for the greatest impact and to suit their own pace, and which songs best represent them. Examples of the greatest recent set lists are from Download Festival 2009 and Hammersmith Apollo in 2012, each of those shows embodied their back catalogue perfectly.
What would be your perfect set list?
Here we have tried to construct a flawless set list and explained why we’ve included these tracks. This perfect set will of course be different for every fan and we look forward to you sending us your very own.
FNM have an outstanding catalogue of music to chose from and the band usually play for about one and a half hours including encore which translates into about 20 songs.
It would be quite easy for a hardcore FNM fan to pick every song that they have rarely or never played to a live audience for this dream set list, however as great as that would be we have to think realistically. The band have to please all their following and many of those songs were never played because the band felt they couldn't deliver them live.
Loading a perfect set with hits and obvious choices may also encounter some criticism from fans but again it has to appeal to the masses not the elitists.
Imagine if you will a cavernous concert hall in darkness except for the odd sporadic strobe flash. There is a feverish murmur of cheers and screams from the crowd and a hum from the wall of speakers. This is interrupted by the howls and whimpering animal sounds we associate with the intro of this brutal and brilliant song.
In the early 90s FNM would always open the show with an energetic song including Caffeine, From Out Of Nowhere, Cuckoo For Caca and Collision. In post reunion shows they opted for a more gentle introductory song such as Midnight Cowboy and Reunited.
We prefer to be greeted by the band with a blast of pure energy as per the Angel Dust tour.
During the King For A Day tour FNM extended the middle breakdown sections of Caffeine with emphasis on Bill Gould's bass line, for our perfect set list the band could reinstate this longer version.
Although 25 plus years have passed since this song was written there’s nothing quite like this definitive AD era sound and FNM have continued to play Caffeine throughout the years.
The Real Thing
As this instantly recognisable intro echoes around the room we can imagine Mike Patton pacing around the stage and Mike Bordin dripping in sweat just one song in.
During the early shows on the Second Coming tour FNM slotted this song in as an introduction to their back catalogue after bemusing the audience by opening with their cover of Reunited.
The title track is possibly the best song from the album The Real Thing, some would make an argument that it is their best song, period. The Real Thing is certainly a true classic that includes eight minutes of fantastic dynamics. It is a good idea to add such desired songs this early in the set, ramping up the crowd's enthusiasm.
FNM have played this song on every tour since 1989 with the exception of the Album Of The Year dates in 1997/98.
Chinese Arithmetic 🎧Listen
We can sorry for Puffy by placing this track directly after the explosive outro of the last song, however the drum fill and unyielding beat that launches Chinese Arithmetic would segue perfectly.
Patton would of course have to chant an ad lib over the initial beat pulling a pop song from the charts, but our vote goes with Lady Gaga's Poker Face which displayed his vocal talents in 2009.
This is one of the greatest songs from Chuck Mosley era Faith No More and Patton’s performance certainly does it justice.
Chinese Arithmetic was dropped during the King For A Day tour in 1995, but has featured in sets for all other years. A great live recording of this track was in 1990 for Triple J studios in Australia
Ferocious and atmospheric in equal measures Faith No More's second single release from King For A Day is always a pleasure to hear live. Following the cascading rhythms of the last three entries on this perfect set list this song features much more space.
Ricochet was absent from set lists during 1997, but has been a staple song since the bands reformation.
When FNM performed Ricochet at Maida Vale in April 1995 it was outstanding.
Chariots Of Fire / Stripsearch 📺Watch
After four monstrous classic hits it would only be fair to the band to offer them a rest bite of sorts. During the Second Coming tour Roddy Bottum treated us to hypnotic melodies from the Vangelis movie theme for Chariots Of Fire as a short introduction to Stripsearch. It worked perfectly.
The spacey sounds of the Album of the Year song have always translated well to the stage and it has made set lists from 1997 up until 2012. Also we can magine beatboxer Rahzel joining the guys at this imaginary show to lend his vocal talents to the percussion of these songs.
Cone Of Shame 📺Watch
Here would be a good point for Patton to address the crowd. Whether calling us out for chanting ‘You Fat Bastards’ or telling us to 'go the fuck home' you can always rely on the front man to make us feel welcome!
It's time to let Jon Hudson shine with his spaghetti western guitar intro. Cone Of Shame is the unsung hero from Sol Invictus evolving from a slow march to blistering beats, crushing guitars and screams only Patton can deliver.
The track featured on most shows from Sol Invictus tour with a special perfomance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in September 2015.
Everything’s Ruined 📺Watch
This Angel Dust track is always fantastic live, from the performance on UK TV show The Word in 1992 to The Filmore Detroit in 2015. It has however not been played live as often as you might think, being dropped from the set in 1995, 1997 and 2009.
Faith No More recorded a live session for BBC Radio One in 1992 which perfectly captures the characterisics of Everything's Ruined.
Two AD songs in succession isn’t too overindulgent is it? Jizzlobber is a fan favourite and a must for the perfect set list.
The band stopped playing Jizzlobber after only a few dates in 1995, it was resurrected for the very first date of the Second Coming tour at Brixton Academy in 2009 and hasn't been played since. Perhaps this is because it was initially a Jim Martin song or perhaps the band simply didn't feel it suited their stage show. A way to overcome this would be to invite Big Sick and Ugly to perform the song, yeah it's not gonna happen but this is an imaginary show so we can dream.
During the Angel Dust tour Patton would use the song as an excuse to manically throw himself around the stage, as visually pleasing this was it would be hard to imagine him capable of such acrobatics now.
Cuckoo For Caca
Here we really get into the ‘metal section’ of the set with two merciless tracks back to back. Jizzlobber could have played out with the dramatic church organ ending or maybe a shorter version that segues into Cuckoo for Caca. The band did a similar thing in 2009 but with Malpractice. To be truthful it would be perfect to hear both songs in full however it may be kinder to the less educated crowd members and the band to contain these beasts somewhat.
The song was yet another from King For A Day that was dropped to make way for new material during the Album Of The Year tour, however it was reinstated after the reunion for regular performances.
An obvious choice, but since 1989 you’d be hard pushed to find a set list without Epic, it is in fact their most played song of all time. Which is no wonder the band tired of playing it and in 1992 Bill commented, “It seems sometimes kids turn up just to hear that one song, we’re like stick around we’ve written all these other great songs, you just might like ‘em”.
As much as we fans complain about how overplayed the song is, would a show feel complete without it?
The live version of Epic is much more solid and gritty than the studio recording, the bass and drums provide a more intense thump and, after Patton lost that initial nervous twitching rap sound, he delivered a much more powerful vocal line. In the early 90s he would add those infamous ad libs to the piano outro, let's bring back Technotronic or En Vogue.
The perfect performance of Epic was recorded for BBC Radio 1 at Maida Vale in 1992.
The Crab Song 📺Watch
Unbelievably this song has hardly been played live by the band since 1995, with only a handful of appearances since the reunion. But why?! It is most definitely one of the greatest songs from Introduce Yourself and Patton’s vocal delivery is outstanding. During The Real Thing tour it stands out as a gig highlight and a truly memorable example of the song is at Rock In Rio II, "You Know what sad is? Sad is like this"
Midlife Crisis 📺Watch
The band have rarely played a show since 1992 without the song. No Faith No More set is complete without Midlife Crisis and Puffy cracks out the unmistakable clockwork drum rhythm to tumultuous applause at every show. During the Angel Dust tour Roddy would add the vocal sample from the middle eight section to the intro which you can hear on the BBC Radio One session from 1992.
Since the reunion the band have experimented with many ad libs during the middle section their short cover of Lowdown Boz Scaggs is great for the perfect set.
Another Body Murdered
Yeah this is our most ludicrous choice ! The logistics of this song making a Faith No More set alone makes it impossible, for one The Godfather sadly passed away in 2018.
Another Body Murdered from the 1993 movie Judgment Night is an incredible collaboration song and how cool would it be to see Bill cranking out guitars, Patton bellowing out his best screams and those Samoan giants onstage.
This Guy's In Love With You 📺Watch
You will notice that there is no Easy in this set. FNM’s slick version of The Commodores hit does stand up to the original however it’s one song we wouldn’t mind dropping. Despite the fact it encourages fans to throw an arm around each other and sing.
This Burt Bacharach ballad equally has that effect. Faith No More's version of the song is outstanding and it gives the audience a perfect opportunity to get involved.
The band first played This Guy's In Love With You on stage during the Album Of The Year tour on September 16th 1997 at 9.30 Club in Washington DC. It has since become a regular song in their set and a fan favourite.
Faith No More chose to record a sublime live rendition of the song at Maida Vale in London for the Radio One Rock show which includes Roddy on the piano.
Sweet Dreams / Separation Anxiety
The two minute cover of the Nestle chocolate advert was included in FNM sets from as early as 1988, yet it was when Patton took over as front man that it really became a highlight. One could be forgiven for thinking that it was penned by FNM themselves from their sincere performance.
During The Real Thing tour the band would immediately thunder into Surprise! You're Dead! and a great example from the bands live catalogue is at Rock In Rio II in 1991. However we have chosen to update the segue with the most brutal song from Sol Invictus, Separation Anxiety .
With an easily identifiable FNM sound that is reminicent of that of Angel Dust this quickly became a fan favourite and a must for any live show. It was played at almost every show on tour Sol Invictus with a great rendition on Radio One Rock show.
As The Worm Turns 📺Watch
If Chuck was still with us this would be the perfect point to invite him onstage to sing. Chuck was on form when he performed As The Worm Turns for two shows in 2016 to promote the reissue of Faith No More's debut album. Patton's version of the song is equally incredible you only have to watch You Fat Bastards live at Brixton to appreciate this.
For a perfect set we would chose a guest spot by Chuck.
Ashes To Ashes 📺Watch
Not a lot of songs from Album Of The Year have made this perfect set. Maybe it didn't translate to the live stage quite as well as the other albums.
Ashes To Ashes however is fantasic live, a firm fan favourite and in the top ten most played Faith No More songs. The song represents a more mature and sophisticated FNM often visualised with the band in black suits and ties, the ultimate funeral march.
It was first played by the band in 1997 at Maida Vale studios for BBC Radio One, Jon's first gig with the band, and most likely been in every set list since.
Great performances in FNM history include two on UK TV show TFI Friday in 1997 and at Cannes Film Festival the same year.
Faith No More introduced this song, which would eventually appear on Sol Invictus, on November 2011 in Buenos Aries. It was initially referred to as The Mystery Song and fans were left to decide if it was an obscure cover or new material. Those first performances in 2011 were fantastic and with an extended abstract intro.
One of the most engaging songs for Faith No More's seventh album.
Just A Man 📺Watch
The operatic rock style song was introduced into Faith No More sets at the end of April 1995 and has been the perfect way to close a concert for many shows since.
At the Chilean Maquinaria festival in 2011 the band were joined by co-writer Trey Spruance and also a live choir to help with those monumental choruses that conclude the song which added to a captivating performance. For our perfect set we would replicate it exactly.
Faith No More exit the stage to deafening praise from a crowd who are not yet satisfied and hungry for more, of course the band return for an encore.
Glory Box / Absolute Zero 📺Watch
As we know over the years Faith No More have added ad libs and covers that were relevant at the time. In 1995 the band performed a short no nonsense version of this trip-hop classic by Portishead at various shows. The boys really delivered a great cover version with Patton nailing those falsetto notes. It may sound a little dated today but FNM's take on this song was ear candy and it would sit wonderfully in the perfect set list.
As far as we are aware Absolute Zero has only ever made one FNM live repertoire, again at Maquinaria Festival 2011 when the band played the KFAD album in full (plus b-sides). Absolute Zero is undoubtedly one of the bands finest tracks and any fan would be ecstatic to be present for a performance.
The Introduce Yourself track was initially played in 1983 as a song called The Words Of Jamal by members of FNM with Pop O Pies. It made it's debut in a FNM set as we know it in late 1988. Spirit vanished from set lists after only a handful of concerts and made a welcome return 22 years later at Hollywood Palladium with Patton singing it for the first time.
In February 2015 during the seocnd show of the Sol Invictus tour at Shinkiba Studio Coast in Tokyo FNM were joined by unique Japanese vocalist Koichi Makigami. This atmospheric version of the song is here in our perfect set.
We Care A Lot 📺Watch
Every Faith No More set must end with a true classic and what better for the perfect set list than We Care A Lot. The song is the second highest most popular live song behind Epic. Mike Patton certainly made the song his own after taking over vocal duties from Chuck and with band speeding up the tempo and Roddy adding a sample here and there it evolved.
"Oo oh The Right Stuff", the famous ad lib from You Fat Bastards is one of many added to this song.
Songs That Almost Made It
Wow! It's so difficult to include all the favoured songs into one set list, here are a few we seriously considered.
The Cowboy Song, Zombie Eaters, Smaller And Smaller, Kindergarten, Crack Hitler, King For A DAY, Star AD, Helpless, Light Up and Let Go, Black Friday......