Sunday August 19th, 2012 was an electric night comprised of electric Saddle Creek Records bands, at the Saddle Creek bar called the Slowdown. Electronic madness in Omaha, NE! The night began with a local fellow one man band called Solid Goldberg. He emerged from behind the curtain of his projector screen. With an incredible organ, and set up too big to fit on stage, he rocked out the floor. People all around were tapping their feet, and thoroughly digging Solid’s unique sound. It sounded like what would happen if the Cramps were to meet electronic music.
The second opener was the Icky Blossoms. A thick mass had gathered close to the stage for their arrival. Icky’s exuberant debut album was produced by TV On The Radio‘s Dave Sitek, and word right now around town is that they “rule Omaha”. They are often compared to the Faint, but also posses a sound completely their own: distinctively dance, unmistakably electronic. With most songs being almost spoken, in a caressing singing tone by lead singer Sarah Bohling, the Icky Blossoms get the dance party going. I was pleased to find the band sounds even tighter and more refined than when I stumbled upon their music in Chicago back in May. The flashing lights of seemingly every color were present this time as well, blanketing the dancing crowd. Most of whom were singing along to the lyrics. Sarah even confessed, “This show is my teenage dream! I don’t know what’s going on!”
Most of the people in the crowd I spoke to had done this Faint show thing before, several times in fact. I learned from multiple fans that the Faint would do impromptu shows every now and then in Omaha over the last few years. To the dismay of the Omaha crowd, it had been quite a while. They’ve been on noticeable hiatus, without a single tour. Hence why I drove all the way from Michigan, JUST for this show. I also encountered a few people who had come from equally as far to experience such a concert. The Faint have somewhat of a Depeche Mode feel, if Depeche Mode had begun in the city of Omaha in the late 90′s. They draw from electronic music of old, and create a next generation sound completely unique. A distinctive electro bass-heavy guitar trance inducing display. With a groove all their own, and a synth beat that doesn’t quit, the Omaha electric legends took to the stage. This was the sign for the forward pushing, and extreme dancing to begin.
One would expect insane lights for a Faint show, and those expectations were met. With occasional strobe lights, and spectacle rays, the band was dancing all the while. Probably just as much as the crowd itself. Lead singer, Todd Fink, was prancing around to pick up an occasional bass, pound on the synthesizer, or sing in that way where a voice seems to somehow come out of a lighting bolt. During moments when neither guitar nor bass was needed, six and four string master, Dapose could be found dancing across the stage in amazing funky electro groove fashion. The Faint threw in a couple of their earlier tunes from 1999′s Blank-Wave Arcade. “Call Call” and that narrative about strippers and the clubs they inhabit, called “Worked Up So Sexual”. “It is a job that pays a lot, is it disservicing someone? And is it good to get these men worked up so sexual?”
The Faint crowd itself was something of its own entity. It could move, it could make noise, it could create waves. Being right up in the center was a trip! I can safely say, this show was the show I have been most pushed. I have also never had a random man dancing with his back to me, and to the stage for the duration of exhibited musicality. The Faint crowd especially opened up its giant mouth and sang along to “Take Me To The Hospital”, a spelled out chorus about a little bitty accident. “Want you to take me to the h-, take me to the o-, want you to take me to the s-” The set included a few songs from 2004′s “Wet From Birth” album. The extremely bass-heavy get down track of “I Disappear”, and “Desperate Guys”. Reflecting that feeling of meeting someone new (in dance fashion, of course), “I crossed my fingers, but I didn’t beg. Cause I knew you knew, cause I knew you knew I liked you”.
The culmination of crazy came when Todd Fink picked up a bass (someone yelled, “HE’S GOT A BASS!”) and “Paranoiattack began”. I’m sure that’s where the crowd surfing started. Multiple people would climb up on stage at different times, just to leap back out into the crowd. Based on the band’s non-existent reaction, this seemed to be a very regular occurrence. With a drop of punk feel, a track from 2008′s Fasciination, “Get Seduced”, gives commentary on all of the tabloids society seems addicted to. “Hot lights on your love life. Let me buy close up tabloid shots of your cellulite”.
The band closed the night with a three song encore. Ending altogether with the darker jam, “Agenda Suicide”. The opening track from 2001′s “Danse Macabre”. It felt almost like a religious experience to be yelling along with those words at the end, over and over. “Like a cast shadow, like a cast shadow”.
I found myself bruised and sore at the end of the show, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It seems that’s how a Faint show is supposed to be! With an upcoming tour and talk swirling of some new music, Faint fans all around will be happy to hear of their triumphant return.