Faith No More
If those names mean nothing to you then you can be forgiven, after reading this, for thinking I am certifiable.
If you do know (and appreciate) who those bands are then you will understand why, on discovering that they were playing on the same bill, for ONE gig, in early July 2014 were compelled to purchase tickets to attend that historical gathering of Rock and Metal fabulousness!
Yes, it is true that the evening we bought the tickets we had had a couple of glasses of wine with G’s great friend and fellow music enthusiast (known to the girls as Uncle Toy). It is possible, that we were a little rash in making the decision but… ‘fuck it’… as my wise father would say… you only live once!
The morning after, with what could be described as a slight headache, I checked my emails and found the confirmation. We had indeed bought four tickets to see Ozzie, Mike and Chris play at British Summer Time in Hyde Park, London on July 4th. This was really happening people!
There were a few minor logistical issues that I needed to sort out:
G had no leave… no problem! His boss thought the idea was just crazy, batshit, mad enough that he let him take a week off (BEST BOSS EVER)
We have three children (and the concert was during the school holidays)… sorted! My mother thought the idea was just crazy batshit mad enough, and loves her grand babies and us so much, that she agreed to take them for a week (BEST MOTHER EVER)
Oh and then there is the fact that London is rather a long way from Brisbane, Australia. Actually, a really long way away. Thank goodness for frequent flyer miles!
So… to tell a long story in a few hastily snapped pictures (courtesy of G)…
Was it worth it?
Absolutely. Every jet-lagged, fucking moment! It helped that our tickets gave us front row access!
Mike Patton and Faith No More were… Epic! They played mid- afternoon. It was hot and the crowd of 50,000 were half-cut and dehydrated but from the moment the ‘Vicars’ stepped out onto the stage (or should I say onto the alter) we worshipped before them. Patton was deliciously wicked, shouting obscenities from “the exorcist” at the exalted crowd. For me, turning to see G and Uncle Toy, eyes glazed with devotion, singing every word of every song, they seemed transformed, was almost as great as seeing Patton do his thing. Faith No More also played two new songs at the end of the set. We witnessed a real miracle. Praise Jesus, you motherfuckers!
The irony of their Anthem Midlife Crisis was not lost on me as I surveyed the crowd. There were plenty of hot young forty-somethings (myself included) reliving a misspent youth. There were also an impressive number of black clad grandpas (and grandmas) rocking out to Mike while they waited for Ozzie to take them back to the time of their life. Some of the band shirts sported by the crowd seemed to have shrunk a little since their original purchase as they stretched across they middle-aged bellies of the fans!
Impressively though, I estimate that more than half of the audience I saw were young music lovers. Many of those I spoke to were musicians themselves, aspiring, gigging or enthusiasts, there to pay homage to the some of the most influential Rock and Metal Gods of all time.
Soundgarden? Sublime. G saw them touring on the back of ‘Superunknown‘ in Brisbane in 1994. 20 years since the album was released. At Hyde Park they played it Start to Finish. Musically and technically incomparable. Chris Cornell IS Rock! Be still my beating heart.
The sun was setting as Sabbath took to the stage. I was nervous, ready for anything, even a vaguely comic swan song, from the Fathers of Metal. To be fair, Ozzie did ‘amble’ rather than ‘stride’ onto the stage and for the first 5 minutes I was worried he might not remember the words (not that he needed to, the audience sang every word of the opening number, War Pigs).
I don’t know how I could ever have doubted.
WHAT A SHOW!
To quote Uncle Toy, ‘You are witnessing the birth of Metal, people’.
Ozzie was Ozzie. Relentless and Magnetic.
Tony Iommi? To quote Uncle Toy again, ‘A fountain of riffs’.
Into the Void, Iron Man, God is Dead…
It was loud. It was hard. It was spectacular. It was exhausting.
It was fabulous.
Thanks for reading. Now go listen to some music!
Yeah, fairies wear boots and you gotta believe me
Yeah I saw it, I saw it, I tell you no lies
Yeah Fairies wear boots and you gotta believe me
I saw it, I saw it with my own two eyes,
Oh all right now!
Fairies wear Boots – Black Sabbath