Two nights ago I saw Faith No More play live at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. This is the third time I have seen them (Toronto in 1995, LA in 2010) and each time just keeps getting better and better.
Before I left, I posted this on Twitter:
— Matthew Klem (@Zor_) August 7, 2015
Then I went to the show, had my mind blown, and ended the night with this:
— Matthew Klem (@Zor_) August 8, 2015
To say the entire experience was amazing would be underselling it. But for me, there’s a whole lot more going on here than what most people may realize.
If you go back read item #6 from “Things you didn’t know about me“, you’ll learn that I’ve had a real affinity for Faith No More, and Mike Patton. As a kid, I idolized that guy. This was the guy I looked up to and emulated more than anything else in my teenage and college years. As time passed, obviously that changed but my admiration for the man, and how he helped shape me in some way has never, and will never go away.
So as an adult, the chance to meet the person whom you saw as your hero or idol as a child is kind of a big deal. Yes, when it comes to Faith No More, and Mike Patton, I am clearly in the fanboy camp and am perfectly fine with that.
When I left Moncton on Friday afternoon, I packed my 7” picture disc that I bought back in the early 90s in hopes that maybe I could get someone to sign it. I really wanted to get all 5 guys to sign it but I knew that it was a slim chance. But a slim chance is still a chance.
When I arrived at the coliseum on Friday night, I walked around to try and find the tour bus and sure enough, there they were. I knew when the show was over, I’d be coming back there to see if I could get a chance at a few signatures.
The show ended at 10:30. I picked up some merchandise I had pre-purchased then headed outside. After only about 30 minutes or so, Mike Bordin (Puffy) came out and signed a bunch of stuff and took pictures. He was a real nice guy and said he couldn’t stay out too long because he was the one BBQ’ing for the crew that night and had to go make some food. He signed my album. That was one down. Jon Hudson the guitar player followed and he signed as well. In fact, I told him that me and Gary had met him and Puffy in LA back in 2010 and he actually remembered us. I was blown away.
Not too long after, Roddy the keyboard player came out and did his round with the fans with Billy the bass player following suit shortly thereafter.
In talking to these guys, it was VERY apparent how nice and friendly they were. Taking photos, cracking jokes, and generally just being real great people. It was really awesome to see how as much as these guys are adored by their fans, it hasn’t gone to their head. It was awesome just getting a chance to talk to them.
Eventually, each of them left and the crowd that had gathered by the buses began to wait to see if Mike Patton would make an appearance.
A lot of people said he was actually really shy and didn’t like talking to fans because it made him nervous. Some said he was just a dick and didn’t like signing autographs. And others were just getting impatient waiting. The entire time I stood there, I kept a positive attitude and just kept telling me that these guys are real people too. They deserve to rest after a hell of a show.
Sometime around 1am, the crowd had thinned considerably. A bunch of people were going around the bus to the other side for something that was going on. Since there was so few people where I was at, I decided to see what the fuss was all about. I got to the other side of the tour bus and found this:
The entire band was literally just hanging out at the back of the venue, drinking beer, eating food, and just being themselves. It was truly an interesting view into the world of these guys outside of being on stage.
All five guys (Mike Patton included) were there, chatting with their friends and family, and just enjoying each other’s company. The fans were separated from the BBQ group by a small fence but for the most part, people were very considerate and just stayed quiet, leaving them alone.
Billy (bass player) came over to talk to the fans and even said he felt weird eating in front of everyone but no one said a thing. We were all just happy to be there. Despite not being on the “other” side of the fence, there was a part of me that kind of felt like I was at the party too. One of the techs even came around with a plate of steak Puffy had made and gave the fans some food. I was completely blown away at how nice and friendly these people were being. They didn’t need to tolerate a bunch of fanboys hanging outside their party, but they were fine with it and even came over and talked to us occasionally.
Sometime closer to say 1:30am or so, a bunch of us heard security say the bus drivers had arrived and shortly thereafter, the buses started up. We knew the end was near. Everyone there who had been waiting was waiting on Patton as the rest of the band had already signed stuff and taken photos. It was at this point, some people started to think he was just being a dick by not coming over. I stood at the fence, record in hand, and patiently waited to see what would happen.
After everyone but Patton and three others had left, he said his goodbyes to them and then some other guy came over to him and I’m guessing basically told him he had to leave. He then walked over to the fence and said something like “I couldn’t make you guys think I was just being a dick not coming over here”. He smiled, took photos, signed stuff, and was very chatty with everyone there. One fan told Mike that his family was Italian and that he hadn’t learned it yet, and Mike got all serious telling him about learning Italian. He wasn’t condescending but just real serious for a moment. Shook the guy’s hand then went on to take crazy selfie pictures with pretty much everyone there. I handed him my record, thanked him for a great show, and he signed it. I stood there, kind of speechless and just watched as this guy I had admired for so many years was chatting with everyone just like a normal guy.
I know that sounds kind of silly as they are just normal people like you and me, but to see him, and the other guys, in this setting, it truly put things into perspective.
I stuck around until he left and said goodbye. I waved to him as he left and he waved back. I smiled, turned around, and headed back to the hotel.
I got all five band members to sign my record, and I got to meet my childhood hero. How could it get any better than that?
When it comes to bucket list items, this was a very personal one that I had been waiting to cross off my list for a long time. Let me tell you, it’s one I won’t forget anytime soon.
As for the concert itself, AMAZING! The band was in top form playing a lot of oldies and new ones. A lot of stuff from Angel Dust, and they even kicked the show off with The Real Thing which blew my mind. I almost started crying when I heard that song because it really brought back a lot of memories.
They were talking about the fact that Van Halen was in town and asked anyone if they were Van Halen fans. This garnered a bit of a boofest from the crowd and the keyboardist started playing Jump which got a good laugh from the crowd. Shortly thereafter, they went into Midlife Crisis with a nice little Jump interlude:
They did a typical encore then came back and Patton told the audience that “We only have 5 minutes left” and broke into We Care A Lot.
Combine a great show with a great after-show experience, this tops my list of concerts and will likely never get bumped from that position. Unless I ever get to go backstage and hang out with the guys.
The Real Thing
Cone of Shame
Gentle Art of Making Enemies
Ashes to Ashes
— First Encore
I Started A Joke
— Second Encore
We Care A Lot