Paranoia (Attack) at the Ogden Theater…


These dark, new-wave, maniacal composers center their aura on synths and computer sounding beats that radiate with energy. Their 2001 record, Danse Macabre, was pegged an album to throw on before stepping out for the evening. But what the hell would you play before you’re about to witness an explosion of gutter bass, rave-like lighting, infectious goth sounding beats, and enough energy to ask what these Nebraskans might be on? Their catalog, of course.

The Faint are an act who are damn good at what they do: create orchestral-like compositions in a somber, yet at the same time, an uplifting tone. Their cacophonous mixture of sounds all come together to make people move – or more specifically, erupt.  Prior to last night’s gig at the Ogden, I was fortunate enough to witness them three times in Chicago. And every time, they made a city notoriously known for lack of movement, create a frenzy on the floor. Maybe it was the schizophrenic light show; or maybe the energy exuded on stage by the quintet, or simply, the quality dance numbers The Faint kick out. Last night was different though.

The Ogden’s performance transcended all previous encounters. See, last night was the final night of a month plus long tour – and we saw no signs of fatigue. Lead singer Fink violently pranced around stage and conducted, while his team of beat inducers shook every which way. With each synth hit, or rapid-fire drum kick, the audience lost themselves. As with any band that prides themselves on beats and a catalog full of sexual themes, The Faint begin strong, continue to build you up, and never even bring you down, even on laid-back – on The Faint terms – four on the floor meets chanting number “Take Me to the Hospital”. From the sold-out capacity crowd screaming ‘Paranoia’ in unison on the driving, industrial-like, frenetic “Paranoia Attack”, to having everyone get up close and personal on the finished before you know it “Worked Up So Sexual”. An extensive set, pulling everything I wanted to hear from their past four albums delivered what could shape up to be one of the better shows of ’09. Yes, from The Faint.

Appropriately, the night ended with “I Disappear” – a screeching, bass line driven track about being overtaken by what The Faint do to us oh so well: injecting us with pulsating beats making us lose bodily control.

Guess whose catalog is on repeat all week? Two tracks lacking from any full lengths…

The Faint :: Hypnotised

The Faint :: Take Me to the Hospital


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