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The Faint, TV on the Radio, Beep Beep – February 11, 2004 – Ogden Theater

The Faint:
Todd Baechle – vocals, guitar
Clark Baechle – drums
Jacob Thiele – keyboards, synth
Joel Petersen – bass, guitar
Dapose – guitar

Let me just start by saying it was colder than a witch’s tit on the night of Election Day, and I ended up stuck in the will-call line for about 40 minutes because the Ogden Theater takes credit cards for some ungodly reason. And just about every 16-year-old hipster in line was paying with MasterCard or Discover. The real reason this made me cranky was because the girl in the ticket window had turned me away, stating that I was not on the list. She found my name after I left to straighten out the mess, only once I got back the line had reached Kingdom Come. In any case, I missed Beep Beep altogether.


Upon thawing, Brooklyn’s TV on the Radio opened with a very unexpected set. This five-piece (vocals, two guitars, bass, drums) played with a soulful rock sound, that according to the website, sounds like “mating calls for machines.” I don’t know exactly what that’s supposed to sound like, but the band did fuse a lot of bluesy and almost heavy metal sounds; a Black Keys-Pearl Jam sandwich with electro bread. Mmmmm, sandwich…

Once set break was over and the lights dimmed down, the masses of 16-year-old urban Goth hipsters that surrounded us cheered and clapped. The Faint took the stage and exploded all over the place. Lead singer Todd Baechle noodled around the stage like a corn-fed Scott Weiland, while two huge projector screens came alive with jagged scenes of childbirth. Appropriate, considering their new album is called Wet From Birth. The images of placenta and hospital scrubs were mildly disturbing, though transitory.

The whole group was fantastically energized, and played new hits like “Erection,” “How Could I Forget,” and let me tell you, I haven’t had so much fun watching a bunch of hip Midwestern rockers in a…well, maybe ever. Keyboardist Jacob Thiele got his dance on and did more spins and hip-swivels than a techno possessed Gumby, even though he had one hand attached to his keys most of the time.

The band ripped out versions of “Posed to Death,” “Worked Up So Sexual,” “Phone Call,” as well as a cover of the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer.”

The night was finished off with the imposing and enveloping beat of “Agenda Suicide,” and all the drones worked hard…and sang along before returning to the frigid Denver night air. My advice to you is as such: go see a Faint show if you’re into the ‘80s nouveau synth rock movement. I know I am, and I did, and I didn’t regret it in the least.


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