Live Review: The Faint @ 9:30 Club — 8/3/19

The Faint @ 9:30 Club, Washington DC, 08/03/2019
Todd Fink fronts The Faint at 9:30 Club on Aug. 3, 2019. (Photos by Paivi Salonen; Words by Mickey McCarter)

The Faint have a great new album — the dark wavers’ seventh studio effort — released earlier this year via Saddle Creek. And they reminded 9:30 Club of what they do best in a show there recently: Delight and mystify us with glistening synths and thoughtful moods.

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Preview: The Faint @ 9:30 Club, 8/3/19

The Faint
The Faint (Photo by Bill Sitzmann)

The Faint returned with an 11-track deep-dive into themes on modern society, the internet, and ego — specifically social media and its dark effects, on their latest album Egowerk, released earlier this year via Saddle Creek. Now, The Faint appear at 9:30 Club on Saturday, Aug. 3, in support of the Egowerk 2019 Tour!

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Snapshots: Gang of Four @ 9:30 Club — 10/8/16

Gang of Four at the 9:30 Club, Washington, D.C. 10/8/16
John “Gaoler” Sterry sings in Gang of Four (as Andy Gill plays behind him) at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. (Photo by Theresa Sanchez)

#FBF – it’s internet slang for what some “kids” today refer to as “Flashback Friday” and is a way for people of all walks of life and interest to transport themselves back in time in an audio/visual manner.

#GoF is another acronym of sorts for a British punk band that was ahead of their time with regards to politic activism and social criticism in the late 1970s. You’d be hard-pressed to find many of rock music’s classic bands — R.E.M., the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine, and Nirvana to name a few — who haven’t called them an influence over the years. 2016 couldn’t be a more appropriate time then to tour given the contentious political climate and one of them most memorable elections underway in most recent history.

The latest version of the band visited the 9:30 Club on Oct. 8 to open for The Faint. (Read our Parklife DC review of The Faint that night — ed.)  While the band has had many iterations since officially forming in 1977, they managed to retain guitarist Andy Gill is the sole original member.

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Music Park: The Faint @ 9:30 Club — 10/8/16

The Faint
The Faint (Photo by Bill Sitzmann)

Taking in the reaction from the crowd attending The Faint’s show at the 9:30 Club Saturday night, it’s clear that I’m amidst a pack of longtime fans.

While the band’s video for “Agenda Suicide” was on my playlist at some point way back, I am otherwise rather pathetically uninitiated with their extensive catalog. It’s evident that the band richly deserves the enthusiastic fan base that surrounds me, though. They let it be known that they have been paying attention for the preceding seventeen years.

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Don’t Miss: Gang of Four @ 9:30 Club, 10/8/16

GO4-2014-Colour
Gang of Four (Photo courtesy Reybee Inc.)

Gang of Four founder and guitarist Andy Gill recruited a new vocalist a while back, and John “Gaoler” Sterry took up duties as the frontman of Gang of Four on the road.

A few years ago, Gang of Four released a new album with Gaoler on vocals, and now they have dropped a live album, Live… In The Moment, which appeared Sept. 9 via Metropolis Records.

Now Andy, Gaoler, bassist Thomas McNiece, and drummer Jonny Finnigan are on the road again, opening for Omaha synthpop band The Faint, and they all stop at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, Oct. 8.

Listen to “England’s in My Bones” by Gang of Four (feat. Alison Mossheart) from their Gaoler-fronted album What Happens Next on Soundcloud:

Gang of Four and The Faint kick off their tour tonight at the famous First Avenue, and that very strong bill will hit DC soon. Gaoler gives the act a different feel with slightly goth overtimes, but he does a great job with songs new and old. “Gaoler’s sweetly husky voice carries you through the song and it seems completely natural,” I said of his performance of “I Parade Myself” after the band last visited the 9:30 Club on March 2015.

Tickets are available online. Don’t sleep on this one, as this bill will sell out!

Gang of Four
Opening for The Faint
9:30 Club
Saturday, Oct. 8
Doors @6pm
$25
All ages

Don’t Miss: The Faint @ 9:30 Club, 10/8/16

THEFAINT2016photo credit- Bill Sitzmann
The Faint (Photo by Bill Sitzmann)

Synthpop quartet The Faint released a new song this year, and it’s pretty damn good… one of their better singles in quite a few years, I daresay!

The single will also see inclusion on an upcoming retrospective release by The Faint — CAPSULE: 1999-2016, due Sept. 30 via their longtime label Saddle Creek. To celebrate the release, The Faint are going on tour, and they stop at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, Oct. 8.

Listen to “Young and Realistic,” the catchy new single by The Faint, on Soundcloud:

The CAPSULE compilation arrives 17 years after the first release by The Faint — 1999’s Blank-Wave Arcade. The band rapidly matured and by 2001 released what many consider their masterpiece, Danse Macabre. The upcoming “greatest hits” includes contributions from albums Blank-Wave Arcade, Danse Macabre, Wet From Birth, Fasciinatiion, and Doom Abuse as well as “Young and Realistic” — and two brand new songs “Skylab1979” and “ESP.”

To me, the interesting thing about The Faint is that they almost always hit the perfect mark for what I consider “dark wave.” The Faint are a new wave band, but they eschew a lot of the sunny optimism of most new wave bands to drum up spikey dirges warning of difficult choices ahead. However, they never quite fall into the gloomy despair or overly distorted sound of modern industrial bands, saving them from easy categorization. And The Faint frontman Todd Fink is a joy to behold on synthesizer. (Seriously, it’s hard to find someone who can play synth with half as much energy!)

Opening for The Faint are Andy Gill’s new-look Gang of Four and Brooklyn dark-waver Travis Egedy, better known as Pictureplane. Don’t miss this action-packed bill!

Tickets are available online.

The Faint
w/ Gang of Four, Pictureplane
9:30 Club
Saturday, Oct. 8
Doors @6pm
$25
All ages