The Faint, Dr. Dooom, Natalie Portman's Shaved Head @ The Warfield, 11/8/08

Here I am, at Faint show #4 for the year.

I missed seeing Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head a couple months ago at Bottom of the Hill, and the last issue of Spin rubbed that in my face. I think they’ve got a good thing going. They’re definitely much better than the openers for The Faint that I sat through earlier this year. Super high energy, catchy, distinctive beats, coupled with a cast of characters and an unforgettable name just might be the formula for success in today’s music climate. The girl keyboardist borrowed her hairdo from Lady Sov, and her leggings from M.I.A. Oh, and she wore a shirt with her face on it. All had on face paint, three dark lines that almost comprise whiskers on their cheeks. Mind you, people in the crowd had already copied this. They jumped around stage and played their hearts out. The crowd was very into it for being the first opener. Now they just need to become the Being John Malkovich of the music industry, and get Portman involved.

sophisticated side ponytail

Next up was Dr. Dooom, otherwise known as Kool Keith, which puzzled the crowd into blank stares. First, it was just an odd fit for The Faint, considering all of the good up and coming electro rock bands out there. Now, as a former owner of 10″ woofers in my car, I likes me some good hip hop. And at its best moments, Dr. Dooom sounds like old Outkast mixed with some DJ Screw. It’s routed in the simplified, less slick style of old school hip hop. However, the entire thing lacked polish. There were the freestyle moments that weren’t explicitly spelled out, so they came off as having forgotten the words or messed up somehow. The was strange banter about condoms, Walgreens, and how expensive condoms are, Motel 6, 8, and Econo Lodge. Kool Keith was draped in a gold sequined scarf, which was helpful to hide in when he didn’t produce his freestyles. I tried to dance, but ended up cringing a bit. Best part was that the DJ somehow reminded me of DJ Jesus from Lucy: Daughter of the Devil.

a recent dr. dooom/kool keith show

ldd

This is the abridged review of The Faint, since you can refer to this, that, or the other one for an in depth analysis of the songs from this tour, and the band members. All I can say is, their touring model works. What I mean by this is that from the shows at the beginning of the tour to now, The Faint seemed to have picked up a new generation of fans. A new generation that only knows FASCIINATIION songs, are incredibly young, and are in general kind of douchy. Good for them, bad for me. The Faint really burns the candle at both ends to tour, taking off fewer nights than most bands do. And this definitely showed in Todd’s voice, which was worn thin. They all looked a bit road worn, a bit more crazy eyed than normal. It was still a super set. No big surprises for the setlist, but I did finally get The Conductor again, though it sounded wonkier than I remember live. Ghosts in the Machine still sux, no me likely that song. While the crowd energy was mostly great, the absence of a barrier caused some territorial issues, and dancing up on the security guard was a bit weird.

So, last Faint show of the year, I bid you adieu. It’s been a fun ride.

the geeks were right

setlist:
Get Seduced (Fasciinatiion)
Glass Danse (Danse Macabre)
Drop Kick The Punks (Wet from Birth)
Take Me To The Hospital (Saddle Creek 50)
Forever Growing Centipedes (Fasciinatiion)
Psycho (Fasciinatiion)
Call Call (Blank-Wave Arcade)
Posed to Death (Danse Macabre)
Desperate Guys (Wet From Birth)
Machine In The Ghost (Fasciinatiion)
Birth (Wet from Birth)
I Disappear (Wet from Birth)
I Treat You Wrong (Fasciinatiion)
The Geeks Were Right (Fasciinatiion)
Worked Up So Sexual (Blank-Wave Arcade)
Paranoiattack (Wet from Birth) (with a comment about hoping this song will become less relevant once Bush is gone and Obama gets us out of Iraq).

encore:
Mirror Error (Fasciinatiion)
The Conductor (Danse Macabre)
Agenda Suicide (Danse Macabre)

OVERALL: 8/10
Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head performance: 8.5/10
Dr. Dooom’d performance: 5.5/10
The Faint’s performance: 9/10
venue (The Warfield): 8.5/10
crowd/scene: 4/10
value ($25/ticket): 9/10
memorable: 7.5/10

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