I had the good fortune of seeing ’90s alt-rock hitmakers Faith No More on the third date of their North American tour in Portland, OR last night and would like to take a second to describe what I saw.
Before arriving, my friend/ex Scott informed me that a really strange drag queen band called Christeene was opening up for them, but “really strange” doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Handpicked by openly gay FNM keyboardist and Imperial Teen founder Roddy Bottum, Christeene was conceived at an queer open mic show in Austin, TX by Paul Soileau, the man behind the butt-baring fishnet stockings.
With constant references to holes and poles found in songs like “Tears from My P*ssy” and “Fix My D*ck,” Christeene is all about shock value.
It was hard to say exactly how a bunch of [mostly] straight rock fans would react to a debaucherous brand of performance art involving mimed sex, booty twerking and half-naked male backup dancers with a variety of props including reindeer horns and claws reminiscent of a satanic, gay version of Where The Wild Things Are, but hey, it’s Portland! Most sat with their eyes wide open, mouthing the words “what the f*ck” and eventually mustering up the effort to put their hands together for applause. I assume this is exactly what Soileau is going for. Obviously Christeene is not for the faint of heart, and as surprised and tempted to look away as I was, there wasn’t a second of boredom in her 45-minute set. As for Faith No More, frontman Mike Patton’s long-awaited reunion with the band he’s most well-known for was also the opposite of dull.
With an all-white stage and roses lining the stage, Patton and his team of insanely talented musicians not only looked amazing in flashing red, green, purple, blue, pink and orange, but were absolute perfection from the bass to the drums to the guitar.
In between on-point vocal performances of head-banging classics like “Midlife Crisis” and “Epic,” Patton joked that Keller Auditorium looked like a “f*cking opera house,” said he smelled “herbal jazz” wafting through the front row, and danced with a female fan in a Superman shirt.At the end, Bottum joked that he’d see us all again in another twenty years. (FNM are currently working on their first studio album since 1997.)