Not a great number of bands make the jump from the 400-seater Bottom of the Hill here in San Francisco, to the famed Fillmore, which holds 1200ish, in a mere 18-months. The Strokes, White Stripes, Jimmy Eat World and Interpol are about the only ones that come to mind. Another can now be added to that list, however: The Faint. Omaha’s nu-skool new wavers have ramped up their live show to include visual aspects and the leap to the bigger stage was executed flawlessly on Friday night.
Five times in the past 18 months have The Faint graced the stage in San Francisco and each time has been as good as the one prior. Live, these boys in black rock hard and perform harder, even if a good chunk of the synth lines are on DAT. However, their collective dancing around the stage for each and every song still shows they believe in their songs AND are having a good time doing it, which is more than one can say for a number of bands on the live circuit at the present. All the band’s hits were on parade, “Agenda Suicide,” “Your Retro Career Melted,” and “The Conductor” from 2001′s brilliant Danse Macabre, as well as the standout number from the band’s 1999 effort, Blank-Wave Arcade, “Worked Up (So Sexual).” Taking all of these songs to another level was the new-found visual aspect, shown on two giant screens behind the band. The Faint’s punked-out 21st century take on Soft Cell lends itself excellently to visual presentation and by the time encore closer “Glass Danse” rang throughout the hallowed Fillmore, the amassed throng of hipsters and otherwise all knew the same thing I did: The Faint bring it each and and every time they play live and really need to be seen to be fully appreciated, especially with eyes now being treated, as well as the ears.