Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Tuesday, January 31

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Review: ICE's "PassarĂ¡" at the Museum of Contemporary Photography Review: Sufjan Stevens @ The Metro, 12/15 »

Review Fri Dec 14 2012

Review: The Faint @ Metro, 12/12

SCS_8325-20121212-The Faint_15.jpg

(All photos by Steve Stearns)

The first time I saw the Faint they were touring on Danse Macabre. They played to maybe a hundred people in a cafeteria at Carnegie Mellon University. Nearly 11 years later they're selling out Metro and playing Danse Macabre in full. Even though playing an album in its entirety live is a popular move for bands who've been around a while, nobody seems to do it the same way. They've been done sequentially, non-sequentially, true to the album arrangements, tinkered with enough to question recognition, as the entirety of a set, as a portion of the set, etc. It might be fair to say the novelty is wearing off, but it doesn't mean good full album performances are losing much luster. On Wednesday, the Faint started like they would any other show. After warming up with a few old songs (highlighted by "Desperate Guys") and giving the crowd a taste of what was to come of their electro-infused new wave/punk, they launched into Danse Macabre. It's the middle of their concept albums (complementing 1999's sex-obsessed Blank-Wave Arcade and 2004's self-explanatory Wet From Birth) and, arguably, their best.

SCS_8149-20121212-The Faint_13.jpg

"Agenda Suicide" and certainly "Glass Danse" got the ball rolling right away with faithful renditions amped up just a bit. It was sort of like a switch had been flipped when Danse Macabre began. The video screens were turned on. Singer Todd Fink hit a higher gear. The crowd was more rambunctious. Dancing (or, at least movement) was practically universal. Singalongs were prevalent, and mortality-themed lyrics never sounded so good as when sung by a thousand people in unison. As with many albums, though, it's front-loaded to capture a listener. And, of course, the dynamics of listening to an album at home and in a crowd at a show are very different. After the initial euphoria and straight-up bangers (e.g., "Let the Poison Spill From Your Throat"), the set was bound to hit a weak spot, right? When Fink mentioned that they'd never played "Violent" live before this tour, it didn't exactly come across as a vote of confidence. But over the last month of playing it every night, it sounded right at home and the band never lost a step.

SCS_8057-20121212-The Faint_10.jpg

By the time they got to back-half standout "The Conductor", there'd barely been a moment to relax. And that crunchy new wave jam didn't slow anyone down. Then again, the entire album's only 35 minutes long. It shouldn't be difficult to hold attention when backed by a dazzling light display, as well. After the inevitable lull through the low-key "Ballad of a Paralysed Citizen", the Faint bounded back with another mini-set of tunes from across their history - from "The Geeks Were Right" to their cover of Sonic Youth's "Mote" to the chaotically sleazy "Worked Up So Sexual." An encore of "Evil Voices", "I Disappear" and the raging "Paranoiattack" closed out the night with pandemonium, sweat and frenzy.

SCS_8303-20121212-The Faint_14.jpg

GB store
GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15