The Faint tonight at First Avenue
All right, so the headline is a bit offsides. As the Faint has matured, they've begun to sound less and less like a second rate knock off and more and more like a second rate original. But one thing hasn't changed for the progenitors of retro-synth-dance-punk revivalism-- every time Todd Fink opens his mouth to sing, Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon contemplates another copyright infringement suit.
Try and look away-- we dare you. Ladytron.
After beginning life as a rather ho-hum, if laudably noisy, guitar rock band, the Faint scored a great one-two punch with Blank Wave Arcade and Danse Macabre, a duo of releases that exhibited remarkable growth and sophistication.
But a tour with Gwen Stefani, a few Spin write-ups and a host of room temperature releases (including a most unnecessary remix album of Danse) finds them treading still waters in the silver years of their career and finds them an increasingly appropriately named band as time slips by.
We're not saying the Faint is a bad band. They're not. They're fun. Fast. Danceable. But they're also a band often described with a sidelong wince and a see-saw hand motion. Undoubtedly, the show to see on this bill is Ladytron. Similarly retro but disimilarly adept and well-bred, the lads and lasses from Liverpool are a sure fire, a slam dunk band that always leaves people sweaty and fulfilled without that chemical, major label aftertaste.
Would that we could leap back to the heady days of 2002, when the Faint was still packing the 400 Bar, crowding the stage with fog machines and strobes and waxing ridiculously serious amidst all their bloops and bleeps. That was when the Faint was at their most urgent and likable. Whether it's for the hey day of gothic 80's dance clubs, or for the glory days of the Faint's finer years, there will be plenty to be nostalgic about tonight at the Main Room.
18+. 5:00 P.M. $20.00 advance/ $22.00 door. With Telepathe. First Avenue Main Room, 701 1st Avenue South, Minneapolis; 612.338.8388.