Inferno Club was once again the venue, having Faster Pussycat as the main attraction of one of their Glamnation Party event, which happens every two weeks. Thanks again to Joe, Angélica and all the staff there for their priceless support. It was open at around midnight, and I honestly didn’t think there would be a great audience showing up, but I was glad then when people started showing up.
The opening act, the Brazilian band Pink Dolls, played a short, but efficient set, which included songs from their self-released album, as well as cover versions of bands such as Poison and Crashdiet. Good musicians, but for some odd reason, Caio Gaona (the same guy who had played with the band TUFF, two weeks before) filled in for their drummer. I had never seen a Pink Dolls gig before, but I could see they’re a good band with potential. The thing is that they sounded too “happy punk rock” (sounding a lot like bands such as peppermint Creeps and Foxy Roxy) to me. They could just try to find their own style, maintain the “sleaze feel” of it all, and maybe be a little heavier. Also, it seems the band and the singer have different attitudes on stage, which is not that good. Shane is a good singer, but his looks and the rest of the band’s didn’t match at all. What they could do is trying to find a balance, in terms of image, so that they could look as members from the same band.
Faster Pussycat was supposed to go onstage at 2:00 a.m., and after a short delay and some minor technical problems, there was the band! They started their set with a pre-recorded intro which, surprisingly, broke into “Jack The Bastard” (from their 1992 “Whipped” album). Singer Taime Downe’s performance is really quite unique – he is dark, funny, sleazy and definitely an 80’s rock star with an alternative attitude. Boy, that was weird! But weird in a good sense, for I really think it’s his idea after all these years of Faster Pussycat (and his own other project, The Newlydeads) not really wanting to be just another 80’s hair band anymore. The “new band” (at least for the Brazilian fans) itself was also a good surprise – after being told they basically sucked live, all I could see was the opposite! Chad Stewart (Drums) had already been to Brazil a couple of other times with the Tracii Guns’s version of L.A. Guns, and he just kicked ass just like he had done with his other band, though I personally think he rocked even harder with Faster Pussycat; Bass player Danny Nordahl looked dark, serious and, at the same time, had the attitude of a real rock star, also proving to be a good bass player. Xristian Simon (Rhythm Guitar) did what he was supposed to do – he just rocked! It’s worth mentioning that these three guys have been playing with Taime for more than ten years, ever since he put his other The Newlydeads project together. Let me talk a little about the new guy in the band, lead guitar player Ace Von Johnson. If Taime hadn’t been the main focus of the crowd attenting the gig (for obvious reasons), Ace would have been the center of everyone’s attentions. Even being much younger than the other band members, he’s an incredible guitar player, and was able to reproduce Faster Pussycat old and new material as if he had been there since the band’s beginning – which doesn’t mean that he didn’t input some of his own guitar playing style on the songs. This young kid has a brilliant musical future ahead, and he’s a great guitar player indeed.
The set continued with “Cathouse” (from their 87’s first album) and one of the live favorites “Slip Of The Tongue” (from their second album, 89’s “Wake Me When It’s Over”), which unfortunately missed the energy of the two first songs on the set. This track should have been played as it was recorded, with guts and balls, but they played a slower version of it then. Nothing that could stop the fans from singing along with it. Two songs from their latest studio album, “Power And The Glory Hole”, came next. “Number One With A Bullet” and “Sex, Drugs And Rock ’N’ Roll”. Even being cool, good rock and roll songs, it was clear that everyone was more interested in listening to the vintage Faster Pussycat stuff, other than their new material. Anyway, they were impressively well performed.
“House of Pain”, one of their biggest MTV hits and most famous songs, was one of the night’s highlights without a doubt. Taime sat down by the stage, greeting the crowd, giving them autographs, still while performing it. He even “lost” his microphone for some minutes when somebody grabbed it from him, but he had it given back some moments later. “House of Pain” is really one of the greatest hair band ballads of all times. Another surprise followed, their playing “Nonstop To Nowhere”, another great track from their 1992 Whipped album. This heavier version was sung along by everyone – what proves that Faster Pussycat was one of the most under-rated bands of their era.
Their latest studio album was once again represented by the song “Disintegrate”, which could have been substituted by some old classic Faster Pussycat hit, or even maybe the album’s title track, which wasn’t, unfortunately, performed. What came next was the song “In Denial”, by Taime’s side project The Newlydeads – once again, one more track that could be easily replaced by another one of their classic hits, since it was their first time ever in Brazil. “Porn Star”, also from the latest studio album “Power And The Glory Hole” came next, and it was better received by the crowd now, maybe for its being more of a catchy song, sounding a little more similar to the old Faster Pussycat material.
At the very first drum beats of “Bathroom Wall” (also off their first album, and another one of their biggest songs and MTV hits), Taime and the boys had all the crowd going wild. It’s such a perfect crowd pleaser and a sure live favorite, considering that the Brazilian fans of the band had been waiting to hear this track live for, at least, 23 years! Taime introduced the band then, having Danny Nordahl take over on lead vocals on a piece which I believed is called “Pretty Fuck Up” (I had never heard it before – maybe it’s a track off one of his Motorchrist CDs – and it was just a great party, rock ‘n’ roll song!). Back to “Bathroom Wall” and having it played till the end, made the audience receive “Shut up And Fuck” more than warmly! One of the best tracks of their latest album, for sure. It wasn’t a very long show, since the band started playing the first notes of their classic song “Babylon”. As most of the Faster Pussycat diehard fans might know, it’s usually the last song on their set. And it just rocked the house down! Taime is smart enough to know that it’s definitely the perfect closer to a Faster Pussycat gig.
The band left the stage, but guitar player Xristian Simon left his guitar amp on, and it seemed that the band would come back for an encore, that never happened. Instead, Chad and Danny came over to the microphones and said they’d be taking pictures and signing stuff in a few minutes – once again they’d be available for anyone who wanted to approach the band. It’s great to see that a band that has been around for so many years has this attitude towards its fans.
Faster Pussycat performed a good gig after all, showing clear musical evolution compared to the latest live videos available to be seen on YouTube. Not to mention that Taime Downe alone is a show apart. As I told him myself after the show, he was simply “super cool”.
The low point was the absence of some classic Faster Pussycat material, which was being insistently requested by the audience along the show. Tracks like “Poison Ivy”, “Don’t Change That Song”, “You’re So Vain” and even the classic show opener “Where There’s a Whip There’s A Way” weren’t played, and they were deeply missed on the set. I just wish Taime stopped being “super cool” and started being “mega super cool”, including songs like these next time they come down to Brazil. I’m pretty sure that Faster Pussycat will not only keep on making new fans, but they’ll also be pleasing the old ones, who are really into their old, classic hit songs.
Taime Downe: Lead Vocals
Danny Nordahl: Bass Guitar and Vocals
Xristian Simon: Rhythm Guitar and Vocals
Chad Stewart: Drums and Vocals
Ace Von Johnson: Lead Guitar
Jack The Bastard
Slip Of The Tongue
Number One With A Bullet
Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘N’ Roll
House Of Pain
Nonstop To Nowhere
In Denial (The Newlydeads song)
Shut up And Fuck
Just wanna trade!