Idol, Faith No More put passion, energy into performances

September 17, 1990|By J.D. Considine | J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic

LANDOVER — Landover

To tell the truth, the real problem with concert prices isn't that tickets are costing more and more, but that the amount of entertainment offered at rock shows remains essentially the same. Sure, you get a big star and a certain amount of spectacle, but is that really the same thing as value for money?

Last night at the Capital Centre it was. Not only were there two exceptional acts on the bill -- Billy Idol and Faith No More -- but both put unusual amounts of passion, energy and imagination into their performances.

Idol, who headlined the show, was nothing short of astonishing. Watching him, it was hard to believe he'd nearly been crippled in a motorcycle accident earlier this year; even though he carried a cane on stage with him, he used it more as a prop than to prop himself up. (He did show off his scar.)

Indeed, he was a virtual dynamo up there, careening across the stage during "Cradle of Love," playing guitar-hero "White Wedding," even incorporating a bit of bump and grind into "Flesh for Fantasy."

Granted, his singing was ragged at times -- he had trouble holding his pitch during "Eyes Without a Face" -- but it was less a matter of insufficient control than excessive enthusiasm.

Add a solid band and some frankly astonishing stage props (including the world's biggest inflatable sex doll for "L.A. Woman") and it was the sort of show guaranteed to leave fans sated.

As for Faith No More, its show-opening set was a perfect example of just how much music can be packed into 45 minutes.

TC It wasn't that the quintet ran through a lot of songs; what made its performance exceptional was the stylistic diversity and sheer creative audacity involved.

After all, how many other rock bands would follow the rap-edged "Epic" with an apparently heartfelt rendition of the Commodores' "Easy"? This was postmodern rock at its finest.

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