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Neo-new wave lives on

The Faint
Turner Hall
Milwaukee, WI
Dec. 14, 2008
The Faint The Faint The Faint

Story by Andrea Jenels
Photos by Angela Wangrud

A hodgepodge of fans filled Turner Hall in Milwaukee on Sunday night, eager to see the once hipster band of the moment, The Faint. With four years passed since their last album and the synth-rock dance scene becoming somewhat of a cliche, it was surprising to see an almost full house staggered with excitement (or perhaps it was mind altering drugs) in anticipation of the group to take the stage. Having been around more than a decade, The Faint has been a household name among the raver/dance-punk scene since the mid '90s. When the moment finally arrived, it was a frenzied blur with their signature light show and heavy dance beats roaring the crowd into a sea of arms waving high.

Vocalist Todd Fink writhed around stage resembling Dr. Who on acid, sporting a lab coat and bugged out goggles. With his blonde spiked hair and mad scientist get-up, you would almost swear you were back at an all night rave sometime around the turn of the century. Fink switched in out of monotone synthesized vocals to old school robotic rock influenced by new wave predecessors such as Depeche Mode and KMFDM. To his right on synthesizer thrashed Jacob Thiele, a wrecking crew all on his own. He twitched and spun as his fingers pumped out electronic beats that accompanied bassist Joel Peterson and guitar prodigy Dapose on either side of the stage.

With the release of their eighth album Fasciinatiion, the departure from Saddle Creek Records (also home to former Faint member Connor Oberst), proved to be an accepted move amongst long time fans. The Faint catered to the crowd by revisiting songs from past albums with "Glass Danse<" (Danse Macabre), and "Dropkick The Punks" (Wet From Birth), but consistently keeping in line with the newest material which included the first single released, "The Geeks Were Right." The crowd went into dance frenzy with the sinister synthed-out "Psycho," and "Get Seduced," leaving a mist of sweat in the air; a true sign that neo-new wave lives on.
The Faint
The Faint

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