Writing and Photography by Bobby Talamine
Edited by Fiza Javid
You can tell that this show with Failure, this current tour with Failure is going to be a treat on a couple of accounts-
First, with the setlist- some 19 songs in total, opening with "Submarines", from their latest release "Wild Type Droid"- a song with like most of Failure's catalog- based on untrammeled observations and exposed detriment, followed by dusting yourself off, and trying to get on approaching life with a glass half full.
I know that says lots- but welcome to a life lived during the time of a great band such as Failure.
Will dig deep a bit more on all things "setlist" in a minute-
But now onto the second bit of news- which is their merchandise, and the amount of care they show to their fans.
The Bottom Lounge has a long hallway to the east side of the main room, and one side of the wall is devoted to merch, the other side is the posters of the future Bottom Lounge show announcements.
As far as the show announcements- I had to come to the venue earlier for soundcheck, just to see firsthand the layout of all three on the main stage, and the configuration of the band layout in relation to the pit and audience, to seek out the the sweet spot in advance to get a decent shot of all three along with separate shots of Greg, Kellii and Ken.
Not much room to work with pit wise- and knowing their devoted audience, didn't want to make things difficult there as well.
But once the sweet spot was found- all was good to handle the confines of an intimate venue such as the Bottom Lounge.
So I saw upon entering the Bottom Lounge four Failure posters of tonight's show- one along the hallway by the merch, two others in the men's bathrooms, and the last one by the main door entrance by the restaurant dining area.
All four were long gone by the time the doors opened for the show.
But their merch- well let's just say there's lots and lots of Failure merch catering to the rabid Failure Fan.
And the line for Failure merch was quite extensive, even during their performance, which should tell you lots.
So yes- it's beyond refreshing to see them perform live again, and rekindle in my soul the beauty of muscular tracks written from all angles and various themes of all kinds of subject matter.
Again- sorry fro the long displays of fitting into one sentence what you dearly love about a band such as Failure, and try not to get all discombobulated.
But for those in the know, the new friends you easily make while waiting for one of your favorite bands to go on, and talking with people for a couple hours of distinct dissection of "Failure this- Failure that"- well, you'd get the gist.
New songs, old songs- it doesn't matter.
It's all Failure worthy good.
Of course they save the sweet stuff for the encore- six songs in total, but you can't help but feel the glow of good listening yet again to "Segue 3" into "The Nurse Who Loved Me" into "Another Space Song" into "Stuck on You" yet again.
Those four beasts never get old.
But then followed up by "Heliotrpic", and closing with "Daylight"- all of which come from their brilliant release "Fantastic Planet"- such a whiz bang smack to the back of your head to realize just how majestic this all is - everything Failure- nothing but Failure.
Of course "Fantastic Planet" is incomparable, and withstood the test of time, and maintained all relished revelry from die hards and fellow musicians both insanely popular, and ones up and coming.
That's why you take note of the thirty minute opening documentary before their show, and listening intently to the likes of Hayley Williams, Maynard James Keenan, Butch Vig, Tommy Lee and the like.
They talk about all things Failure with such honesty- such sincerity.
You can hear it in the tone of their voices, the deep regard, like a true fan, of what they hold dear to Failure, and what they've created over the years.
It's the kind of thing that tugs at your heartstrings, to see them kick things around yet again, survive all that's been thrown at them and still create on their own terms, and only when they're ready.
Their fans well know this inside and out.
At the Bottom Lounge, their fans came from all over, and also have been going to multiple shows throughout this tour, dozens of fans had told me.
So it's clear that from all perspectives that this whole deal was going to be memorable, and a show to compare to all the others you've seen over the years, with not many mistakes, if there's mistakes at all.
And as for songs that are new (and newer) from "Wild Type Droid", let alone "The Heart Is a Monster" and also "In The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest Thing From Your Mind"- all three well represented setlist wise- all three represented pleasantly performance wise, what with "Atom City Queen" and "Counterfeit Sky" taking hold, along with "Force Fed Rainbow being on point, and all things Failure.
And as for Greg, Kellii and of course Ken- a big thank you- if for anything in this ultra weird day and age, the true definition of perseverance.
Damn do I love this band.
Bobby Talamine - JBTV Music Television Chicago