Fantomas supporting Serj Tankian (System Of A Down) at the Enmore Theatre? Does that sound right to you – shouldn’t it be the other way around? Of course! So, this was more like a co-headline gig, with Fantomas the vastly superior act. The huge number of people lining up to get in for Fantomas was undeniable evidence of this; the Enmore is rarely so full for a support act, the bars so empty. Just like the Melvins gig 2 nights before, we were all ready to be blown away.
Fantomas had put on a typically brilliant performance the night before at the Big Day Out, and here they were just that little bit better. Performing The Directors Cut in its entirety (although not in any particular order) had anticipation of this tour set to maximum high! Every composition on The Director’s Cut is just fucking magic, and to witness it live is quite an experience. On this tour the band featured the usual Buzz Osborne and Trevor Dunn, and Melvins drummer extraordinaire Dale Crover. Mike Patton conducts the band with military-like precision, and yet manages to jump around like a madman. This genius really isn’t normal. Pulling off experimental art metal is exceptionally difficult, and this gig was a stunning display of talent and ability, all done with a huge slice of fun.
Now onto Serj Tankian. While his System Of A Down stuff is pretty standard fare, only highlighted by their left-wing political views, his solo output is pretty lame – going by this performance. It’s almost sounds like Nickelback, just with an extra guitarist. It’s uninspired melancholy rock, derivative, and just plain dull. Perhaps this is why Serj invited Fantomas on his tour, to get people along to his shows. The small but steady stream of people walking out of from the first song made it pretty clear many Fantomas fans weren’t too keen on such drivel. Most, like me, had just stuck around after Fantomas to check out Serj for curiosities sake. Me, I joined the exodus after 4 songs.
So while Serj was best left ignored, Fantomas gave us the definite gig of the year so far, just beating out the Melvins’ astounding Annandale gig (the editor would like to express this is not his view, The Melvins were better). Let’s hope they both come back soon.