Articles Of Faith were one of my favorite bands and, actually, still are today. While I won’t sell off my record collection, I can’t say a lot of it gets played all that regularly with a few exceptions. Articles Of Faith are one of those exceptions. I would say I still listen to them at least two or three times a month. Articles Of Faith made records that were intense and full of fury, and in October I finally got to see that fury and intensity live and up close. I never got to see them back in the day and never thought that I would have the opportunity. But this year they were added to the line up for Chicago’s Riot Fest. I never go to those big fests anymore since most times they have maybe four or five bands I would care about and, most likely, they will play at the same time at different venues. It has never seemed worth the time and effort. But for Articles Of Faith, I would make the trip. I guess to be accurate I didn’t really go to Riot Fest; I went to an Articles Of Faith show.
I spent the week or so before the show posting endlessly on the Facebook about the show and constantly posting video clips from the Youtube. I am always shocked that more people don’t know about them and took this chance to spread the word. In fact, if you don’t have both CDs of their singles and two albums—Give Thanks and In This Life, I encourage you to do so now. They have also just released a new five-song EP on Alternative Tentacles.
I made it to the Metro an hour or so before they went on so I caught the last half of the first band and all of the second. Uh, yeah, I don’t remember what they were called or much about them. I was kind of shocked at how the place didn’t seem packed or even full even as the second band ended and Articles Of Faith set up. It did get a little more crowded, but not like I would have expected for a reunion show of this magnitude. I found my spot between stage left and center and realized I was standing in the middle of a few of their family members. Right behind us a crowd of younger kids showed up, which made me happy to see. But, at the same time, I hoped any pit wouldn’t end up making me have to move. Yep, officially old, but at the same time hoped a big pit would start anyway.
From the first note that rang out, I was totally and completely elated. I realized half way through the set that my face hurt from smiling so much. The songs sounded just as fresh and intense as the first time I heard them in my room on my crappy cheap stereo. It was as if twenty-five years had not passed, they were on it and not lacking in any way at all. Even the new songs they played ripped my face off. The most unusual reaction I had was I kept getting chills. Yes, this show was chill-inducing. I thought it was crazy until I talked to someone after the show that said they had the same reaction.
After the show, Jello Biafra played. I caught ten minutes or so of it, still blown away by what I had just seen from Articles Of Faith. I heard something about “family values, blah, blah, blah, tea party, blah, blah, blah” and decided this was even less interesting than Bill Maher, so I bailed to Philly’s Best for a cheese steak.