Review :: Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane

January 24th 2012

The last time I indulged in a Mike Patton performance was during his Fantomas tour in 2009. This was during the height of my psychotic-fangirl stage with Patton, so much so that my legs went wobbly as soon as he walked onto the stage. Three years on, my infatuation somewhat subsided, I find myself collapsing into velvet seats amongst a curious mixture of neatly dressed families and pony-tailed men boasting Faith No More circa ‘93 faded t-shirts.

The setting was all class. A 25-piece orchestral ensemble adorned the State Theatre stage, framing a white-suited Patton who immediately commanded the stage with his signature charismatic-bordering-on-arrogant charm. With a few clicks of a finger Patton cruised into Il cielo in una stanza, the opening number of his 1960’s Italian pop repertoire for the night.

Considered to be one of the most accessible of Patton’s projects thus far, Mondo Cane may not appeal to every Patton fan’s taste-buds, but it is undeniably a well executed and refreshingly new direction for him to undertake. A formidable combination of loungy, smooth pop vocals to the backdrop of an impressive orchestral reproduction ensured that the show was anything but dull, in spite of the minor cheese factor. The delight radiating from the enthralled audience permeated throughout the theatre, fueling Patton’s increasingly theatrical performance style.

What I love most about Patton is his ability to delve into anything from art-rock, metal, through to experimental pop and tackle it all with precise execution, exceptional style, and captivating flair. Patton is at the point of his musical career where if he wants to bust out Italian pop ballads in over-the-top white threads he damn well can. Because his devoted fans are in love with the engima that is Patton just as much as the music he creates. But just as the Italian pop ballads started to make me forget the Patton I once knew and loved, he would suddenly let out a piercingly Patton-esque scream to remind me that Patton hasn’t changed, rather he has matured. 

Patton is undeniably a force to be reckoned with. He is professional, bold, daring and uncompromising, as is his live shows. Only Mike Patton can hack up a spit ball in a suit on the State Theatre stage and get away with it. And that’s why we love him.


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