Date: November 1st, 1999
Venue: the Guvernment in Toronto, Ontario
You all ask yourselves the same question: what is the best concert I’ve been to? For me it could be Carcass/Suffocation in 2008, Sons of Otis at a small bar in 1999 or Enslaved in 2007. But no, this is without a doubt the best concert I’ve seen, ever, period, end of discussion.
I was and still am a huge Mr. Bungle fan and missed them earlier in the summer of 1999 when they played the same venue (with some upstarts called the Dillinger Escape Plan opening) and had the plug pulled forty five minutes into their set so the club could clear everyone out and make room for a rave that was starting at 11pm. So the Toronto crowd was a little worried, a little skeptical, a little restless and a little excited that Mr. Bungle was coming back, with no opening bands and playing two forty five minute sets.
The crowd got a WHOLE LOT more restless when the doors opened at 7pm and we were treated to an hour and a half of traditional Indian music being blasted over the house speakers. I didn’t mind some of the music, and that’s something you should’ve expected from Mr. Bungle. But it was a bit much.
But from the second Mr. Bungle took the stage all was forgiven in and forgotten. For close to two hours everyone was treated to one of the most incredible spectacles of a musical circus the likes of which will never be replicated (sorry Devin Townsend, but you got nothing on this). And the strange thing was that they weren’t even trying. This wasn’t Mr. Bungle wearing clown and gimp masks and wrapping themselves in cellophane. At this stage of their career they were going for the island look, all wearing Hawaiian shirts, some of them wearing straw hats and a few guys wearing sunglasses. But the way they just spastically jumped from one instrument to another (Trey was playing guitar, keyboards and percussion alone), one style to another and to make it all so effortless. Fuck all your noodley math-core and tech-death bands; Mr. Bungle was the real deal. Trey Spruance is an unaccredited guitar god. And of course I have to mention the man who was the centerpiece of the whole show (but didn’t act like it): Mike Patton. He was a mad conductor, pointing in all directions at who was to play when, acting as a middleman as congas and maracas were being thrown between members, playing the keyboards and singing. It was kind of easy to see why the band ended up splitting with animosity between members because a show like that was so exhausting just to watch.
It’s hard to pick a highlight because the entire concert was incredible. I’d have to go with Desert Search For Techno Allah
(because it’s my favorite Bungle song), Travolta
and My Ass Is On Fire
(because everyone was under the impression that they NEVER played anything from the first album) and Merry Go Bye Bye
(another one of my all time Bungle favorites). But the moment that I knew that it was the greatest concert ever and that Mike Patton was the greatest singer ever came during the bridge of Merry Go Bye Bye
. If you’ve ever heard the song you know that it goes from a typical Bungle song (if there is such a thing) into this chaotic noise bridge about two minutes in. On album. Live it went even crazier and during all the chaos Patton was just WAILING in this high-pitch voice that I can only compare to a female Indian voice. It was just incredible. People weren’t even moshing at that point, they were just staring at the stage wondering what the hell they were watching.
Needless to say; when this show was over no one was pissed off. It’s too bad Bungle is gone now but I honestly hope they never get back together. They could never top this.
I’ve been looking for this set for years. I knew they played all of California (with the exception of Pink Cigarette
, Golem II: The Bionic Vapour Boy
and The Holy Filament
), and could remember thy played Desert Search For Techno Allah, Travolta, My Ass is on Fire
and Merry Go Bye-Bye
but this confirmed everything, including all the obscure covers they threw in that I remember them playing. Who ever this guy is who has this website, I’ve given credit and can confirm it’s all right. THANK YOU, I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR THIS SET FOR THIRTEEN YEARS. And if you're a Bungle fan; the layout of the site isn't great but just skimming it I think he may have close to every Mr. Bungle setlist, dating back to the mid-1980's.
1. Taboo Tu
2. Ars Moriendi
3. Violenza Domestica
4. Metti, Una Sera A Cena
5. None Of Them Knew They Were Robots
6. The Air-Conditioned Nightmare
7. I Feel For You
8. Vanity Fair
9. Desert Search For Techno Allah
10. Citta Violenta
11. Sweet Charity
12. State Oppression
14. El Raat Tomar Amar
15. My Ass Is On Fire
17. Ma Meeshka Mow Skwoz
18. 24,000 Baci
19. Merry Go Bye Bye/Raping Your Mind
20. The Stroke
21. Chemical Marriage
22. Goodbye Sober Day