Live Review: Failure at the Fonda Theater


There have been certain bands that I’ve seen since I first started going to concerts at age 4 that have left me utterly speechless and mind blown. To name a few, Nine Inch Nails, Alice In Chains, Metallica, Neil Young, Deftones, Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi and now Failure. Back in February when they played their first show in 16 years, I was left with my jaw on the floor and so much inspiration. Seeing them again not only reaffirmed my thoughts about them, but also gave me hope that great music is still around and coming back. Last night at the Fonda, Ken Andrews, Greg Edwards, and Kellii Scott made it an unforgettable night. The final date of their tour and in their hometown made it special. The band ripped through 16 songs before coming back for a 5 song encore which included a brand new song “The Focus” and “Bernie.” Unlike their El Rey reunion show, Failure seemed really comfortable and ready to leave it all on stage.

The show started with a short 20 minute movie of the films that have influenced Failure over the years. “Another Space Song” kicked off their set beautifully. “Wet Gravity” really got the crowds energy going. Kellii was playing his drums with such force he kept knocking off the microphones placed on the drums. You could tell that all the guys on stage were having a great time. Other highlights from the set were “Saturday Savior,” “Sergeant Politeness,” “The Nurse Who Loved Me” (Which Ken got the crowd participating), “Pillowhead,” “Small Crimes,” “Solaris,” and closing out the main set was “Heliotropic” (One of my personal favorite Failure songs). There was a great deal of focus on playing songs from Fantastic Planet, and when the band started playing songs from Magnified the crowd got even crazier, especially when they played the song “Magnified” during their encore. This night was also Ken Andrews’ birthday. His wife came out on stage with a cake and led the entire crowd in singing happy birthday. “Daylight” (another of my favorites) was the final song of the evening.

When the show was over there was a real genuine sense of awe and astonishment in the room. I was left (and still am) utterly speechless, amped up and inspired. Failure being back really does give hope that rock music is coming back with a vengeance. Ken, Greg and Kellii are amazing musicians, songwriters and a great source of inspiration. Failure is back!!!



1. Another Space Song
2. Frogs
3. Wet Gravity
4. Saturday Savior
5. Sergeant Politness
Segue 2
6. Dirty Blue Balloons
7. Undone
8. Pillowhead
9. Segue 3
10. The Nurse Who Loved Me
11. Blank
12. Solaris
13. Small Crimes
14. Smoking Umbrellas
15. Stuck On You
16. Heliotropic
17. The Focus (New Song)
18. Bernie
19. Magnified
20. Screen Man
21. Daylight

Failure Live At The El Rey


It only took 16 years for this to happen, and was it worth it? You bet your ass it was. Failure is back and from the way last night went, they just picked up where they left off. Ken Andrews, Greg Edwards and Kelli Scott were on a mission to tear down the house last night. The show itself was sold out and amongst the sea of fans it could be seen that this show was something special. Failure has left a mark on the alternative music scene that has influenced countless bands. I’m going out on a limb here and daring to say that their album Fantastic Planet is in some ways the new Velvet Underground and Nico. Pretty much anyone that has bought these albums has become inspired by them and have started a band. This is just my opinion, don’t shoot me!

The show last night started out with a short film of clips from different movies. It was a nice break from the usual mediocre opening band. The highlight of the clips was a very cool collage featuring the band mixed in with the opening sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me. Also they showed part of the film Fantastic Planet for which their album was named after. While that was playing the music started and opening the set was Another Space Song. not long after they broke into Saturday Savior and Sergeant Politeness. One of the highlights of their set for me was when they played Dirty Blue Balloons. It was such a sentimental enjoyable moment. Other stand outs from the night were Pillowhead, Wet Gravity, Heliotropic, Stuck On You and The Nurse Who Loved Me. The stage was set up as though it were an arena show with a light show and all the amps, microphone stands and drums lined with light. Ken Andrews changed the color from white to red mid set. Following their main set the encore was astounding. Let It Drip, Smoking Umbrellas and Screen Man were played. The set itself spanned their albums Magnified and Fantastic Planet.

Failure is back and hopefully they stay together. Last nights show showed that they still have the desire to play and create masterful songs. Their energy onstage exploded mid set once they found their groove. I personally left the show wanting to go play music. Thank you Failure for coming back and reclaiming what should have been yours long ago.


Full Show:




By: Brian Lacy