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.... Filter - "With Energy to Spare"
...........................................................................................................................3/4/00 Warfield SF


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.{short description of image}........After a four-year hiatus from the recording biz, Richard Patrick returns with Filter at the Warfield in San Francisco. The group, composed of lead singer Richard Patrick, formerly of Nine Inch Nails, guitarist Geno Lenardo; bassist Frank Cavanagh and percussionist Steven Gillis, entered a smoke-filled stage, accompanied by dramatic lighting effects.
.......The band eased into "Sand," the first song of their new album "Title Of Record," and Patrick was soon jumping about the stage, his thin silhouette barely visible through the smoke and lights. Richard Patrick's enthusiasm was hard to ignore like any good rock fan he likes all kinds of music. Which explains the singer-guitarist's willingness to interrupt Filter's show at the Warfield on Saturday with several minutes of classic rock riffs by Van Halen and U2.
.......He seemed to be enjoying himself with a blend of anger and restraint. It's this same love of variety that has helped Patrick turn Filter into a hard rock band with potential to expand. While such hard-rocking songs as "Hey Man, Nice Shot" still rang with more power than Filter's current softer hit, the acoustically led "Take A Picture" is the perfect example of how Patrick can kick his industrial past aside to offer a broken down portrayal of the man in his rawest form. The band is comfortable with a Geno Lenardohealthy diversity of sounds.
..........If some of Filter's clarity was lost in the live setting, the band's flair for melodies amid the rage survived. "The Best Things" blends pure electronica with Patrick's softer vocals, which once again proves that his ability and ingenuity has grown tenfold since Short Bus. Filter's sound has expanded in meaningful ways since the band's 1995 debut album, "Short Bus," but there were surprising moments of repetition across several songs, the same dark, rumbling rhythms from bassist Frank Cavanagh and drummer Steve Gillis.
......The trio has been touring for a year, and it showed in their skillful crowd interaction and solid live sound.

By Randy Cohen

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