Union Hall Friday 2nd March
I’m slightly embarrassed about my fanatical rants about NOFX. I anticipated their show to be the best night of my life. Oh how bitterly wrong I was.
After weeks of all consuming excitement, the day finally arose, and they played at the Union Hall.
I actually held off on writing this review, in the hope that my disenchantment over it would pass. With the deadline looming, I have managed to rationalise my views as best I can.
I arrived at the hall at about 9pm, entering about 1/3rd of the way though Kitsch’s set. They were tight, well rehearsed, melodic and energetic. After their well received set, there was a 20 minute gap until NOFX stumbled and shuffled onto the stage- I thought singer/bassists Fat Mikes crutches were a joke, but alas, he had pulled his calf muscle in Australia, so spent the show sitting down.
From the get go their set was pretty chaotic. They kicked off with ‘Dinosaurs will die’ heating up the already sweating crowd. This was followed with ‘Bob’ which had the crowd yelling the Oi! Oi! Ois’! with raised fists. They then proceeded to express their disdain for Christchurch- where a few years ago apparently they played one of their worst shows ever, El Hefe then rambled about his Pounamu and impersonated a Maori Warrior.
The hall was packed with a mix of fans but is was the disgusting, wasted, sweaty, shirtless jocks who were the most noticeable, and I spent a good deal of time trying to avoid their slimly, stinking flesh from touching me. I retreated upstairs to avoid the said filth, which may be perceived as a very un-punk-rock action, but I could see the stage better from up there anyway.
Set wise, they played an eclectic range from their catalogue, omitting a lot of their more resent material, instead sticking to many old anthems. With their newish politically fuelled direction, songs like ‘the Decline’ ‘Murder the government,’ ‘The Idiots are Taking Over,’ ‘Idiot Son of an Asshole’, and “Leaving Jesusland,” were apt. For those not into this side of NOFX, they balanced up with some old anthems that had the crowd in a wild frenzy, such as ‘Bob,’ ’Linoleum’ Perfect Government’ ‘the Brews’ ‘Seeing Double at the Triple Rock’ and the Rancid cover ‘Radio’.
In-between songs, there was, in my humble opinion way too much banter. This got tedious, especially as most of it was stupid NZ vs. Australia jokes and commentary. I don’t care for that shit, but since the place was filled with testosterone fuelled, half brained jocks, their banter was on par.
People who feel they need to tell other how wasted they are also pisses me off, and Fat Mike is no exception to this. He was so wasted he couldn’t actually play the last few songs property, managed to piss himself, for which he proclaimed to his crowd, and couldn’t get off the stage unaided.
On the plus side, their Herbert Albert jazz cover/jam was unexpected but quite cool, and ‘The Decline’ was insane. It’s a track of epic proportions, and is by far one of the most interesting songs they have recorded, and barley play live, so at least there was that.
Apparently, Fat Mike attracts people spitting on him at his concerts. Wellington was no exception.
Some guy in the front of the mosh interrupted the show about four times with spitting. Fat Mike got pretty stroppy, commanding the crowd to beat up the guy, then retracted this, feeling sorry for him for being fat, or something. Whoever you were, you fully deserved this public berating, as it was your fault they didn’t play my personal favourite. However, Fat Mike shouldn’t be such a jerk, especially if it happens at every show, how pre-Madonna of him.
Spitting on someone in the early punk scene was a compliment.
Towards the end of the show, he went off on an Emo tangent, claiming the Emo is “the sound of two boys kissing” then advocating My Chemicals Romance’s album as being quite good.
They ended on a sing along styled ‘Idiot Son of an Asshole’, which Fat Mike was too wasted to play. There was no encore, the band-aids came out and they all stumbled off arms round each other laughing at their inebriated state.
Maybe I’m being to critical of a band based on satire, either way, I have concluded that their live album I hear they suck live, unfortunately, is not being ironic.