Sunday 26 April 2009

NOFX - They Don't Suck Live

I originally planned to just do bullet points for this but 40 minutes later I seem to have a full review on my hands so here is the review and the set list for NOFX's April 25th show in the Olympia.

I arrive at the venue about 7.20 doors having opened at 7. I go into the already crowded Olympia and find myself a prime spot at the front. The first band Pour Habit kick off the night at an unusually early 7.50. The energy filled 25 minute set comprises of fairly standard punk with the odd bit of ska, done with the musicianship of a metal band. The singer slam danced his way around the stage while the guitarists provided an extremely heavy but happy sounding backing. However, technical issues prevent the full extent of their sound being communicated effectively.

Second on are Fat Wreck Chords The Flatliners. Fronted by a guitarist/singer that has a sense for melody but can scream with the best of them. the band start with a few strong opening punk/ska numbers but as the set progresses each song blends together to produce a wholly underwhelming set. This is once again due in part to technical problems, with the guitars becoming an indistinguishable wall of noise. The band wrap things up and leave the crowd in anticipation, ready for NOFX's first gig in Ireland in 5 years.

The set kicked off with an instrumental intro followed by classic 'Punk In Drublic' opener 'Linoleum' and progressed through a varied and unpredictable mix of songs from the majority of their albums/Ep's and 7". Highlight of the gig was the inclusion of a near flawless performance of the track 'The Decline', the bands 18 minute opus. The band have vowed to only play the track once in each major city they play and never again so for those of you who knew it I salute you and for those who didn't you missed a once in a lifetime (as long as you don't go see them in another country) opportunity.

Evidently the band know which side their bread is buttered on and the only track to appear from their new album 'Coaster' is Fat Mikes ode to his recently deceased parents (who both died in 2006) 'My Orphan Year'. The track is let down by poor sound and unfortunately being unfamiliar with the song, I wasn't able to fully appreciate it.

In what is becoming a rare event at gigs these days (at least the ones I've been going to) the band are conversational throughout the performance which adds a certain simple but inexplicably satisfying sense of showmanship. Jokes are made at the expense of the Mexicans, Jewish and others but all in a lighthearted tone (The guitarists El Hefe and Eric Melvin are Mexican and Jewish). A few sincere moments of thanks are given to the crowd and the other bands but back In the spirit of tomfoolery the the set is finished with a can-can across the stage to Avenue Q's 'Everyone's a Little Bit Racist'.

5 Liqourice Pizzas out of 5!

Set List:

Stickin' In My Eye
Franco Un-American
The Decline
Radio (Rancid Cover)
Arming the Proletariat with Potato Guns (Instrumental With Jokes)
Murder The Government
Pharmacists Daughter
Kill the Bloody Queen (New Kind of Made Up Song)
My Orphan Year
Seperation of Church and Skate
Eat the Meek


Bottles to the Ground
Whoops I OD'd (Fast Version)
Kill All the White Man
Everyones A Little Bit Racist (Avenue Q)

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