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March 12, 2007 | by  | in Music |
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NOFX

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.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Yozhik says:

    I compelety agree with you.
    it could be better than that.
    I mean after many years dreaming of see them playing live,it was so dissapointing.
    but again,maybe thats how they really are at live shows!

  2. wax says:

    pre-madonna?
    its true i guess, anyone who was around before ‘like a virgin’ would hate to be spat on.

    youre right about the jocks tho, no-one should be allowed into a nofx show without a mohawk or patches.

  3. Barry Stevens says:

    Hey…when you wrote this review I think you forgot about one thing…its called PUNK ROCK and NOFX are the reigning champions of punk in a world where even Rancid had their video played on MTV. For those who dont know…NOFX has not allowed any of their music to be aired on MTV. But thats besides the point really…the point is they are true punk rockers and they dont give a fuck…they make their own rules and true fans know that and appreciate even the shittiest live show. For more insight into this topic…listen to their new album, track 1 – 60% and the follow up at the end of the album…they pretty much explain it all.
    “Its not that we dont pull it, its just that we only give about 60 or so percent.”
    -Fat Mike

  4. Brunswick says:

    Ever feel you’ve been cheated?

    Ha ha, you see what I did there. I’m so PUNK ROCK.

  5. pippin billy says:

    this is the reason why i was gutted at the fact they were playing at uni…morons like yourself and all the uni jocks are the type of people who i dont wanna see at shows!!!would you have liked it if they played the same show every night…didnt have anything interesting to say?
    \and get ya facts right….the two boys kissing call was a tee shirt he saw in oz….
    sounds like you wanted everyone sitting down and holding hands?if you go to a punk show your gunna get sweated on.jesus that should be the last thing on your mind…you were watching nofx werent you?.sorry love either your ignorant or just a plain ole pussy….
    go watch nz idol and vote your life away….shows like that were meant for you!!

    dictated but not read

  6. stacey says:

    “everyone sitting down and holding hands” , my, you know me so well…Fuck man, thats far from it.
    It goes like this- NOFX have been one of most favourite band since i was about 15- (see the profile I wrote in the Orientation issue) so understandbly i had been looking forward to the show as soon as hearing of its announcement.
    So, with expectations perhaps too high (first time seeing them) not being wasted myself, and being there as a critical reviewer it just was not what I expected. I’m happy for all who did have a rad time- but remember reviews are completely subjective, and I’m sticking to my viewpoint.
    And, I don’t think they did have anything particularly interesting to say, and regardless of how many punk shows i have been too (a fuck load BTW) I’m never going to be a big fan of getting sweated on…
    So no, I am neither a moron, ignorant, or a ‘plain ol’ pussy’, just fucking disappointed.

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