SHOW REVIEW: NOFX
February 19, 1998, La Luna (Portland, Oregon)
By: Alex Steininger
Missing the first two bands on the bill, Teen Idols and No Use For A Name, I entered the club five minutes before NOFX was to hit the stage. As I stood and looked around, all I could see were people. The place was packed. I'd seen sell-out crowds before, but this show was obviously over sold. The bar was full, as was the balcony. And the main floor, it was a sea of people. I quickly found my spot on the floor, and waited in anticipation for the band of the evening to hit the floor.
As Fat Mike and crew hit the stage, the adrenaline in the room grew a 100%. Cheers erupted as Fat Mike took the microphone. Talking about his Domino's Pizza experience previous to the show, El Hefe joined in to comment on the pizza. As the band let the anticipation build, they kept chattering away about their dinner. After the dinner story, Fat Mike started talking about his $25 Canadian hair cut. Turning his head to show the crowd the screw up, he then told the audience he didn't notice the fuck up until people started pointing it out to him. And with that, they busted into their first song of the night. The pit went buzerk, as about 800 kids on the floor went crazy. Blasting away hit after hit, these punk rockers gave everyone a reason why they came to see them on this night. Stopping after each song to let the crowd know how much they fucked up the song, they were being their own worst critics on this night. Realizing the crowd wanted some non-stop action, they proclaimed they were going to play four songs in five minutes. "We've done three songs in four minutes before, but never four songs in five minutes. We're going to try four songs in five minutes just for you guys," announced Fat Mike. Then they busted into "Hobophobic," off of HEAVY PETTING ZOO. Jumping through that one at warp speed, they smoothly slide into another number without any pause. Then playing a new number, "Fuck The Government," off of SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR THE SHOES, they kept blasting through their hits (or should I say, could-be-hits that the band doesn't want to be hits) non-stop. Playing two more lightning fast numbers, they severed up fast punk the way it was meant to be. Taking a breather after that sonic boom of punk rock, the shoes started flying. With a name like SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR THE SHOES as your new album, don't expect not to be pegged with shoes on tour. A few shoes went flying, and then a birkenstock can crashing down on stage. Asking not to be pegged with shoes, especially birkenstocks, the shoes stopped. Rewarding the crowd for their obedience, they jumped into their cult classic anthem "Kill All the White Men" with El Hefe on vocals and trumpet. Getting the crowd to dance with their ska number, the energy was high. Everyone was smiling and having the time of their life. Busting into another number, NOFX was putting on one hell of a show, and you could tell they were having fun. Fat Mike played his bass with precision, as Melvin took care of the guitar work with his fierce riffs blasting out of the speakers. El Hefe, not to be out done, also had his guitar screaming out of the speakers and into the ears of the young and punk. The drums kept the beat strong and hearty, pounding with intense passion and crippling fury. Jumping into another number, the sweat kept flying, the energy kept rising, and the fun exploding. At this point we were about an hour into the set, and unfortunately it was midnight and time for me to jump out in my car and cross town to catch a late night set by another band. Sadly I left, but the fun didn't stop. As I was walking out of the club, you could hear the music pouring through the walls. The kids screaming and clapping, and the night still young.
NOFX puts on one hell of a show. Hard to top, these guys put every piece of energy they have into their live shows, and it really pays off. They can get the stiffest of crowds moving. I would venture to guess within fifteen minutes NOFX could have an old folks home on their feet moshing and screaming for more. These guys are that energetic. The life of any party, and never to be missed! Catch them on their current tour!
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