Playing nearly two dozen songs in just over an hour, West Coast punk legends NOFX hit Philly for the first time in years last Thursday.
Originally scheduled to play a sold-out show at the Troc last November, their east coast tour was postponed due to “travel complications,” according to the bands’ Web site, nofxofficialwebsite.com.
The original tour was not scheduled around the promotion of any new music, but due to its postponement it follows the March 5 release of a split CD with Rancid, in which each band covers six of the other bands’ songs.
Introducing the first song “as the best NOFX song of all time” they opened their set with the only cover of the night, their version of Rancid’s “Olympia WA.” “Fuck the Kids” and “I’m Telling Tim” quickly followed, then lead vocalist/ bassist Fat Mike, always a chatty stage presence, reminded the fans of the bands age.
“A lot of bands play one song after another after another. We need a little break between,” he said, as he informed the fans that NOFX first played Philly in 1985.
After “Linoleum” Mike apologized for the mistakes he had made during the first few songs of the set.
“That’s the trade-off; If you’re gonna get totally drunk before the show you’re gonna fuck up,” Mike said.
Next up, the vocalist/ guitarist/ trumpet player El Hefe led “Buggley Eyes,” which got the crowd, consisting of pre-pubescents, balding fat guys and those in between, sing-along.
The end of the 18-minute long song “The Decline” followed with the aid of the opening band The Mad Caddies’ trombone player.
“The last part is the best part,” Mike noted before introducing the next song. “This song is about how we have the worst government.”
The crowd roared when the first chords of “Murder the Government” were played, but was temporarily silenced when Mike changed the opening lines to include Dick Cheney and George W. Bush instead of the Constitution.
“You should all vote next time and get the fucking Republicans out,” Mike ordered.
The rest of the set was more song, less talk as they played “The Brews,” “The Longest Line,” “Eat the Meek,” “Bob” and “Together on the Sand,” among others, including a song written just two days before show, the Bush-influenced “The Idiot Son of an Asshole.”
You can catch NOFX this summer at the Warped Tour in Camden, N.J., on Aug. 9.
Starting May 21 you can pick up the Fat Wreck Chords release of 45 or 46 That Weren’t Good Enough To Go On Our Other Records, a double CD of NOFX b-sides, rare songs and leftovers.
Heather Duffy can be reached at Duff77@temple.edu