The first time I heard NOFX, the country was in turmoil. George W Bush was about to be elected as president and I found myself getting involved in many protests and anti-war organizations. I was only in high school. I was young and don’t think I quite knew what I was doing but I knew I was doing something I believed in. NOFX released their album The War On Errorism around the same time and it quickly became the soundtrack of every protest I attended.
Fast forward to now. Sadly, those songs written nearly fifteen years ago are just as relevant now with Trump winning the election. I’ve spent some time in the protests since last Tuesday and have been listening to The War On Errorism on repeat. It’s a bit sad that, in a way, we are back where we started but it’s nice to have a band like NOFX that can help you express your discontent through music.
You could tell that Fat Mike, the singer, was upset over the election results. Last night was the band’s first night back in the country since the election (they had been in Canada) and I think it didn’t really click until they were on American soil. For the first couple of songs, Fat Mike didn’t seem like himself. The other times I have seen them live, he has been super upbeat and super hyper but last night he seemed subdued. He seemed to fight back tears as he tried to decide what song the band would play next. Every time he would mention the election results or the current state of this country, you could feel the hurt in his voice. It was heartbreaking to watch but, eventually, something clicked with him and it seemed like he took that depression and sorrow and turned it into, what will probably be, the best NOFX concert I’ll ever see.
Fat Mike explained that they were going to play more of their angry songs than their classic punk songs and that’s exactly what they did. Outside of a couple of their staple songs, NOFX played some of their most political songs and, because of everything that’s going on, they were played with fury and emotion. Even during the classic songs that have nothing to do with politics, the feeling and emotion that was coming off the stage that was palpable.
The crowd was eating up every single note that the band played. They pushed, shoved, and moshed their way through the nearly hour and a half long set. It was sweaty, it was hot, it was everything you could ever ask for from a sold out NOFX show. I cringed every time my body was slammed into the poles that are awkwardly placed right in the middle of the crowd. I’m definitely hurting today but I wouldn’t change that hurt for anything. Seeing NOFX in a smaller venue is something you just can’t stand in back for.
It’s safe to say that NOFX loves Minneapolis. They have a song, “Seeing Double at the Triple Rock” which is about the one and only Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis. In between songs, the members of the band expressed their love for the Minneapolis punk community and said we (along with Austin, TX) have the best scene in the country. No contest. The way Fat Mike and the other members would shout out to Erik and Paddy of Dillinger Four and bring up the Triple Rock, made NOFX feel like just a couple of local boys.
Pears was one of the opening acts. I’ve seen these guys a couple of times (even though they are from New Orleans, LA, they seem to be playing in the Twin Cities a lot) and always love the energy. Singer Zach Quinn is always all over the place and adds a very fun energy to the already upbeat punk songs with pop-punk undertones. The music is loud and fast but not to the point where you can’t follow it. Although they only had a half hour long set, I could tell from the chatter in the crowd around me that people were impressed. It made me happy to see such a deserving band get the attention that I’ve known they deserve since the first time I saw them.
Israeli punk band Useless ID opened the show and, like Pears, were able to make a great impression on the sold out crowd with only a thirty minute set. I used to listen to these guys back in the day and never thought I’d get a chance to see them live. They have been around since the mid 90’s and haven’t stopped since. Their music is your classic pop-punk sound leaning more towards the punk side. They were a perfect opener for a night of great music.
Being able to see a band like NOFX during a time like this is nothing short of indescribable and perfect.
Sausage Fest Meter- 9 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 28
Crowd Surfers- 8
Moshability- Off The Charts!
Broken Bones- None
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None
Celebrity Sightings- Paddy & Erik of Dillinger Four… maybe… I didn’t see them
Overall Score-9 out of 10
Show on Deck- Machine Gun Kelly