Hopping on board the live stream bandwagon, NOFX performed the entirety of their 1992 studio album White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean kicking off the September 19th celebration “Weekend at Fatty’s.” As promised, the band did in fact play the complete album in the setting of Fat Mike’s backyard. NOFX was energetic, ready to rock and just excited to be doing their thing.
NOFX is a pop-punk, skate-punk, ska-punk, melodic hardcore band that was formed in the early ’80s in Los Angeles, California. The band consists of lead bassist and singer Fat Mike (Mike Burkett), guitarist Eric Melvin, drummer Erik Sandin and guitar player and trumpeter El Hefe. While NOFX has not been signed to a major label, they’ve released 13 studio albums, 16 extended plays and a number of singles. NOFX arose to fame during the punk-rock revival revolution era, alongside bands like Green Day and The Offspring. NOFX promised a unique experience right from Fat Mike’s backyard.
In the beginning of the stream, fans gathered from across the world to check out the fun and festivities that were in store for them. Some of the places, besides the United States, that the virtual audience gathered from were, Australia, Finland, Brazil, Canada and Spain. They were very anxious and excited for the show to begin. The stream opened with a few different technical difficulties (which is somehow oddly normal as per these COVID-19 times), but the fans were starting to get a little on edge. It wasn’t until one brave comment of “guys, refresh the page, the stream works perfectly!” that the stream was up and running again. The live stream began with some backstage access b-roll footage to the yard and atmosphere of Fat Mike’s place. There was actually a small audience gathered for the performance. Everyone had masks on, and it was weird to see at first. The camera man interviewed a few fans in the yard and people were just excited for any sense of live music because it seemed “normal again.” It was very documentary- esque.
NOFX began their concert with “Soul Doubt,” which is the first track on the fourth studio album White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean. The vibes were chill and heavy at the same time. Heavy and energetic in terms of the music, but collected and chill in terms of the audience watching from the yard and (even in the chat). While there were a few technical difficulties in the beginning of the stream, the sound quality while NOFX was playing was phenomenal, and fans definitely made that known in the chat. It almost felt like it had a Vans Warped Tour adjacent type of vibe.
NOFX was a fun and energetic group with a lot of flare. Their ‘who cares, let’s rock’ kind of attitude made it easy to just vibe with, even if one was just watching it from the comfort of their own home on your laptop. Their songs were quick and fun, which definitely reflected the style of the band overall.
Following their opening song “Soul Doubt,” came the next song on the album tracklist, “Stickin’ In My Eye.” Starting off slow, and then immediately picking right up, this followed the first song so quickly. While the song was only about two and a half minutes long, it was like they punched it and hit it hard and rocking music came out. The lyrics were fast, and the camera maneuvers followed the speed of the song. It was evident that fans were in for a good time with heavy melodies and fast chord progressions.
Something even cooler about NOFX is their inspiration from ska music. Ska music is a genre of music that originated in Jamaica that combined elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American Jazz and rhythm and blues. Ska Punk is a genre of music that takes those influences and mixes them with rock and punk music. NOFX definitely had bursts of ska throughout their set. The tracks “Bob,” “Johnny Appleseed” and “Buggley Eyes,” all of these sung by El Hefe, had a very ska-punk heavy feel. El Hefe not only sang on these songs, but also played the trumpet. This helped to give the tone of the show an even more fun feel. Ska music also has routes in the reggae realm so it’s easy to make the connection of how it can cause those ‘chill’ sort of vibe, while still being punk.
Making their way down the list, “The Bag“ was also an entertaining and energetic song. It was at this point that the cameraman panned around to people hanging out in the yard. Some were head banging, some moshing, some smiling, everyone having a good time. This fit the image that NOFX had. “The Bag“ was one of the songs on the album and setlist that had blink-182 vibes and lyrically, it had kind of a Bowling For Soup-esque tone. The guitar solo towards the middle to end of the song, gave it a lively and edgy feel.
Keeping up with the same blink-182 vibrancy, “Please Play This Song On The Radio” started with a bang and kept up the velocity all the way through. The immediacy of the song and the guitar riff in the intro was the exciting hook that got the audience invested in the song. The fun lyrics and upbeat spirit made it hard not to bop along. It was a simple thought and message that turned into a very catchy song. It was one of those tunes that, while it was short, people could find themselves singing, even after the show was over.
Coming in with that classic upbeat guitar intro, “Warm” was another track that they played with a lively chord progression. The crowd was most definitely into it and enjoying the rock and roll atmosphere around them. The band mates looked like they were enjoying their time and living for that fun performance vibe that everyones missed. The guitar kept it’s fun and quick rhythm throughout the song and it was right in check with the rest of the songs on the album track list. While they have a very specific sound, each song was a little different and unique.
Overall, the show was unique and fun. There was so much energy and fans were entertained with everything they were promised. The chat went wild with comments like, “this was so worth the wait!,” “thanks for everything!” and “I feel like I’m there!.” It was definitely a punk-rock backyard hang out with NOFX, and a very lively and edgy celebration of their fourth studio album White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean.