NOVEMBER 4th 2016

Review by Ashley Jude
Photos by Peter Ruttan

What happens to angst-ridden, punk rock teenagers once they grow up? They find babysitters for their kids and put their adult lives on hold to take a trip down memory lane any time their old favourites come to town – especially classic, anthem-singing punk bands like legendary SoCal party animals NOFX. I was pleased and not at all surprised to see that they (as well as the crowd) were still as rowdy and raucous as ever – it felt like we’d been transported back to the mid 90’s and I loved every second of it. 

It’s so good to see a boundary pushing band still writing music that challenges societal norms and not giving a single fuck. On tour in support of their thirteenth studio album First Ditch Effort, I was curious to see what their set list would be. There are a couple songs off the new record I was hoping to hear and didn’t – Generation Z for example, but they did play one of my other favourite new tracks, Oxy Moronic, which just drips with wordplay and made my dorky punk rock heart and word-loving soul just completely giddy. A lot of old school fans like to hate on the new work of their old favourites, but First Ditch Effort is solid and I was stoked to see people singing along to the just-released songs.

Fat Mike, donning his iconic Mohawk and leather kilt (he’s a Transvest-Lite after all), was as mesmerizing as ever to watch – the true personification of all things punk. After inviting SNFU’s Chi Pig on stage for a drink to commemorate their first of two Vancouver shows and making sure to let everyone know just how much SNFU inspired NOFX, they kicked off the show with a medley of 60% and Dinosaurs Will Die – and by the time the medley was over, the mosh pit was raging. They took us on a journey through their entire discography, stopping to emphasize how relevant and timely The Idiots Are Taking Over is right now. A big highlight for me happened during the encore when they played I Believe in Goddess, a favourite of mine off their 2012 record Self Entitled. I didn’t they’d play it. So thanks to Fat Mike, El Hefe, Melvin and Smelly for playing so many of my favourite songs and reminding us all that punk rock is still alive and well.