Slideshow: NOFX, Deluxe at the Amber Room, Old National Center
NOFX is not just another punk rock band; they are the punk rock band. 30 years of touring has helped craft their live show into an almost religious experience. .
Riding high on the release of their fifth album, Freak Out!, TBR played heavily on their most recent material. Rife with pop-punk posturing, the band succeeded in making the tried-and-true not come off as tired. Songs like "Don't Want To Go" and "Mutilate Me" channeled the Ramones and Screeching Weasel perfectly without coming off as petty or unoriginal. The crowd took little to no coaxing from the band to start moshing and pumping fists. By the time the band ripped through 2005's "Stupid Games," the crowd was thoroughly warmed up for NOFX.
After a relatively short set up time, NOFX emerged on the stage. Despite the fact that all four NOFX-ers are over-the-hill, they never once seemed tired or old. In fact, frontman/bassist "Fat" Mike Burkett came out sporting an awful cotton candy blue Mohawk that seemed like a nod to crowd's inner-15-year-old punk rocker.
While other aged punk bands, like Bad Religion or The Offspring, seem sad on stage as their stumble through their former hits, NOFX has always maintained a youthful edge to their performances.
The band opened with "60%", a fitting enough opener and a mock "fuck-you" to the fans. Before the final note of "60%" had finished reverberating from the speakers, the guitar intro for 1994's "Perfect Government" soared across the room and sent the crowd into a pogo/mosh frenzy that lasted the rest of the night.
Considering that NOFX has produced so many incredible records over the past 30 years, they have no problem slapping together exceptional yet diverse set lists. Classics like "Linoleum" and "Franco Un-American" were no brainers for the night but there were a few unexpected gems peppered throughout.
From the slower, more ska-influenced end of the NOFX spectrum, the band played the fantastic "Eat The Meek" from So Long and Thanks For the Shoes as well as their top-notch reggae cover of Rancid's undeniable 90's punk anthem, "Radio".
Even though Sinking Ship owner (and Involuntarys' frontman) Damon Lyden's handling of the female verse on "Lori Meyers" was totally unexpected and absolutely perfect, the highlight of the set came when the band ripped into their prophetic, angry anti-industry battle cry, "Dinosaurs Will Die". Released in 2000 on Pump Up The Valuum, the song ushered in the internet music age with Fat Mike gleefully anticipating the inevitable collapse of the corporate music industry. "Dinosaurs will surely die" he proclaimed to the crowd, "I'm just fucking glad I'm gonna be there to watch the fall."
While record labels keep getting bought out and sold off and aging bands lumber on into the future, bankrupt of creativity, NOFX has played the game on their own terms and with a creative drive that separates them from just about every other band on the planet. If Tuesday night was any indication, we don't need to worry about NOFX turning into dinosaurs themselves anytime soon.
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