With Bouncing Souls, Cobra Skulls, Old Man Markley, and Nobodys Hero
Revolution, Fort Lauderdale
Friday, January 28, 2011
"It was 15 years ago, right here that we first met NOFX," said Bouncing Souls bassist Bryan Kienlen to an overcapacity crowd at Revolution on Friday. For many of the crowd members, it's where they met NOFX and the Bouncing Souls, as well. In 1996, when Revolution was still the Edge, a younger version of the crowd saw the bands for the first time.
It seems like everyone came back. A few brought their kids; some brought their little brothers or sisters. When NOFX frontman Fat Mike asked the 16-year-olds to raise their hands, no one did. "This is a fucking gas-station-attendant crowd, isn't it?" This was exactly the crowd they wanted to be playing to. "This song is for the people who don't like us anymore; they're called the kids," quipped Mike, right before they played "Fuck the Kids." Let it be noted that the gas-station-attendant-crowd was acting like kids on a trampoline all night.
Earlier on, New Jersey's Bouncing Souls stormed the stage and turned the bottom level into a circle pit. Their lightning-paced songs and spirited choruses got everyone feeling positive. The crowd's buzz turned into a fun drunk; shirts were coming off; people were falling down and helping each other up. The night was getting steadily sloppy.
When the curtain opened for NOFX, everyone went -- how you say? -- apeshit. Everyone went apeshit. Fat Mike said, "Shut up and let us do our job!" They were off to a thunderous start and played a flawless rendition of 2000's "Dinosaurs Will Die." Right when the song ended, the banter began. These guys were just as interested in dicking around as they were in doing their jobs.
When Fat Mike pointed out a Juggalo in the crowd, lead guitarist El Hefe corrected him: "That guy's dressed like you. He's a Jew-galo!" The set continued like this for most of the night: fast fun punk songs followed by slow silly stage banter.
Some of the crowd had graduated from fun sloppy drunk to violently wasted/entering a blackout. Mike noticed the pushing and shoving and called 'em out, "You're bothering everyone, you fucking prick! Stop it! All right, all right... stop fighting over who's better, Rancid or Bad Religion. It's Bad Religion."
None of this slowed down the crowd. The infighting, the dead air, the insults, the guy right behind you doing windmills, none of that shit affected the energy level of the core crowd. Even when it looked like NOFX wasn't into its own set, the crowd totally was.
Halfway through the set, Mike said, "No more talking from me. It's gonna be all music, all the time, right now." We were expecting that they'd play back-to-back songs for the rest of the night. Mike couldn't keep his promise; he kept spitting out insults and ridiculous jokes. He seemed to be having more fun cracking jokes than playing songs. But this was a NOFX show, and that's exactly what we expected.
Openers: The night started with a set by an unfazed Miami's Nobodys Hero. They played as if the room were packed. And, as the crowd grew from 60 to 80 to 100 during their set, all bodies were at attention and excited, front and center.
Initially, the crowd wasn't really feeling the wash-boardin', banjo-playin' tunes from bluegrass-punk group Old Man Markley. A couple of songs later, it became really clear that singer/guitarist Johnny Carey can sing the hell out of a song and that their act is no novelty. OMM was a perfect lead-in for the bilingual street punk of Reno's Cobra Skulls. They combined rockabilly swagger and punk rock fury and created a set of anthems and battle cries.
Random detail: The people who were at the NOFX/Bouncing Souls show 15 years ago, they wore the same shirts this time: Descendents, Against All Authority, the Queers, Lagwagon, Social Distortion, and every other 1990s punk band T-shirt.
NOFX Set List:
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1. Dinosaurs Will Die
2. We Called It America
3. Perfect Government
4. Mattersville Jew Editions
5. Murder the Government
6. The Brews
7. Arming the Proletariat With Potato Guns
8. Leave It Alone
9. I'm Telling Tim
11. Seeing Double at the Triple Rock
12. Fun Things to Fuck
14. Party Enema
15. Totally fucked
17. The Desperation's Gone
18. The Bag
19. Eat the Meek
20. My Orphan year
21. Franco Un-American
22. Talking 'Bout Your Mom
23. Bottles to the Ground
24. Fuck the Kids
26. The Man I Killed
27. Kill All the White Man