Damien Marley's “Welcome to Jamrock” rattled the Observatory as NOFX walked onstage to a chorus of cheers, whistles and a few unexpected insults from punks who were pissed at the long wait in-between sets to see the headlining band take stage.
Unlike most bands that start off most sets with a hit track, Fat Mike, rockin' a bright neon turquoise faux hawk and Doc Martens, conversed with fans, sharing stories of his restrictive and strict alcohol consumption while struggling to keep his straw afloat in his PBR. Two straws later and with the help of duct tape, Fat Mike successfully set up his beverage, ready to finally kick off the evening.
“Get ready for a huge disappointment!”
The band's pre-warning only garnered cheers from anxious fans.
Like most punk shows, all bets where off and any antics that could add a little chaos to the mix were fair game. Fans flung themselves off tiers without warning, falling onto oblivious fans while other stage divers who weren't so lucky ended up falling on the hard wood floor. Beer cans and shoes where constantly hurled onstage without warning, eventually earning a quip from Mike after snaggin' a pair.
“That was an unintentional catch,” said Mike. “You're the fuckin' idiot for wearing slip ons to a punk show. You gotta wear combat boots, alright! So, now you're fuckin' slam dancing in socks?! You're a fuckin' moron!”
The insults where nonstop throughout the night and from both the fans and the band. Orange County, Mexicans and cheap beer seemed to be favorite topics of the night as guitarist, El Jefe, called out an area of the venue in particular for having the most “brown people” in the vicinity.
“Damn, we got enough Mexicans over here to make 'Stand and Deliver 2'!”
The concert was more of a punk rock party than anything else. When beer cans weren't being thrown onstage, fans puffed their ganja during “Herojuana,” creating two large visible clouds of smoke and completely inundating the venue in the potent oder.
Besides the band's unwavering energy and bratty punk attitude, the fans themselves where a spectacle to watch. Kudos to the “Massive Security” guards who managed to stop three brawls in the pit, pull out a middle aged punk rocker who was on the brink of passing out and finding a fan's lost ID by the end of the night. After all the crowd surfers and countless stage divers, they really helped keep the scene from getting too out of control.
NOFX played for an hour and twenty minute set that ended at 1 a.m. As fans slowly shuffled out, the floor became a kaleidoscope of empty beer cans and plastic white cups illustrating a fun and wild night.
Critics Bias: I wasn't expecting to enjoy NOFX considering I hadn't heard any of their music before, but they were hilarious live.
The Crowd: Surprisingly, there seemed to be more males present in the pit, against the barricade and near the back than females.
Overheard: A fan was upset about a band's set up time and wasn't afraid of calling out the band's unpreparedness: “If I known it would've taken this long, I would've taken an 8 ball!” And before NOFX's encore, “Fuck NOFX! Punk rock's dead!”
Random Notebook Dump: Just in case Fat Mike forgot the lyrics, a teleprompter was placed by his mic. Real classy, dude.
“Costa Mesa 2112″
“60% / America”
“Murder in C/ Telling Tim”
“Eat the Meek”
“Quart in Session”
“Food Sex and Ewe”
“Xmas Has Been X'ed”