Minneapolis was lucky enough to be the first city to welcome NOFX back to America since the recent presidential election, and while they made it clear that they were happy to be here, (dubbing us the second most punk city in the USA) they certainly had some thoughts to share on the subject of President Donald Trump, when they played “Murder the Government” and “Franco Un-American” tonight the lyrics seemed to have a little more fire behind them than they ever may have before. NOFX played to a sold out crowd, the venue was packed tighter than a clown car and Fat Mike in true form had just as many funny things to say between songs. All joking aside though, Fat Mike did have some serious topics to cover throughout the evening; the current political situation concerning our new President, the subject of Eric Melvin’s journey to kick his heroin addiction “6 years on Dope” and the realization for himself that he needed to sober up and make some changes “I don’t like me anymore”, and even coping with the loss a close friend by writing and dedicating an emotional song to the memory of Tony Sly (from the band No Use For A Name) “I’m So Sorry Tony”.
This concert felt like a more personal experience than any previous NOFX concert that I’ve ever attended, but how could it not have? NOFX’s 13th album First Ditch Effort, (the band’s first full length album in 4 years) was released on October 7th, 2016. It’s the most personal record that the band has ever released by far, not that blunt honesty hasn’t been a consistent theme for the subject matter of their songs in the past, however these songs cover some extremely personal topics that have a direct reference to immensely personal stories which were released in the band’s book earlier this year (The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories, Published 4/12/16).
If you or I were in their shoes right now we would probably feel like we were walking around with our skin on inside out, nothing left to hide. But these guys wear it well, they own it, they look legitimately happy – and they sounded incredible.
If you have the opportunity to see NOFX during the First Ditch Effort Tour, you just might get your ass kicked and your heart melted simultaneously.
They may only be a couple of years old (formed in 2014), but they clearly have not wasted any time making fans as there were a noticeable number of people singing along during their set tonight. If that wasn’t impressive enough, they have a stage presence that can’t be ignored. A high energy show backed by high energy hardcore music is a mild way of describing this band, so let me paint this picture for you – have you ever seen one of those glass tubes where you get to see how a tornado forms? Well imagine that PEARS is that tornado and the stage is that tube – except unlike a sissy science museum controlled experiment of a tornado, what you have with PEARS is a tornado that refuses to be contained. That glass tube doesn’t stand a chance with a force this great forming inside of it.
The band’s latest album Green Star (4/1/16) is a shot of the finest gourmet hardcore punk espresso you can fathom injected straight into your eardrums. It’s exceptionally fucking tasty, and there is no way in hell you’re going to fall asleep while listening to it. I predict that PEARS will continue to shatter glass ceilings for years to come (figuratively and possibly literally).
Useless ID –
Hailing from Israel, Useless ID delivered a flawless performance at the Cabooze tonight. Their upbeat songs are hard to stand still to, and with a 21 year career it’s no surprise that they know exactly how to craft such incredibly catchy songs. Useless ID released the album State Is Burning earlier this year (6/1/16). It’s a solid album from start to finish, my personal favorites are “Land of Idiocracy”, “How to Dismantle an Atom Bomb”, “45 seconds” and “We Don’t Want the Airwaves”. If someone pissed in your cornflakes this morning, well that sucks for you, but you should check out the new Useless ID album. It’ll help, I promise.