I took the day off from work so I could see NOFX for the first time in San Diego, CA. I drove three hours in heavy traffic from Los Angeles and stopped at a Subway for a brief bite to eat before heading over to the show. Comparing both House of Blue’s in Hollywood/Anaheim to the one in SD there seems to be a lower pedestrian rate around the venue which is tucked in along the sidewalk business that surrounds the venue. However, as the door time grew nearer NOFX fans came in multitudes dressed in doc marten boots, converse shoes, yellow mohawks, vests with multiple band patches and t shirts such as The Misfits and The Ramones. HOB came well prepared for the long line as there were multiple security guards performing pat downs which decreased wait times for awaiting fans. Once inside you could either stay on the top tier or move to the bottom floor which included a bar, separate merchandise room (with a lounge), and bathrooms, and of course the barricade where you can get as close as possible to the band. If you’re willing to sit through the drive, I believe San Diego is the best House of Blues I have seen thus far.
Two opening bands played for the large San Diego crowd before NOFX came out around 10pm to the stage with shorts, a kilt, a mohawk and an instrument in each of their hands. The group began their set with Dinosaurs Will Die off their album The Greatest Songs Ever Written (By Us). Fans from the top tier to the fans in the mosh pit could be heard screaming and singing along to Fat Mike’s (Michael Burketts) vocals. Meanwhile, El Hefe (Aaron Abeyta) who plays lead guitar for NOFX jumped and spun alongside guitarist Eric Melvin as drummer Erik Sandin pounded away. Following up with Seeing Double at Triple Rock from the bands 2006 album Wolves In Wolves’ Clothing crowd surfers began to flow consistently giving security guards a run for their money. In between songs Fat Mike and El Hefe would go back and forth with jokes, some of which came at the cost of the crowd. One concert goer who was front row for NOFX was pointed out by Fat Mike as he claimed to “feel uncomfortable” due to the gentleman’s suicide vest of chest hair. Fat Mike’s antics didn’t stop there, as expected he would continually make faces as he passed El Hefe and ask the crowd why are photographers taking photos of us? That’s so rude. One crowd surfer received a comment from Fat Mike as well when he tried to make it to the stage (as did many other crowd surfers) as the song ended: “You can’t jump onstage after the song’s over. You’re an attention whore!”. Despite being around for 33 years NOFX played a great 25 song punk set that had fans going nuts. The band played two covers one which was Radio originally performed by Rancid and the other being Perfect Government originally performed by Mark Curry. NOFX didn’t hesitate to close out their set with five encore songs: Franco Un-American, Reeko, Six Years On Dope, Bob, Bottles To The Ground, and The Brews.
(setlist provided by setlist.fm)
After 12 studio albums and selling over 8 million records worldwide it’s clear NOFX isn’t going away anytime soon. With that being said, if you’re not willing to get into the mosh pit I highly suggest you stay away from NOFX’s high impact show.