Friday, January 05, 2007

NOFX, Strike Anywhere, Love Equals Death, Dead to Me at the House of Blues Anaheim

Remember when you listened to KROQ back in the day that all they used to play was the Offspring. Well, I hear that still is the case but times have changed slightly and emo now dominates the airwaves on KROQ. It has been awhile since I have attended a punk rock show. I used to be a regular punker back in the nineties. NOFX was the band I probably saw the most after Strung Out. They always put on a great show that is entertaining and funny. NOFX has been in the punk rock game for twenty plus years now and have not changed since I saw them back in the day. Fat Mike is actually a lot skinnier now and El Hefe still busts out the trumpet. Dead To Me was up first and played a standard punk rock set with the obligatory insults/taunts for the audience members. The bass player was sporting a cool Run DMC shirt and sharing the vocal duties with the rhythm guitarist. They reminded me a tiny bit of Down By Law in terms of melody which is a huge compliment since Down By Law rules. Love Equals Death was up next and brought a ton of energy with them to the stage. They fought hard to get the crowd involved and the bassist even jumped down into the pit and moshed with everyone. The guitarist even busted out a few solos which you rarely see at a punk rock show. One guitar solo involved two handed tapping on the fretboard Eddie Van Halen style! They reminded me a bit of early AFI in terms of their anthemic songs and vocal style. Strike Anywhere came with the similar if not greater energy to the stage and had faster songs to go with it. "Hollywood Cemetary" was a standout track and both guitarists did a good job power chording their way through the set. Mosh activity in the pit was very high throughout their whole set. All three bands will be stopping by the Chain Reaction in Anaheim on January 7th so if want to get your punk rock on... stop by. NOFX came on and then abruptly stopped when someone spit on Fat Mike. It is a shame not everyone knows their concert etiquette. Spitting is not allowed at concerts. If it was Axl Rose on stage, the show would have ended. They regrouped and went into the epic "The Decline" for about 10 plus minutes. Then the hits came with "Bob" , "Linoleum", "The Brews", "Franco-Unamerican", "Don't Call Me White", "Eat The Meek", "Murder The Government", and "Bottles To The Ground". I heard El Hefe say that "Pharmacist's Daughter" was next but Fat Mike said that the song was too dificult to play and they switched to something else. I was depressed because this is the 2nd best song about Pharmacists after Hot Rod Circuit's "The Pharmacist". Another highlight was Greg Hetson from Bad Religion came out and jammed with NOFX covering "We're Only Going to Die". Fat Mike was thumping his Danelectro Bass and Eric was wailing on his ESP Les Paul cut guitar, while El Hefe was still sporting the Telecaster. Pictured above are a few of the shirts that NOFX had for sale. I particulary enjoyed the yellow baseball '80s shirt that reminded me that El Hefe was one of the kids in the Bad News Bears movie. Overall, a good show that reminded me of the Warped Tour days and that I should catch some more punk shows.

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