Fat Wreck Chords have been around a LONG time. A staple in punk rock, Fat Mike of NOFX’s record label were a huge influnece on defining the skate punk sound throughout the 90s and early 2000s. To this day, they still crank out some solid releases and even though they pretty much pioneered the one album deal with bands, they have many alumni on their roster who have exclusively released albums through the label.
To celebrate their 25th year, NOFX gathered a group of friends, and pretty much threw an all day Fat Wreck Festival in a few select cities. With Philadelphia being one of them, I had to go.
Now, I’m pretty skeptical of all day fests, especially at venues such as Festival Pier (the outdoor space by the Delaware River next to the Ben Franklin bridge). While providing a scenic backdrop is nice and all, fests are usually incredibly overpriced (which it was), but they did allow us to bring in a bottle and had free water refills, so no complaints here.
i got there a bit earlier than my girlfriend and friends, making it in time for Swingin Utters.
By the time the Swingin Utters went on, the crowd was already becoming a shitshow (as one would expect at an all day Fat Wreck fest). Beers flying, people falling over, it was exactly as i expected the second Swingin Utters opened up. While it seemed like there were only a few of us who were really stoked to see them, those of us who love the San Francisco punks were shouting along and dancing throughout their set.
The band played plenty off most of their expansive discography, with latest Fistful Of Hollow and fan favorite Five Lessons Learned containing the bulk of the set. Easily one of the most underrated bands on Fat Wreck (and in punk), these guys have been at it since 1987, and are one of the best in Social Distortion-esque sing along punk rock. Go see them.
Pills And Smoke
Kick It Over
The Librarians Are Hiding Something
Tell Them Told You So
Tell Me Lies
Taking The Long Way
Fistful Of Hollow
No Eager Men
Fifteenth and T
Five Lessons Learned
The Next In Line
Strung Out is one of those bands that completely rip, but for some reason I never really listened to much or have ever seen live. Playing aggressive melodic skate punk with traces of metal infused, Strung Out may have played what was musically the tightest set of the night. After catching them, I need to go back through my collection and give these guys another listen.
Lagwagon was one of the earliest punk bands I’ve ever gotten into, and I will always remember them as one of the first punk albums that I ever bought with the release of Let’s Talk About Feelings. After listening to them for so many years, I finally had the chance to catch them last December on their tour with Swingin Utters, and they completely slayed live.
Lagwagon took the stage, and immediately announced that they were going to play their 1994 album, and possibly one of their most successful albums Trashed in it’s entirety. The band was on point, and their set seemed to fly by as they zipped through Trashed, only to finish with a No Use For A Name cover and of course their biggest song thanks to Tony Hawk Pro Skater: May 16th.
Island Of Shame
Know It All
Stokin The Neighbors
Give It Back
Coffee And Cigarettes
Brown Eyed Girl
Bye For Now
Exits (NUFAN cover)
If you’ve ever been even remotely interested in punk at some point of your life, you know about NOFX. I’ve heard they suck live… well they’ve actually gotten worse. All live album name jokes aside, I’ve caught NOFX a few times in my life and nearly 30 years later they are one of the most consistent and fun live bands around.
Fat Mike took the stage wearing a dress and exclaimed “No I’m not doing a Laura Jane Grace thing or whatever, I just felt like wearing a fucking dress ok?” Before even playing any song, Melvin noticed that there was a baby on a dad’s shoulders in the front row. With a few “who the fuck brings a baby to a NOFX show?” the band told the dad to come on stage with the baby because they didn’t want the baby getting hurt. But seriously, it’s like the guy’s never been to a punk show in his life, are you fucking kidding me?
It was comedy hour with NOFX on stage as they ripped through their set. Whether it was “this is probably the best song we’ve ever written” before launching into a cover of Rancid’s “Radio”, or calling out shirtless ripped dudes in the crowd, these guys seem to love what they do still after all these years.
The one thing they wanted to do was play The Longest Line EP in it’s 4 song entirety, but even that got interrupted as a fan requested “Lori Meyers” and the singer of Bad Cop/Bad Cop came out to offer vocals for it. NOFX played it before annoyed asking “Can we get back to what we were doing now?!” before continuing the rest of the EP.
While they ignored everyone’s shouts of “PLAY THE DECLINE!” (“are you guys chanting let’s go Seahawks?”), they closed with a little broadway number and dance to “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist”. A fun time, NOFX is still one of the best live bands around.
Seeing Double At The Triple Rock
Murder The Government
It’s My Job To Keep Punk Rock Elite
Leave It Alone
Quart In Session
Radio (Rancid cover)
Fuck The Kids
The Death Of John Smith
The Longest Line
I Believe In Goddess
The Moron Brothers
Creeping Out Sara
The Separation Between Church and Skate
Remnants (I think)
Kill All The White Man
(Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist)