Live Reviews

NOFX – Live

Jose Cuervo Salon
Mexico City

The folks lined up outside the Jose Cuervo Salon are a highly excited bunch, waiting as they are for a rare NOFX live appearance (apparently this is only the Californian punk rock veterans’ third-ever show in the Mexican capital). Unfortunately my own excitement is tempered somewhat by a bastard of a cold (thankfully not swine flu – I’ve eased up on the ol’ pig molesting), and my prior experience of the Salon’s hit and miss acoustics, which tonight reduce much of Fat Mike and co’s notoriously amusing/sarcastic between-song banter to a muffled echo. Still, the show must go on…

Local boys Gula are clearly excited to have bagged this support slot, and sound remarkably tight as they rip through a clutch of songs that recall latter-day Rise Against with a slight post-hardcore twist. Check them out here. They seem to have a decent amount of their own fans in attendance, and the small but enthusiastic pit that develops at the front is undeniably well-deserved.

Speaking of the crowd (I know, I always do), they go seven shades of mental as soon as NOFX blast the opening chords of ‘Dinosaurs Will Die’ across the room. Beer goes flying everywhere. Half the time you can barely hear Fat Mike’s voice over those of his fans. The pit roughly doubles in size and intensity for the more well-known songs (especially ‘Linoleum’). And when the band return for an encore, they’re somewhat surprised to see that some madman has climbed up onto the rafters of the Salon’s roof – thankfully he heeds their pleas for him not to jump.

And the band themselves? The NOFX of 2009 may have scant regard for any traditional concept of showmanship, but they certainly know how to please a crowd, and tonight, ‘Bottles To The Ground’ and ‘It’s My Job To Keep Punk Rock Elite’ are just a couple of highlights in a set stuffed with bona fide punk rock anthems. They sign off in frighteningly fine style with ‘Don’t Call Me White’, inciting a maelstrom in the crowd that surely threatens to dislodge the Salon’s floor. These guys may be getting a bit long in the tooth, but it has to be said that they remain a damn good reason to drag your cold-ridden self out of the house on a work night.

Alex Gosman