Gig/Concert: NOFX and Bad Religion with Grim Fandango and Pour Habit
Venue: Metro City, Perth, Western Australia
Date: 24 September 2009
Headliners: Bad Religion, NOFX
In one word: Hyperactive
Playing to a half-full venue due to extensive venue security checks, local support Grim Fandango (last seen on Music Vice here) showed those lucky enough to see their set why they are the rising stars of Perth’s punk rock scene with their fun, alcohol-fuelled take on melodic hardcore in the vein of Hot Water Music crossed with early Nirvana. This was one of the biggest gigs the band had played and they rose to the occasion in style.
Compton, California’s Pour Habit followed, after an extended change-over thanks to some technical hiccups. Vocalist Chuck Green did his best to entertain the crowd during the delays with jokes, cartwheels and interpretive dance. This level of energy was maintained throughout the band’s set with each member displaying high levels of excitement on their first Australian tour. With a sound that combines elements of speed-metal and reggae over a late 80’s hardcore framework you can expect big things in the near future from these latest Fat Wreck Chords poster-boys. A few heckles from a somewhat disinterested and impatient crowd were handled with grace and humour, and Pour Habit’s watertight performance put a stop to this kind of behaviour early on.
On this night of the tour, NOFX took the early set (though are reportedly closing some of the Australian/New Zealand dates), opening with Murder the Government followed by crowd favourite Linoleum. Vocalist/bassist Fat Mike then took time to apologise for the band’s last performance in Perth, during which he suffered an injury to his leg and the band’s enthusiasm was non-existent, and undertook to make up for it this time around – a promise the band indeed lived up to. Playing their way through an amazing setlist which comprised of old classics such as Stickin’ In My Eye as well as some more obscure tracks such as Arming the Proletariat With Potato Guns which appeared on their 2005 7” of the Month Club series of EPs, and is essentially an upbeat trumpet line interspersed with tasteless yet hilarious jokes (“Hey El Hefe, what did the Mexican kid get for Christmas? My bike!”) and Punch Her In The Cunt; a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, stopping to joke and drink between each song. Fat Mike and guitarist Eric Melvin then traded instruments to close with the reggae-esque Rico and a promise to return soon.
The giant, towering venue that is Metro City could hardly contain the enthusiasm of the two thousand or so fans in attendance who had come to see punk rock pioneers Bad Religion return to Perth following their successful 2007 tour. After 29 years fronting the band, vocalist Greg Graffin was as on-key as ever, and when you’re Bad Religion, there are indeed a lot of notes to hit. Playing a greatly improved setlist from their previous visit to Perth, the band put less of an emphasis on their newer material, choosing instead to play classics such as I Want to Conquer the World and Generator, which highlighted the breathtaking talent that is Brooks Wackerman on drums. Despite their age, each member of Bad Religion displayed almost unbelievable levels of vigour during their performance, though the prize for best on-stage antics must surely go to guitarist Greg Hetson whose shorts and football-socks combo was a fashion choice to behold. The only down-side of the whole set was during New Dark Ages when it became obvious that bassist Jay Bentley’s voice was suffering, dampening the band’s trademark harmonies and background vocals. Sensing that some vocal assistance might be required, a rather inebriated Fat Mike stormed the stage to commandeer Bentley’s microphone and lend his vocal ‘talents’ to 21st Century Digital Boy.
After playing for over an hour, Bad Religion left the stage only to return mere seconds later, with Graffin explaining that whilst they don’t normally do encores, Fat Mike had demanded they put on ‘a big fucking event’, and as such they treated the crowd to a few more songs, ending the night with 1993’s American Jesus which lended itself nicely to an extended outro from guitarist Brian Baker, Jay Bentley and Brooks Wackerman while the rest of the band exited stage right.
© Steve Pass
Murder the Government
Seeing Double at the Triple Rock
We Called it America
Kill All The White Man
Arming the Proletariat With Potato Guns
Punch Her In The Cunt
The Man I Killed
The Desperation’s Gone
Creeping Out Sara
We Threw Gasoline on the Fire (And Now We Have Stumps for Arms and No Eyebrows)
Drugs Are Good
Stickin’ in My Eye
Don’t Call Me White
Do What You Want
Recipe For Hate
Los Angeles Is Burning
Stranger Than Fiction
Them and Us
Before You Die
Requiem For Dissent
Punk Rock Song
I Want to Conquer the World
New Dark Ages
21st Century Digital Boy
Fuck Armageddon… This is Hell
Gig review and show photos – Bad Religion with The Bronx, Sound Academy, Toronto, September 2008
Bad Religion – www.myspace.com/badreligion
NOFX – www.myspace.com/nofx
Pour Habit – www.myspace.com/pourhabit
Grim Fandango – www.myspace.com/grimfandangomusic