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On November 26th I went to the Stone Pony in New York to see another of my favorite bands, NOFX. NOFX is a punk-ska band. Punk meaning fast paced drumbeats and quick singing and ska meaning a song played with trumpets. The band members are Fat Mike (vocals, bass), El Hefe (guitar, trumpet, vocals), Eric Melvin (guitar, vocals), and Erik Sandin (drums). The one thing I found out there was that El Hefe sings a lot. I thought he only sings in a few songs but when I heard them play, I noticed that he sang about half of the songs.

NOFX music has considerable groove for a punk band and is sparked by the two lead guitarists, Eric Melvin and El Hefe. Tight play between the band’s four members, and short, fast, punchy songs, with a laid back approach would even have non-punk fans entertained.

Their songs talk about racism, politics, social problems, sex, drugs, lesbians, bums, alcohol, animal freedom… and many other strange subjects. In their music you will find punk, of course, but also rock, hardcore, ska, even reggae and jazz. If you ask me they are a just a punk-ska band. Their songs are interesting and different from one another. Each song has it’s own characteristics. The lyrics are very interesting, sometimes strange, and sometimes incomprehensible. You basically just have to understand them in your own way.

The club was packed, or more accurately, stuffed. After much anticipation the punk gods, NOFX hit the stage and the crowd surged with excitement even before they opened the set with one of my favorite songs, “Reagan Sucks.” The next song they played was “Bob”. They played songs from the album “Flossing a Dead Horse” – which is one massive trumpet solo presented by El Hefe. The next song they played was “Eat the Meek” with trumpet and lead vocals by El Hefe. The mosh pit was monstrous and seemed to gain in size as it rotated in circles and swallowed innocent bystanders into the craziness. People were being knocked over everywhere and smashed by the surging waves of dancers. People were body surfing and there seemed to be chaos going on everywhere.

After that, the seventh song they played was “Hobophobic” (Scared of bums not just because they stink bad. Not just because they’re crackers. From drinking too much lysol. Let them be.) Then they played “Six Pack Girls”. They played three songs in three minutes as Fat Mike said. After that they played “Linoleum” (Metal meter in my hand, sporting a pocket full of change, that’s me on the street, with a violin under my chin, playing with a grin, singing gibberish, that’s me on the back of the bus, that’s me in the cell, that’s me inside your head.) “Release the Hostages” (So I drink cause it makes me Happier than being alone. My good friend Johnny Walker Keeps me warm) and “Liza & Louise”. The fifteenth song they played was “Hot Dog in a Hallway” (I always know where she sat, and when she’s on me I get flat, some broken ribs a punctured lung, that’s why I love her.)

They were really not only playing the songs but also entertaining the crowd. They had some cool talks with the crowd and with each other. Besides that they were jumping all over the stage while playing. I was really sorry I wasn’t able to dance to “Perfect Government” because I really like that song but I was exhausted. After that it was El Hefe’s time to sing “Kill All the White Man” (No I don’t like the white man up in me,

He rape my people as he rape my country, everything I love and cherish, he try to take away. We will be rid of him, soon come the day.)

That was when I rested a bit then I had to go dancing to it. We were all dancing some sort of reggae and then when that fast part came up we were all over the place.

Well everything comes to an end and then they played the punk anthem, “The Brews”. That was the song I was waiting for. El Hefe sang it, of course. When the show finished El Hefe took those set lists and threw it into the crowd and I caught one of them. He even threw those half-empty beer cans and I only managed to slow down one cause he threw it too fast. After that Fat Mike stayed on the stage shaking hands with the people. I shook hands with him too.

I was pleased with the quality of their live performance and they were good sports. I really think they should’ve (and could’ve) played a lot longer than they did (their set was only about 45-60minutes long) and I also wish they would have played “I Wanna Be Your Baby” & “Liza”.


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