|"Fat Mike" Burkett is the front man for NOFX|
NOFX formed as a punk rock band by vocalist/bassist “Fat Mike” Burkett and guitarist Eric Melvin in 1983 in Los Angeles, California, later relocating to San Francisco. Drummer Erik Sandin joined shortly after, and after a series of lead guitarists, Aaron "El Hefe" Abeyta joined in 1991, rounding out the current line-up. Punk rock had a second wave of popularity in the mid 1990s with the success of Green Day, the Offspring, Rancid, Bad Religion and NOFX. NOFX’s biggest album, 1994’s Punk in Drublic, was certified gold in both the United States and Canada, even though the band never been signed to a major record company. The group has sold over six million records worldwide, making it one of the most successful independent bands of all time. NOFX has released 12 studio albums, 15 EPs and numerous seven-inch singles. The most recent studio album, Stoke Extinguisher, was released earlier this year. The band also broadcast its own show on Fuse TV entitled NOFX: Backstage Passport.
If punk rock makes yet another comeback, NOFX will be among its leaders, judging by the performance tonight at Irving Plaza. The band played fast and furious punk rock, but stood out among the pack by occasionally widening its berth with a dash of Caribbean rhythms and other sounds. With his hair now a blue Mohawk and wearing black jeans cut off below the knee, an energetic Burkett led the evening’s frenetic charge to revive the punk movement, and so the spirit of punk rock was fresh and alive for all of the 90-minute set. The set spanned the band’s 30 years of original music, with an occasional new song thrown in. In true punk rock tradition, many of the songs were under two minutes, some under one minute, so that some songs ended even before the audience could get the groove on. It was left unknown whether or not the band members still hold onto their earlier political activism (in 2003, Fat Mike organized the website www.punkvoter.com, compiled two chart-topping Rock Against Bush albums, and started a Rock Against Bush U.S. tour), because tonight this was simply a place to rock and mosh. The four musicians maintained their anti-rock-star stance, however, hanging a small sign with the band’s logo rather than draping the back of the stage with a huge backdrop, and also by commenting negatively about their musical prowess. The downside of the show, however, was that Burkett and Abeyta often took up way too much time between songs with nonsensical blabber, causing some fans to yell repeatedly “shut up and play music.”
Visit NOFX at www.nofxofficialwebsite.com.