NOFX: Belasco Theater – Los Angeles, Ca – 4/16/16

Los Angeles-based punk rockers NOFX launched their Hepatitis Bathtub tour for punk rockers in a number of US states. With twelve studio albums out and 8 million records sold worldwide, they are one of the most successful independent bands of all time. Along with the tour dates, the band was also offering signing sessions at bookstores for their new book, The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories. One of the first stops on the tour was the Belasco Theater and with the show sold out weeks ahead of time, it was bound to be a crazy night.


    NOFX came out to the venue fully packed as they started the show with 60% and quickly cut into 72 Hookers. Known for their crazy crowds, it was no surprise that the crowd that had been calm all night suddenly burst into mosh pits and shoving as fans against the barricade could be seen being squished by all the shoving. Wanting to give the fans more songs than they could fit into their time slot, NOFX would play half of one song then quickly jump into the next. An example would be when they played Murder the Government and the quickly started Stickin’ In My Eye. As if mosh pits weren’t enough, crowd surfers would also regularly make an appearance which kept the security busy. For the first full song, NOFX played Franco Un-American which is one of their most popular songs and always has the crowd singing along. In Between songs, frontman Fat Mike would talk to audience members and joke with them. Going back to the music, NOFX played songs such as I’m An Oxymoron, Eat the Meek, Seeing Double at the Triple Rock, and even a cover of punk rock band Rancid‘s Radio. In true punk rock style, most of NOFX‘s songs were short and lasted under three minutes and let out quick short bursts of punk energy that drove fans crazy. One of the other notable members was lead guitarist El Hefe (El Jefe, Spanish for “the boss”) would also play the trumpet in a few of the band’s songs aside from playing guitar.


The fans seemed to love getting involved with the band as they would sometimes throw their own shirts at the band for whatever reason. One went right over Fat Mike’s head which caught him off guard and he freaked out for a second and was hysterically laughing which left him unable to continue singing the song, but still kept on playing and continued to laugh after the song was over. A few of the fans on the side stage also got up center stage to dance with the band, but were either escorted out of the stage by roadies or were quick enough to stage dive. One of the funnier songs of the night was Fuck the Kids which was fun to sing along to since the only lyrics to the song is “Fuck the Kids!” repeatedly, but as to not confuse non-fans, the band adds the hilarious line of “not literally, but mentally”. NOFX came out for an encore of a few songs and the more notable ones was when they played Bottles to the Ground and then finished the show with Kill All the White Man. Fat Mike spoke to the crowd telling them thanks for coming out and (jokingly?) said they’ll be back in 3 or 4 years and also thanked them for keeping punk rock elite. NOFX is a super fun band to see live even if you’re not familiar with their music or not that much of a punk fan. If you like fast music and crazy crowds, they’re a must to see.

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Meredith’s Top 10 Concerts of 2012

It’s nearing the end of the year, or if you’re into it, the end of the world as we know it.  Since I’ve attended many shows this year(30+) and taken photographs, I thought I’d share with you a re-cap of my most favorite shows from 2012. I am going to list them in the order in which I saw them, because picking a favorite is not easy out of what I’ve chosen. Here we go!



1. 311 Day 03/10-03/11 MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas NV

What can I say?? I’m a 311 die-hard. This event was one of the most awesome concerts I’ve had the opportunity to witness. Yes it cost a lot for tickets, and yes, I was bummed I didn’t get floor tickets. But, traveling to Vegas knowing I’m not only going to see my favorite band play TWO nights in a row AND I get to see my friends from around the country made it worth it. Two days before leaving for Vegas, I caught 311 in Wendover NV as well. Met some fans who we actually followed and kept running into at gas stations along the way from Utah to Vegas. That’s one of the things that makes 311 unique. Their fans can easily become your family(literally, people have met through the 311 website and are now married with kids). When I got word that I got to photograph the band on 311 Day, that only amped up the show for me. With setlists that exceeded 30 songs per night, and a stage to rival the likes of Rob Zombie, 311 put on a show that went down in history. Thousands of people singing their hearts out, a band that loves its fans(truly….they honor fans by using fan art, our photos, etc, and always give credit) and a venue to fit us all. What an incredible two days.

311 Las Vegas 2012


2. GWAR 04/10/12 Saltair,  Magna UT

When the opportunity dropped into my lap to go to GWAR, two things happened: I got nervous, and I got a raincoat for my camera. I’d never seen this band, nor listened to anything of theirs past what I heard over the years randomly. I also heard that they were less than polite to photographers. So naturally, shooting this  show seemed like a good idea to me. What I saw and experienced made this show one that I will tell stories about forever. I had a poncho for myself, but used it to wrap my camera bag and hid it out-of-the-way. I was glad, because I got targeted immediately by a torso that had just had the head cut off on stage. The fake blood spurting out of the neck stump went directly into my mouth, eye and into my lens(yay for camera ponchos!)as the torso bent over and drained into my face. Yep, that’s normal. It didn’t phase me and honestly I got right over the fear of it. GWAR continued to dismantle people, creatures and Snooki on stage that night. Guts, blood, parts…..a mess. But the thing that amazed me was their ability to play instruments and sound good while all that was going on. A spectacle but very, very well produced. I will definitely take the time to bask in the live horror that is GWAR if they come back to Utah. Which they should, seeing as how there were plenty of flesh-hungry weirdos that were there(and a guy who literally threw his 7-year old into a mosh pit).





3. Primus 06/19/12 Rail Event Center, SLC UT

Legend. How could I not go to Primus? Playing their new album, “Green Naugahyde” in its entirety AND a set of our favorites as well? Sign me up. While the crowd warmed up with the “Primus Sucks” chant, I readied my lens. I stood in front of a stage with red lights, two giant astronauts with moving, living faces(awesome stage production), and my hands were shaking. In a moment, I was standing less than a foot from Les Claypool. Legend. Innovator.  As I stated, they played two sets. The first was a mix of hits, “Frizzle Fry”, “Pudding Time” etc. The second, was what I would call a trippy date with Pink Floyd, but on more acid, with more spinning things. “Green Naugahyde” is very different, but still very Primus. I think it was best it was played as a whole, and it fits as a piece that I feel is meant to be listened to from start to finish. But as a gift at the end, Primus encored with “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver”. Dream come true. Capped off the night with meeting the band, and getting my Miscellaneous Debris EP signed, as well as my Green Naugahyde vinyl.

Primus SLC 2012me and les

4. Band of Horses 07/26/12 SLC UT Twilight Concert Series

We here in Utah have an outstanding summer concert series for the last 15+ years. It has nothing to do with those stupid vampire movies/books, and it’s called Twilight Concert Series. This year, they spoiled the hell out of us. We got a visit from Indie(yeah I said it) rockers Band of Horses. With songs you know from popular shows (The Funeral) and gentle hits like “No One’s Gonna Love You”, this band’s live performance wins over both the casual listener and the uber fan. I had the pleasure of being in the photo pit for this, and I was like a giddy school girl. I have listened to this band now for a few years, and it delighted me to hear them live. This was one of the larger crowds that turned out for the series that also featured artists including Nas, and Tinnie Tempah. The energy was amazing, and the crowd was singing along word for word. One of the summer shows not to be missed.


Band of Horses


5. Iron Maiden 08/01/12 USANA, SLC UT

You read that correctly. I went to Iron Maiden, and GWAR this year. I would not consider myself a hard/metal rocker. But I know better than to miss Iron Maiden on a tour to my piddly state. When Iron Maiden adds you to their tour stops, you go. And the crowd did. This was a very interesting mix of folks. I think I saw at least three pregnant women(two with broken legs) and a pregnant stage tech(also with a cast, hoisting her belly up a speaker stand no less). Mullets, 80’s leggings, and lots of black clothes. But, the thing that caught my attention was the many children that were out and about. This was a family affair. Many parents were seen passing on the musical tradition of a good ol’ rock show, and this made me have a little more hope in humanity. Instead of running to a Bieber show, little metalheads were having a great time watching the flames shoot out of the stage, and Bruce Dickinson leap about like a spring chicken(to quote the tour manager haha). The guys are in prime condition and threw down the gauntlet of rock music. The show was amazing, well-played, and for guys pushing 60+, doing the splits was pretty awesome. I am not allowed to share the photos, as there was a waiver, but the best way to see a show is to GO.


6. Rob Zombie/Marilyn Manson 10/01/12 USANA, SLC UT

I went to this show as a fan of Marilyn Manson. I like Rob, but I like Marilyn more. I missed out the last time he was here and I was not going to miss him this time. Marilyn Manson opened for Rob Zombie, and now that I look back, that is just fine. I had excellent seats for this show, and no photo pass(boo) for Manson. He had a crazy stage with several changing sets, costumes, effects, etc. He also blew some “coke” onto the audience during “The Dope Show”, which was backlit with a large sign that read “DRUGS”. From pope costumes to glittery gloves and sword-shaped mic holders, Manson, for me, delivered.

The star of this tour though, was Rob Zombie. Meeting him before the show was an added bonus. Skinny, polite, sweet I’d even say. He hugged me tightly and won me over for sure. Nothing like the man who came out of a robot’s chest that was shooting flames. Yes, I’d say it was about 12 feet of robot, and Rob Zombie emerged and took his place behind his mic of bones. The man is a talented showman. I was blown away at his pace, his talent, his band, and his stage. Rob interacted with the crowd, large inflated bouncing balls fell into the crowd during a song, pulp comics of vintage women  played on screens that were part of the stage’s platforms, and Rob dominated the show. He walked off stage and came into the crowd and sang with people during a song. The theatrics do not mask a lack of anything for this group. They compliment the musical talent and experience that Rob’s band has, and this was a total delight. I did get photo access for this set and took some decent photos. GO SEE ROB ZOMBIE.

rob zombierob



7. Deftones 10/17/12 In The Venue, SLC UT

Ch-ch-ch Chino. Again, one of those “do not miss” nights. Deftones came into Salt Lake City and owned it. I was talking to a stage hand who told me that they’d brought at least 3 semi trailers of sound gear, and so much of it that it wouldn’t fit the stage. I was more than amped for this show, and the crowd of sweaty people packed in on a mild October night, was pushing the capacity of what the place could hold. I was one of three people in the state lucky enough to get a photo pass for this. I was pretty damn blown away when Chino leaned into me and screamed into my face during a song. Nothing like that. The man is amazing. He also sweat on me, cause you know, we were close enough for that haha. The performance was killer, the sound amazing, the energy immense. My first Deftones show, and no way will it be the last.



8. Blue October 10/31/12 The Depot , SLC UT

Ok, this band took me by complete surprise. Yes, I knew who they were and their songs. But I have a rule. Never judge a band until you see them live(that even goes for country artists which I don’t usually like and yes, I’ve suffered through many country acts and some redeemed themselves). Blue October came into my town on Halloween and played a private “winner’s only” show for the local radio station. About 25 people were invited to see an acoustic performance by three members of Blue October, in a room that was part of The Living Planet Aquarium. This room is like a sunken ship, and that added to the beauty of what happened next. Singing four songs, Blue October’s Justin Furstenfeld got into my head. I wasn’t the only one; several people were silently crying and listening to him sing. The acoustic versions of The Ocean, Hate Me, Dirt Room, and a new song, are haunting. That’s the best way to put it. No matter what your life is like, these lyrics echo in you. It was something I haven’t had before, a deep connection to a total stranger. It felt like no one else was in the room. I don’t know how they did that, but all the people in the room got a personal show that day. A handshake, photo and autograph….sure. But what stuck with me is way more valuable than those tangible things that will burn or fade away. Blue October played a whole set later that night at The Depot that was also incredible, but nothing like a bare-bones set with just a guitar and some other strings. I was honored to have been there.

Blue October


9. Cursive and Minus The Bear 11/06/12 The Depot, SLC UT

I’ll admit it, I’m not well-versed in Cursive’s catalog. But I knew a few songs and a friend of mine has been following them for years, so he encouraged me to go. When I realized that Minus The Bear was headlining, I was sold. Cursive commanded the stage with such force. I was truly analyzing what I was hearing and really enjoying watching the show. To me, they sounded like a fusion of B52’s, punk, and some swing rock. But each song was so different, and the time changes alone were enough to make any musician want to know “how’d they do that AND make it work?” .  A great set indeed.


Now, Minus The Bear….just, DAMN. I couldn’t have been more excited to see these guys. The last time they came, they played an album in its entirety, and I was ready to hear some other tracks performed live. I was lucky enough to shoot the show as well. The lighting was amazing, the sound-even better. Soft yellows and greens and smoke, along with that signature MTB sound and a crowd that was unusually young I thought. That made me happy though, seeing that there are some young folks left that appreciate real music. I got to hear “Pachuca Sunrise”, which they actually did in an extended version and I did get some tears in my eyes. I love this band, and they are doing amazing things with their music. Capped off the night with meeting the band, and pulling some gang signs at their request in our photo. Good times, good show, and awesome live performance.

Minus The Bearmgmtb


10. NOFX 12/08/12 The Complex, SLC UT

Ok. This was probably my first “real” punk rock show. This was a highly anticipated tour stop for this band, as they have not been to Utah since 2008. Luckily, I was sent into the surprisingly large photo pit to capture the first few songs. Also awesome, was the fact that we were in the “big” room at this venue, which held about 2500 people I’d guess. Either way, the place was packed and punk getup was everywhere you looked. People were extremely excited for this show. I’d been seeing people post about it for weeks on various social media networks, and heard people talking about it in passing. When Fat Mike and the boys took the stage, a guy immediately hopped the rail. Security was less than polite, slamming his head into my back and taking him to the ground. When Fat Mike called them out for being rough, the guy stood up and yelled “FAT MIIIIIIIKE” and then was escorted out. Fat Mike told Security to be nice and let him stay, and alluded to some butt raping joke…..but hey, it’s a punk show. Some highlights of the night were the insane jumping by Eric Melvin, drummer Erik Sandin sticking his tongue out at me, a dumbass fan putting his hat over a bright light and nearly setting it on fire(personally witnessed this and slapped his arm to get his attention when the hat was smoking), a plethora of beer cans being tossed, a series of racist jokes between Fat Mike and El Hefe(who was spotted “face timing” with his kiddo prior to the show) and the polite and rowdy fans screaming the words to every song in our faces.  This show was SO fun to be a part of. I’d see them 10 more times. Even if they sucked. But they don’t. So put on your spikey jacket, spray up that mohawk, tie up your Docs and head out to this spectacle. Because you’ll have a damn good time.


All in all, this was a great year for shows in my state. I was blessed with a great job that allows me access to take photos, and it has given me so many experiences that I will never, ever forget. I am honored and happy to share those with you, and please enjoy the photos I managed to snap at these shows. Have a happy, apocalypse-free 2013. Be good to each other. Looking forward to sharing the shows with you!

Riot Fest 2012 Hits The Road: Philly(PPD), Toronto, Brooklyn And Dallas

Riot Fest 2012 Hits The Road: Philly(PPD), Toronto, Brooklyn & Dallas

As previously reported here at Concert Confessions, Riot Fest in Chicago has a pretty sweet line up and prices.  But fear not, for the festival will lend itself to a few other cities leading up(and past) to the Sept 14th-16th main event at Humboldt Park and the Congress Theatre.

There will be these mini-festivals leading up to Riot Fest (and one following it). 1st one is on July 19th @ Festival Pier at Pen’s Landing in Philly. The lineup offers up Refused, OFF!, The Promise Ring, Hirs, and more (All can be found at the Festival’s Official Website)

Update(As Of 7/13): Riot Fest Philly has been postponed. In a statement released the festival has this to say:  “We are truly sorry for those of you who were planning on coming out. This one hurts, but, a rescheduled show is in the works. More information about the new date will be made available soon.”

Refunds are now available at the point of purchase, and you should hold on to that doe, in case the reschedule sooner rather than later.

Then, a few months later the city this writer used to call home, Brooklyn will get it’s own taste of the festival. “Riot Fest Brooklyn”  will take place on September 8th at Williamsburg Park and some of the highlights there include Descendents, Hot Water Music, Gogol Bordello, The Bronx and  Screaming Females.

September 9th , Riot Fest will take itself to Toronto,  with the home towners Fucked Up leading the way along with Descendents, Hot Water Music, NOFX, and Andrew W.K. at a place called Fort York: Garrison Commons.

September 14th to 16th will be Chicago of course. The full lineup can be found here

Then,  finally on September 22nd, “Riot Fest Dallas” will welcome Rise AgainstDescendents, The Gaslight Anthem, The Sword, Andrew W.K., Fever Dreamer,Less Than Jake,Messengers,Mouth Of The South,Municipal Waste,Not In The Face,Off With Their Heads,Teenage Bottlerocket,The American Heist,The News Can Wait,The Sword,Venomous Maximus  and others to the Gexa Energy Pavilion.

And of course as previously mentioned, you can check out our original post with the full Chicago line up here. Any other inquires about the festival or the mini-festivals, head over to the OFFICIAL RIOT FEST WEBSITE here

Riot Fest 2012 Set To Hit Chicago September 14-16

Riot Fest 2012 Set To Hit Chicago September 14-16

This actually sounds really cool. It is called the Riot Fest and it is going down September 14-16 in Chicago. While the lineup tends to be rather heavy, one can’t notice such diverse acts as The Jesus and Mary Chain and Elvis Costello.  The event will take place at Humboldt Park and the Congress Theatre. The best part is that tickets start at $18 a day. Below is the full line up (as of 05/14/12) and ticket are available by clicking here.


Riot Fest 2012 Line Up:

Rise Against, Iggy and the Stooges, The Offspring, Elvis Costello, A Day To Remember, Coheed and Cambria, Descendents, Gogol Bordello, Dropkick Murphy’s , NOFX, Alkaline Trio, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Gaslight Anthem, AWOLNATION, Slapstick, The Promise Ring, Chiodos, GWAR, August Burn Reds, Less Than Jake, Built To Spill, Frank Turner, Reverend Horton Heat, Fishbone, No Bunny, A Wilhelm Scream, Screaming Females, Teenage Bottlerocket, Off With Their Heads, Sister Crayon, Deals Gone Bad, White Mystery, Larry and His Flask, The Story So Far, Japanther

 Update #1 – GWAR posted this map on Facebook so we figured we would add it.

Triple Bordego Tackle “The Decline” at TRiP

Triple Bordego Tackle “The Decline” at TRiP

It was back in 2010 when we took our first trip to TRiP to check out Triple Bordego. While we don’t review every single show this up and coming Southern California punk group performs in our neighborhood, we do enjoy sharing some of their finer moments. Last week, the group returned to TRiP for a two set show. The highlight of the show was the group closing the first set with a cover of the longest NOFX song in history – “The Decline.” Check it out in all of its glory below.


The Vans Warped Tour Celebrates 15 Years Of Punk Rock Summer Camp

 The Vans Warped Tour 15th Anniversary Party

09/06/09 – Club Nokia: Los Angeles, CA

Words/Photos/Videos by Justin

It was 1997 when I first walked through the gates of Kevin Lyman’s wonderful world known as Warped Tour.  While that was not the first year of the ever evolving punk rock summer camp, it’s hard to believe that the festival has now wrapped 15 successful years.  Having missed all three Southern California stops on this years traveling circus show, I made sure not to miss the 15th Anniversary show (which will be turned into a major motion picture in theaters Sept 17th) held Labor Day weekend within the walls of Club Nokia at LA Live.  Add in the fact the show was a benefit for Musicares, a great organization that takes care of musicians who need help and I knew I had to go.  With a very unique mix of musical artists who share the common bond of being Warped veterans, how could I miss this event?  So enough with the introduction, lets get down to business and give you a sneak preview of the Vans Warped Tour 15th Anniversary Party.


The Aggrolites:

 The Aggrolites - Warped Tour 15th Anniversary Party 09/06/09

Hailing from Los Angeles, the “Dirty Reggae” collective kicked off the star studded event.  I find myself having a lack of things to say about these guys as well it’s just not my preferred style of music.  No problem at all with them, but it’s one of those things, where they play the first song and it’s good.  Then they play the second song and it’s good because it was a lot like the first one.  By the time the third song comes on, you realize it’s the first two songs again and by the fourth your over it.  Thankfully with a 20 minute set, it never got to the point of boredom.  Then again, with Fat Mike (drink in hand) watching them from the pit, that proved more entertaining than the music.  They did do an outstanding job of getting the crowd ready for a long night of music, even if they were unable to motivate the crowd to dance/mosh/clap.


 I was stoked when I heard these guys were going to be playing.  I found them on accident at Warped 08 and quickly became a fan.  Fuse DJ Steven (as in Steven’s Untitled Rock Show Steven) the evening’s MC informed us that we were not going to see them in person, but would be seeing them live via satellite or something.  In a sad twist of fate, the video went out, and we got only audio for the song “Starstruck”.  Hopefully they fix that before it hits the big screen.  Truly bummed I missed these guys.  Same exact thing happened with Blink 182, only we got to see their music video

 Body Count:

Ice T of Body Count - Warped 15th Anniversary Party 09/06/09

Holy fucking shit.  I knew Ice T was on the bill, and I had assumed we would get a hip hop set.  However, being that Ice T was once a pimp, he knew how to get the bitches off.  He brought out his classic/controversial early 90’s metal band Body Count.  Body Count’s 15 minutes of fame came around the time I was getting into music.  As a white kid from the burbs, his metal militia made up of individuals hailing from South Central LA truly scared the crap out of me.  Seeing T on stage with a ski mask covering his face and some form of machine gun strapped to his back, make my arm hair raise with excitement.  For twenty minutes, the five piece band exploded on the stage with a ferocious energy that still felt scary and dangerous.  Ice T often taunted the crowd calling them pussies as many kids looked on confused as to why the dude from Law & Order was up on stage getting all kinds of angry.  When not covering Slayer, the music highlight of course was the Los Angeles National Anthem – “Cop Killer”.  So awesome, yet so lost on most of the crowd.  I am still in shock that in 2009, I got to see Body Count. 

Body Count in the pit @ Club Nokia


Fat Mike & Melvin of NOFX: 09/06/09 Club Nokia - LA, CA

These guys are the reason I purchased a ticket.  After a little anniversary celebration of their own back in February, I just had to see these foul mouth racist drug abusing alcoholics again.  I tried my best to match Fat Mike with vodka drinks and something I have a prescription for, but he was truly in fine form and light years ahead of me by the time they took the stage.  Clearly it was not going to be easy for him to not talk during the short set, as he pointed out before a rather sloppy “Murder The Government”. Before playing “Linoleum” Fat Mike made sure to discuss his encounter with Katy Perry backstage.  ATM, who knew?  From there things got a lil racist.  OK, very racist.  I didn’t catch the name of the B-side that consisted of El Jefe, Melvin and Mike exchanging racist jokes between riffs.  However, most if not all the crowd laughed at the highly offensive materials.  Angelo Moore (dressed as Aladdin as Fat Mike pointed out) joined in on the joke sharing with a few colorful jokes of his own before lending vocals/sax to a sloppy/unrehearsed yet highly entertaining version of “Eat The Meek”.  Running out of time, the band managed to close with “Fuck the Kids”, “Seeing Double at the Triple Rock”, “Fuck The Kids II into “Fuck The Kids (Revisited)”.  With the rotating stage starting up, NOFX was more or less forcibly removed at the end of their twenty minutes, not that it seemed to stop them.  It’s amazing how these guys simply get better/more offensive each time I see them. 

Angelo Moore joins NOFX @ Club Nokia:  Warped 15th Anniversary Party 09/06/09

The Decaydance All-Stars:

 The Decaydance All Stars 09/06/09:  Warped Tour 15th Anniversary Party

Wow, I am just going to say this.  The best thing about this band is that lil Pete Wentz sodomized Ashley Simpson.  Yes, when your claim to fame is sticking your small little pecker into the uglier, less talented Simpson sister’s shitter, you know I am heading back to the bar for another drink.  Joining up with the two fuck tards left in Panic! At The Disco (I think, I don’t really know, I don’t listen to that shit) these ass hats quit before they had hit the stage.  Having been welcomed by a well deserved round of booooo’s they struggled out the gate with a water downed and mopie version of “Damnit” by Blink 182.  Knowing their time was up 3 summers ago, the four piece band decided to kick me in the dick on the way out.  For those who don’t know me, I despise Journey more than I despise Hitler, George W. Bush and Charles Manson.  All month, people I love have subjected me to this shit time and time again (donche!).  So wouldn’t it figure that these suckers of Satan’s cock close their pathetic below bar band level set with “Don’t Stop Believing”.  Looking back at it, I should have chucked that $12 monster/vodka and purchased another.  Fuck I hate these tools, please God I ask that you stricken these douche bags with AIDS or late onset Autism.  


All American Rejects:

 All American Rejects 09/06/09:  Club Nokia - Los Angeles, CA

Having seen a bit of these guys plan a song in the lunch room at work this summer (well, kind of), I went into their set with an open mind.  As a straight heterosexual make, All American Rejects are not really my thing.  Seeing frontman Tyson Ritter come out in tight white pants and only wearing glitter on his upper chest, I had to chuckle a little.  While a decent amount of meatheads booed, most gals in the audience sang along while bobbing and dancing to every song.  I know hearts melted with the opening number “Swing, Swing” I saw it many underage eyes.  Lots of eye candy on stage if I do say so myself.  The guitarist had a sweet Emo mullet, and Mr. Ritter has really nice nipples which could cut glass with the greatest of ease.  My personal favorite/guilty pleasure “Move Along” kept the ladies doing just that while their boyfriends chanted for Pennywise.  They closed the brief set with another smash radio hit “Give You Hell” which gave Ritter a chance to thank the ones who cheered and taunt the ones who did the opposite.  For me, I was somewhat impressed with these guys.  They stuck to their guns, and didn’t let the haters bring them down knowing they get way more pussy than anyone in the crowd.  I get the feeling that if I had a vagina, I would have fallen in love with them. 

All American Rejects 09/06/09: Warped 15th Anniversary Party

Katy Perry:

Katy Perry 09/06/09: Club Nokia - Los Angeles, CA

 I saw Katy Perry the third date of Warped Tour 2008.  I stayed for about ½ the set on that warm Ventura afternoon before leaving to see Pennywise.  I had made up my mind that despite the huge crowd ready to watch her on the tiny side stage, this girl was a hypocritical Christian with no talent or personality.  I would like to admit I was wrong.  Ladies and Gentleman, Katy Perry stole the show with a hard rocking set.  Opening with “Hot & Cold” the twenty something pop star was in control out the gates.  Bouncing in a low cut top and begging the boys to start a pit for her, the girl sang her heart out.  As boos mixed with applause, Perry and her backing band dove right into “Ur So Gay”.  Towards the end, Perry started singing/saying something about dick, I am not so sure, as I was more focused on the moment.  It was that special moment when the crowd turned.  After saying a quick hello to Fat Mike and praising NOFX, the singing sensation busted out her most recent hit “Waking Up In Vegas”.  While some still had middle fingers raised, EVERYONE on that floor was rocking out and singing along.  By now Perry had the crowd eating out of her hand.  It is amazing how confident she is after touring non-stop for a year versus that almost terrified singer I saw last summer.  Closing her set with “I Kissed A Girl” Katy Perry won the crowd over by simply kicking ass. 

Katy Perry 09/06/09: Warped Tour 15th Anniversary Party


 Underoath 09/06/09: Warped 15th Anniversary Party

Perhaps if there were Christian bands like this instead of Stryper when I was a kid, things would be different for me?  I have always liked what I have heard of these guys and live, wow it was intense, further increasing my respect for the six piece band.  However, I would much rather talk about 5-6 of their fans, who tried to start a pit on the second level of floor Club Nokia.  I am fine with pits, but when it’s 5-6 dudes who simply wanna beat the crap out of each other, I guess I miss the point.  What I really hate (and this shows my old age) are the skinny vegan straight edge bastards in camo shorts who come in punching and kicking like a boxing kangaroo who as been on a 3 day meth binge.  That shit is stupid, and so are you go do that shit on the 110 Freeway or something.  So bothered by the pussy pit with lil bitches who kick, and three drunk dudes (who I give kudos too as they were all nice guys) trying yet failing to circle I took matters into my own hands.  Where Kangaroo Jack and pals were doing their cardio routine, I sat down right in the middle of the floor.  Upset/confused folks didn’t know what to do, so I did what any control freak would do.  I encouraged a circle pit.  A mild one got going, as my three drunk homies (who I had been helpfully shoving into Kangaroos all night) started it up.  Sadly, I got attacked by Kangaroos who with there mighty meth/soy power picked my fat ass up (it did take two of them to pick me up).  As I got ready to get goofy with em and sit back down, Underoath had come to an end.  Perhaps a miracle, because this recovering Christian was really looking for to pushing the buttons of those inbred Kangaroo kids, and chances are I would have scalped em like Brad Pitt scalps Nazi’s. 

My Fat Ass Sitting In The Pit:  Club Nokia, Los Angeles, CA 09/06/09

 Rise Against:

Rise Against 09/06/09: Club Nokia - Los Angeles, CA

Having been blessed to get the last wrist band earlier in the night, I spent my time between the pit and the other lower levels of the new club (where my female friends all chose to hang back).  I grabbed one more drink and went up front for Rise Against.  Bless my lucky stars things got all kinds of crazy during their set I love standing in the middle of the chaos, consuming various toxins as people beat the shit out of each other around me.  I know they opened with that song that’s on the radio from that record that had the song from Guitar Hero I think.  Does it matter, all I wanted was a soundtrack for some serious bone crushing carnage.  Bodies crashing into each other, people throwing people up in the air as if they were rag dolls proved more entertaining than Rise Against themselves.  I once again apologize to the hipster couple who got covered in about 1/4th of my frosted beverage, but that Samoan kid was on the war path like a Rhino on viagra.  Perhaps the highlight of the set was how pathetic Club Nokia’s security staff were.  It took about 4 guards 10 minutes to pull one drunk SOB out of the crowd.  Granted the guy was built like a brick shit house, 350 pounds of muscle, eyebrows and hair gel but this distraction allowed 50+ kids to hop the rail and get into the pit for the final number “The Good Left Undone”.  Knowing that these guys now headline arenas, it was great to see the energetic band in such a small club.  I think I expected a bit more, but perhaps I just wanted convenient radio hits?  I will say that along with bands like Against Me!, these guys are keeping the punk flag alive, and it shows by the sea of destruction their rabid fans left behind.

Rise Against 09/06/09: Warped 15th Anniversary Party


 Ozomatli 09/06/09: Warped 15th Anniversary Party

I first heard Ozomatli on the 1998 Warped Tour (which as far as I know is the only year they played).  We walked by their tent and they were just jamming and hung out for a few.  The layout was strange, and my pals and I saw their set (from a distance) on a main stage and were impressed enough to seek them out after Warped.  Over the years, I went on to see these guys time and time again (and sometimes more than one time in the same day) and it’s always a treat to be in their presence.  While I thought they were great, it’s hard to follow the 1-2 punch of Underoath/Rise Against when you are a Latin hip hop jam funk rock band.  Opening with “Saturday Night” the Los Angeles based band got those who remained up front grooving.  The only other song I recognized was “City of Angels” which is a great song, but just too mellow for the drunk and rowdy crowd.  Folks were respectful to Ozomatli, some even managed to bust a move or two, but most just watched with a glazed look in their eyes waiting for what was to come next.    

 Bad Religion:

Bad Religion 09/06/09: Warped 15th Anniversary

 The San Fernando Valley natives tore it up with a oh so brief 30 year history of punk rock.  Opening with the first Bad Religion song I ever heard –  “Do What You Want”; the band sounded tight and ready to send the audience crazy.  “Social Suicide” got a huge pit going as front man Greg Graffin spit out his book smart with a dash street cred lyrics.  “The New Dark Ages” kept the crowd going wild while “21stCentury Digital Boy” gave the sold out crowd a chance to sing along at the top of their lungs.  The band went back in time to close the set, playing oldies such as “Generator” and “No Control”.  As quick and as fierce as they hit the stage, the six piece band thanked the Warped Tour and closed with “Fuck Armageddon…This Is Hell”.  As always, Bad Religion did what they do best.  Un-apologetic/highly intellectual punk rock that never disappoint. 

Bad Religion - Club Nokia - Los Angeles, CA 09/06/09


 Knowing that at this point in time Pennywise does not have a singer (and damn thankful I skipped out on my pals and Katy Perry last summer to see them one last time) I was curious how the band would perform.  As Bad Religion left the stage, the old familiar bass line that makes up “Bro Hymn” came from the stage.  Using BR members and gear, numerous performers made their way out from the side of the stage.  When Fletcher hit the stage, the place went crazy as Rise Against frontman “Tim McIlrath” started in on vocals.  With Ice T and others roaming the stage, the crowd can only be described as ape shit with huge circle pits swirling and drinks flying.  Perhaps revenge from last February at the Fonda, things got out of control during the second verse as Fat Mike jumped on/knocked over Fletcher.  Anarchy ensued as Fletcher retaliated, chucked his guitar into the crowd and then eventually chucked someone up there singing into the crowd.  This is perhaps the most chaotic all star jam in the history of music, and frankly I can’t think of a better way to close out a celebration of the one and only Vans Warped Tour.

As we exited Club Nokja to rabid fans screaming the chorus of Bro Hymn in unison, I had a big ol’ grin across my face.  Kevin Lyman is a genius.  The reason the Warped Tour works is because it is good to artists, and it is good to fans.  It’s awesome to see a band like Blink 182 or Paramore grow from side stage warm up act to headliner.  There is a reason bands like Bad Religion, Pennywise and NOFX come back as often as they can.  It is clearly a family vibe, and I truly hope one day I can take my kids to the 30th Anniversary show. 

Warped Founder Kevin Lyman w/ Fuse VJ (and event MC) Steven

Warped Founder Kevin Lyman w/ Fuse VJ (and event MC) Steven








NOFX 02/04/09: Music Box @ Fonda – Hollywood, CA

NOFX w/ Youth Brigade 02/04/09
Music Box @ Fonda – Hollywood, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

A long long time ago, I was a student in Mrs. Machado’s kindergarten class. I played with blocks, learned my letters and came down with head lice on three separate occasions. It was during this time that three men (Fat Mike, Smelly and Eric Melvin) were forming a crappy little punk rock band. 25 years later, I no longer have head lice, or play with blocks. I may have learned the letters N-O-F-X in Kindergarten, but Thursday night in rain soaked Hollywood; I was blessed with a history lesson in the form of the legendary California punk rockers visiting the past while living in the present.

We walked into The Music Box @ Fonda right before another band of 25+ years hit the stage. Youth Brigade is one of those names I have seen on patches pinned to the faded leather jackets of gutter punks from Gilman to The Cobalt Café. However, I had not had a chance to hear the band or their music before Thursday night. We were treated to a 45 minute set that sent the near capacity crowd into a furious circle pit. The bands front man poked fun at the crowd, explained that all their success comes from beer and mentioned that they would have a movie out sometime this summer. Most importantly, in between their tight, crushing hardcore punk riffs they revealed one thing that stuck out: How shocked they were that some 25 years after forming, they were still playing at all. I really dug these guys, and will have to check back into their catalog. I know the last song had to do with California falling into the ocean. While that is physically impossible (learn your plate tectonics people) the idea is often rather soothing, especially when stuck in traffic.

For thirty minutes with a large curtain covering the stage, punk rockers (and a few posers, such as myself) wandered around looking for trouble. It could have been waiting in terribly long booze lines, hiding joints from overweight ogres who work as security or repeatedly kicking your boyfriend in the shins. The crowd was very excited, as NOFX would be playing with two former guitar players. So when the curtain finally opened, the fans gave in to their frenzied anticipation, excited to see just who would be on the stage. Immediately, front man and spiritual guru, Fat Mike, admitted to the crowd how awkward it was to have the bands original junkie guitarist Dave Casillas back on stage. Fat Mike made a Mexican joke or two before launching into an action-packed show. They played 3-4 songs total before Dave smashed his guitar; Fat Mike scolded him and booted his ass off the stage.

Up next on axe duties was Steve Kidwiler. His long hair may be gone, his home may be facing foreclosure, but that didn’t stop him from trying his best to play along with the insults Fat Mike snuck in whenever he could. Personally, the highlight of Steve’s time on stage was not Fat Mike making fun of his post NOFX Lutheran beliefs, but the very sloppy version of one of my favorite songs by the band – “Together on the Sand”. Fat Mike made Steve play it by himself, and within seconds Steve gave up on the lyrics letting the crowd take over. “Green Corn” another Kidwiler era NOFX song was smoking as well.

After giving Steve the heave ho, Mike/Eric & Smelly brought out the bands “musical talent” El Hefe. As Fat Mike pounded more Vodka, El Hefe grabbed his horn and led the band thru an extra bouncy version of “Kill All the White Men”. With El Hefe going off, the biggest shock of the evening to me was the amount of people smoking dope. I don’t think I have experience a hotbox like that since I saw String Cheese Incident (don’t laugh it was free) back in 2000.

The band played a good mix of songs for their expansive back catalog. No NOFX show is complete without unrelenting stage banter. It did not matter if Fat Mike was getting a drink, a roadie was fixing a guitar or just because they can – the words between songs flowed like the vodka in Fat Mike’s plastic cup. Fat Mike even had the chance to perform a half assed bastardized Bad Religion song before launching into one of their own.

Some of the highlights of the set was a re-worked version of “Franco Un-American”, as well as true to form versions of “Louise” and “Murder the Government”. The band allowed to crowd to choose how many songs they played from their admitted worse record “Heavy Petting Zoo” and made sure to name drop how many punk rock celebs were in the house.

After announcing the band would be back in five minutes, only Fat Mike, Smelly & Melvin returned as a three piece. Actually, that’s a lie. El Hefe came out and Fat Mike kicked him off the stage as well. They played two songs. “Six Pack Girls” got the crowd going crazy, with fat circle pits that reminded me of the late 1990’s. The next song was really bad, and I am fine saying that, because Fat Mike said that. When done, El Here returned to the stage to wrap up the set. The closing number, “Seeing Double at the Triple Rock” sent many to the exits , given that it was well past midnight on a school night, myself included.

As I hit the wet walk of fame known as Hollywood Blvd, being attacked by eager bootleg T-shirt sellers and street team members passing out flyers to upcoming shows I realized something: despite the fact that the venue had fans aging in range from not old enough to buy booze to those eligible for mail from AARP, punk is in a good place. Gone from the airwaves and mainstream TV, punk has gone back underground. While I have never claimed to be a punk, I have always identified and been very flirtatious with the scene. Punk today seems way more important, way more happening then it did 10 years ago. I am sure like all things, it will have its return, but for now, I am happy to see it being kept alive by the ones who love it the most.

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