Written by Samuel Barker
Feb 26, 2008 at 07:00 PM
ImageSweet! NOFX is in Houston, I didn’t know they moved Warped Tour to the winter…wait, it’s not Warped Tour? They’re playing a real show in Houston? Awesome!

That was the feeling most people had who were in attendance at the NOFX show last night. Us older folks in the audience could remember looking just like the kids in the front row the last time NOFX was in town. So what does that say?

It tells us NOFX still has an audience outside of the Warped Tour crowd and they were all there to see the band perform in a real venue with a long set. The audience, both young and old, received a reward on this night, they got nearly 2 hours of banter and songs from NOFX and 3 other bands who brought it strong. Outside of the Flatliners, this show was a throwback to the late 90s and everyone dug it.

For being a bunch of self-proclaimed alcoholics and slackers, NOFX hit the stage right at 10:30 kicking into Dinosaurs Will Die. Fat Mike stumbled in circles when he wasn’t singing, El Hefe shredded, Melvin kept the rhythm strong and gave some screams and Erik played chapparone, clicking his sticks when the banter went too long.

Having seen NOFX many times and having the Warped set list burned into my brain, I walked in with the “10 and go” plan. I mean, I’d already seen enough of this band in the past to know the drill, but after midnight passed, I realized I was still captivated by the set.

Plenty of new songs were played, old standards were there and a surprising addition of The Decline into the set. Yes, all 20 minutes of it were presented and was performed damn near perfectly with El Hefe alternating between guitar and trombone. For the close, Dave Nassie from NUFAN came out to play guitar. It was damn near a set within a set and definitely a lot of fun to be a part of.

NUFAN made a few trips onto the stage with Tony Sly jumping in on vocals for Stickin’ in my Eye.

For over a decade of absence from the Houston club scene, NOFX didn’t miss a beat bringing everything together and packing Warehouse Live. In years of covering shows there, I’d not seen it that packed.

Before NOFX played, No Use for a Name took the stage. I’ve been huge fan of this band for quite a long time and as usual, there was no disappointment.

Despite having a new album coming out shortly, the set was filled with the old classics. From the opening song of On The Outside to the closing with Justified Black Eye, the band left nothing untouched. Even the new track they played, whose name escapes me, sounded great.

ImageNassie’s guitar work brings the band together wonderfully and he’s really found a home with the band in the past 7 years. Bassist Matt Riddle kept the rhythm tight with drummer Rory Koff and found time to keep the energy high with jumps and stage poses ala Steve Harris.

These two bands, for being around for 20 years and basically being the beginning of the Fat Wreck label and Fat Wreck “sound” are both still amazing today. It is quite the accomplishment for the independent music scene to pack a larger venue like Warehouse Live and to keep the urgency in the music after so long.

Opening the show was Houston’s Latch Key Kids, who were playing a series of reunion gigs around Houston and Austin. Will the band be around after this show? Who knows? But for a night, it was great to see the band back on stage bringing some of the finest songs a local punk band has produced to the audience.

Vocalist Tim Guernot and bassist Dave Ng kept up with past performances by throwing themselves around the stage while guitarists Dillon and Rhino kept safely to the sides of the stage. For being out of the game for the past 7 years, it was great to have one more show, let’s just hope they decide to keep it going a little longer.

After the Latch Key Kids, one of Fat’s younger bands, The Flatliners played. They were definitely more of the new sound than the older sound found by the others on the bill, but they did a nice job of jumping between speedy punk songs and mellow reggae breaks. While they’re not quite headliner material yet, they have some promise.