See the full NOFX slideshow here. Fat Mike painted a grim picture of Arizona a couple weeks ago. He was convinced that nobody goes to shows in Phoenix anymore because it's on its way to be coming the next Detroit.
Sure, we've got our issues, but NOFX fans surprised everyone (myself included) by selling out the Marquee Theatre last night, and it wasn't a crowd full of floor starers, everyone seemed to be having a great time.
That wasn't the case at first, though. The Marquee was about half full of fans failing to discreetly smoke weed during The Grim's set, which provided more entertainment than the band itself, which played pretty straightforward punk.
That all changed the moment Old Man Markley took the stage. I was expecting another Fat Wreck four chord wonder band, but boy was I wrong. This seven piece played hillbilly punk that is best defined by what it isn't. These loose genre definitions can fall somewhere between alt-country and rockabilly, yet Markley has their own flavor, approaching country twang the same way The Pogues and Dropkick Murphys redefine traditional Irish music. It was a raucous good time complete with a cover of Screeching Weasel's "Science of Myth."
By now, the Marquee was getting uncomfortably full, but not quite sold out. The floor was sticky and the temperature was creeping up, but there was an iota of personal space left.
Pulley put on an energetic set that started with "Second Best" and ended with "Cashed In." Frontman Scott Radinsky pointed out that they only play "like three shows a year" and enjoyed their time at the Marquee and will return to Yucca Tap Room in a couple months.
As the last few people filed in to the Marquee, it was obvious that the crowd was there to see NOFX. Fans chanted the band's name until the guys took the stage with piss-free tequila shots in hand. NOFX's set was kind of gay, in that there were a couple rainbow banners hanging over instruments. Must have something to do with Love God's Way recently calling them a gay band.
NOFX wasn't quite as dickish as they typically come across, although there was plenty of racial humor to go around. Singer/bassist "Fat Mike" Burkett shared his fecal woes by showing off a container of Preparation H and spared no expense for Arizona.
"I could tell you some stuff that would freak you out but you don't speak English," said Mike, who proceeded to explain what a chili dog was. He also said Phoenix was too broke for meth and implied that we all had to ask our parents for money to see NOFX.
Regardless of who paid for tickets, the Marquee was packed and full of life. There were more large scale circle pits and crowd surfers than the average show, so my hat's off to you NOFX, even if you aren't the biggest fans of our town.
Eric Melvin (guitar) announced that it was time for Mike's fourth shit break of the day, which is normal for a 45 year old that does a lot of crack. El Hefe sang a Jimmy Cliff song and Melvin got through a few verses of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" before being booed until Mike's return.
Mike shared the state of his poop and proudly announced, "I love you guys so much I took half a shit." Sometimes people express their love in weird ways.
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NOFX may not have played "The Decline," "Bob," or "The Brews" as promised, but "Lori Meyers," "Bottles to the Ground," and "Dinosaurs Will Die" were unexpected treats. "Bottles" was dedicated to the late Jim Cherry of Pulley and Strung Out, but no one seemed to know who he was...oops.
NOFX Setlist: 1. Feenix 2. We Called it America 3. Leave it Alone 4. Murder the Government 5. Quart in Session 6. Herojuana 7. Radio (Rancid cover) 8. Seeing Double at the Triple Rock 9. Mattersville 10. Insulted by Germans 11. Linoleum 12. Prostitutes and Hookers 13. New Herb 14. Perfect Government 15. Eat the Meek 16. Fuck the Kids 17. Dinosaurs Will Die 18. The Quitter 19. The Man I Killed 20. The Separation of Church and Skate 21. Happy Break up Song 22. Doornails 23. Stickin' in my Eye 24. Bottles to the Ground 25. Lori Meyers 26. Kill all the White Man Critic's Notebook: Last Night: NOFX at Marquee Theatre. Personal Bias: I remember looking forward to Pump up the Valuum. The Crowd: Dominated by colorful hair and tall guys. At 5'8", it was hard for me to see. Overheard in the Crowd: During The Grim's set- "I really liked that song 'White Women.' I looked a black chick in the eyes during it and felt white guilt. I'm going to hell!" Random Notebook Dump: Old Man Markley should make a Screeching Weasel tribute album.