If there’s one band that modern punk-rock concert-goers can always count on for a good time, it’s L.A.’s NOFX, whose fusion of musical influences and tightly delivered mix of humor and melody leaves most other bands in their dust.
At the second of three sold-out House of Blues shows on Sunday, the three-chord quartet, which formed in the Bay Area in the mid-1980s, showed the result of years of nonstop touring by ripping through an action-packed hour-plus set.
The all-ages gig featured a fan-approved selection of popular catalog songs (“Linoleum,” “Don’t Call Me White,” “It’s My Job to Keep Punk Rock Elite,” “The Brews”) from their many independently released albums and EPs, each generating the usual mosh-pit activities on the dance floor. (Venue security types were busy all night ejecting the rabble-rousers.)
The set list was rounded out with a few choice cuts from last year’s excellent “Pack Up the Valuum” (Epitaph) collection, like the twisted love tune “Pharmacist’s Daughter,” about a guy who dates a girl so he can get drugs from her daddy, “What’s the Matter With Parents Today” and “Louise,” one of bassist-singer Fat Mike’s many graphic tributes to lesbians.
Besides the humor, band stands out from the pack with impressive vocal harmonies (even as they sing “kill all the white man”), outstanding songwriting, and the players’ aptitude on their instruments, not exactly a strength for most punk outfits. Four or five songs even boasted guitarist El Hefe blowing smooth on trumpet.
Playful show ended with the new album’s final track, “Theme From a NOFX Album,” an autobiographical party limerick with an “oom-pah-pah” flow that pretty much summed up the band’s fortunes. “We’re professional punkers, we come from the suburbs, after 15 years we’re still having fun.”