Berkeley-spawned punk quartet NOFX played its first L.A. show in more than eight months Tuesday — marking the same-day release of the band’s new “War on Errorism” album — and these always-reliable punk clowns delivered a typically amusing effort marked by political commentary, comedic bits and asides, lots of shoes tossed from the sellout crowd and at least two dozen songs squeezed into 70 minutes.
Bassist-vocalist Fat Mike — whose Fat Wreck Chords releases most of the group’s recordings — was at the center of a virtual one-ring musical circus, often forgetting or messing up lyrics as he ducked flying objects, tried to avoid stage-divers or struggled to remove articles of clothing stuck to his guitar by his bandmates.
One guitarist — known as El Hefe — added bits of Latin flavor and reggae flow to a couple of numbers with his trumpet, while stage-left guitarist Eric Melvin threw down some perfectly out-of-tune backing vocals and nearly fell off the stage more than once.
Drummer Erik Ghint’s solid bashing held the whole thing together, and he often could be heard impatiently hitting his sticks together in an effort to cut-short Mike’s between-song banter.
Two of the best NOFX albums — 1994’s “Punk in Drublic” and 2000’s “Pump Up the Valuum” — were the most heavily represented on the evening’s set list, providing such crowd faves as the music industry hate of “Dinosaurs Will Die,” the finger-pointing humor of “Punk Guy,” the tale of psycho-lesbian “Louise” and the hardcore stomp of “Perfect Government.”
The late-set “Idiots Are Taking Over,” a not-so-subtle swipe at President Bush and his father, and “Separation of Church and Skate,” which boasted classic-rock-style riffs, were the best of the new entries. Gig ended with the usual “Theme From a NOFX Album,” featuring Melvin on accordion; he serenaded the exiting crowd with his squeezebox long after the other band members had left the stage.