NOFX/Brenden Kelly/The Implants - Live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)

NOFX / Brenden Kelly / The Implants

Live in Chicago (2013)

live show

I made sure to get to the House of Blues early the night of this show to see Implants on December 3, 2013. I recently got the Implants' album and it is awesome. Pure fun and melodic skate punk from members on Strung Out, Pulley, Ten Foot Pole, and Brown Lobster Tank. It boggles my mind that their is not more chatter about them on this site. They did not disappoint. All of the members were technically great on their respective instruments and the live show was awesome. They played for 30 minutes and seemed to be having a blast up on stage, especially Rob from Strung Out. I just wish the crowd was more into them.

The NOFX crowd these days seems like a bunch of kids who are at their first punk show. One kid asked me if Brenden Kelly and The Wandering Birds were "some local band". This was strange to me as he is "Punk Rock Royalty" in my mind. Another kid yelled at me for standing too close to him. He actually believed that in standing third row at a punk show he would maintain his personal buffer zone for the whole show. What a joke!

Anyway, on to Brenden Kelly and the Wandering Birds. I love anything this man does and tonight was no different. Neil Hennesey of the Lawrence Arms was on drums for this band as well. Still sporting a porn star mustache, Kelly and his band sounded great. There were a good variety slow songs, fast songs, and in between songs. One of the fast songs even got a pit going from the very unfamiliar crowd. Kelly was great as usual in between songs with great one liners. The set really made me want to check out some of the Wandering Birds stuff as I haven't heard much yet.

Finally after a 30 minute set break, NOFX took the stage. This was my 5th time seeing them, and quite possibly the best. They were tight, energetic, and fun. I know there are NOFX haters out there, but they are super fun live. The crowd which I thought very little of up until then impressed me by shouting in unison nearly every lyric from every song ranging from "The Moron Brothers" of 1990's Ribbed to "72 Hookers" off this year's Self/Entitled. The setlist didn't change quite as much as I'd like from past shows but there were still some new additions which was nice. I was slightly disappointed that we didn't get Punk in Drublic in its entirelty as promised by guitarist Eric Melvin in a YouTube video he posted just days before tour. It was a treat, however, to see 18 minute opus "The Decline" in its entirety. Tim McIlrath from Rise Against even joined on guitar for the end of this song which seemed to bring much pleasure to the whole band. Fat Mike, Eric Melvin, and El Hefe bounced around stage in a way that you would not expect from a 30 year old band. At one point, Fat Mike and Melvin showed off their new matching tattoos to commemorate 30 years as a band. The banter was hilarious as always. The band even dedicated closing song "Kill The White Men" to the big black security guard in front of the stage. He enjoyed the joke as Fat Mike gave him a fist pound mid-song. Overall, this was a super night. I will never miss NOFX when they come through town as they always seem to provide an enjoyable time. Also readers, check out the Implants…I hope they get more love soon as I'd love to see them again soon!