NOFX - Weekend at Fatties [digital festival] (Cover Artwork)


Weekend at Fatties [digital festival] (2020)

Fat Wreck Chords

First of all, for those of you that know me, you know that I’ve been obsessed with NOFX since 1992, so obviously this review is going to be a diary entry of a teenage schoolgirl whose first crush let her borrow a pencil, but I’ll also try to critique some of the things with as much objectivism as I can muster.

The show started with an interview with the boys, and it was riddled with jokes about how this “Live Stream” wasn’t really live. From Jefe stating he had to go change his socks, to Melvin flat-out admitting it while smelly punches him and says “We’re supposed to act like it's today.” It was actually quite comical, and set the tone for everything that was to come.

Shockingly, NOFX were the first band up. I must say, this might have had some fans turning off the 4 and half hour stream directly after their set, but those fans would be up for darwin awards if they actually did that. The set was absolutely sloppy, complete with messed up lyrics, songs stopping and restarting, and even a series of lyrics printed out and taped to the ground in front of Fatty (which were apparently not even taped in the correct order); in other words, it was a fucking amazing punk show. Punk, for me, is about the flaws and fuck ups, and watching these professionals prove that it could be fun, amidst one spark of stupidity after another, was possibly the best thing I’ve seen in a few years.

The band played 2 Heebs in its entirety (sort of), and in the order of the album itself, which is likely the only time they’ve ever done it, or will ever do it again. I will say, for me, this album is one of their most diverse albums, and the band even comments that the album was during their period where they were trying to figure out who they were, which comes off in both its lyrics and song construction. “Stickin’ in my Eye” really showcased Mel’s yell, and had me thinking, momentarily, what a band fronted by him would sound like, and how I’d actually like to hear it. Jefe made sure to do his cover of “Straight Edge” to perfection, and threw in some voices. But the real star of the show was Fat Mike. His in between song banter had me cracking up, repeatedly, and it really gave the viewer the feeling that this show was for them.

After NOFX, there was the start of many little snippets of happenings occurring at the FatMansion, complete with strap-on displays, a BDSM box where “victims” are locked in for pleasure, plenty of ropes, whips, dildos, butt plugs, paddles, and anything else a sexually explorative person might want to enjoy while at a house party hosted by a man who is not afraid to share his kinks, and in fact, wears them like a badge of honor.

I don’t want to go into every band that played, and do the typical song by song review, as that's not what this show was for me. It was a spectacle, like having backstage passes to a Circus freak show. I will, however, touch on two bands that deserve the attention: Get Dead and Fishbone.

Get Dead blew my socks off. They’ve added a new guitarist, pumped up the aggression, and delivered a set of all new material that literally reached through my screen, grabbed me by the throat, and said “It’s time for you to fucking listen to me!” Sam’s got this magnetism when he has a microphone in his hands, and it came off brilliantly on camera. Most of the bands were trying to perform in a Fat Mike fashion, but Get Dead showed up to slay the musical side, and left the comedy at home. I found myself trying to sing along to songs I’d never heard because of how intensely I was hooked by the atmosphere, something I didn’t think was possible through a screen.

Fishbone, on the other hand, fused the comedy and the music into one big shit show of a good time. For those unfamiliar with Fishbone, they aren’t really punk. Fishbone are what the Red Hot Chili Peppers wished they were, and George Clinton pretends to be. They have that funk swagger, a punk mentality, a musical IQ higher than Beethoven, Buckethead, Manor James Keenan, and Kurt Cobain combined (yeah, I realize some of those examples are complete assholes, but they all knew how to write songs that appeal to the masses). They deliver a symphony of Jazz styled, rock inspired, noise that bleeds its soul out of the speakers, and you can see the passion dripping from them with every additional drop of sweat that forms from their energetic delivery.

Slightly Stoopid, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, The Bombpops, Jonah Ray, also played. Some acoustic, some electric. None were bad, but none were more than a typical show you might have caught them at on a typical tour. Some comedians performed, and had a few decent jokes, but the stories told in between were solid gold. Pennywise’s Fletcher told the story about how he tattooed Fat Mike, and then let Fat Mike tattoo him with the same needle. Then Fletcher went on to tattoo a giant penis on the “guy from the UK Subs”, you know “that band that no one listens to” (Mike and Fletcher’s words, not mine). Or, the story from Avenged Sevenfold and Fat Mike about how they gave each other Corona (not really) while golfing. Top it all off with latex clad patrons taking and delivering shots from unusual places (like the shots were attached to unusual places of the body, not the shots were done behind a dumpster), dildo sword fights, a patron, very genuinely, asking what a woman was doing as she was being tied up, and the glorious response of “I’m getting tied up, what does it look like?”, and plenty of graffiti, complete with a makeshift song “Huffing Paint, Huffing Paint”, and that's what you get for your four and a half hour adventure into the life and mind of Fatty.

All I can say, I’m waiting for my invite to the next Weekend at Fatty’s, and if it comes, I may not come back alive, but know I went out happier than anyone could have imagined.