NOFX / Manic Hispanic / Against Me! - live in San Francisco (Cover Artwork)

NOFX / Manic Hispanic / Against Me!

live in San Francisco (2003)

live show

I arrived at the Avalon Ballroom at around 7:45. That means I had 45 minutes until the opening band, Against Me! was up. I noticed that the Avalon Ballroom was definitely not the best place for a punk show. It had fancy white pillars, chandeliers, the whole ballroom deal. But it was bigger than the famous Slim's of SF. So that was enough to make me happy. It was a NOFX show, and I expected some pretty bad things from the crowd. It consisted mostly of 15-17 year olds, with the occasional 12 year old running around. When I was done exploring the area, I sat down and waited for the most anticipated part of the show (for me, anyway), Against Me!.

When Against Me! finally hit the stage, there was about 25 people up front watching them. They played "We Laugh At Danger (And Break All The Rules)" and it had a few people singing along. Then, at around the fourth song or so, danger struck. The lead guitarist appeared to have technical difficulties with his amp head. I'd say it was his fault for buying a vintage Marshall head for gigging. Vintage amps have to be taken care of like an infant, and if you're not ready to spend mad-cash on getting it serviced, then you shouldn't be gigging normally with it. Anyways, the band got their shit together, and played another song. Then the amp decided to go again. So we waited for more time, until they decided to just cut the set short and play three more songs, then call it a night. This was very disappointing. But they did play "Pints of Guiness Make You Strong", "Those Anarcho Punks Are Mysterious", and "Reinventing Axl Rose." And that had me, and the other four people who knew who the band was happy.

Next was Manic Hispanic. I'll sum this up quickly: They are a band, and they play Weird Al-like covers (technically, they're not covers, but who cares). They also have a gimmick that's amusing for a total of three and a half minutes. They can play their instruments well. But overall, they are tiring.

Next were the headliners, NOFX. The second Fat Mike walked on stage alone, the crowd just went off. They played this old ice cream truck song that I can't remember title to for the life of me for their sound check. Then they talked a whole bunch. Fat Mike told a few jokes, and made fun of a kid who told them to "play a song." After Fat Mike was done using his sarcasm to verbally abuse this kid (jokingly, of course), they opened up with "Perfect Government." Mike started to count the songs that they didn't mess up, and after that, announced that the band was one-for-one. They went into "Soul Doubt" and more of the favorites. Then they played the new single off of "The War On Errorism", "Franco Un-American" and went 7/7 in the 'not messing up dept.'. They also ended up playing "The Brews" in the middle of the set. This was surprising, because they usually play that song at the beginning or end of the set. When they played "Eat the Meek", Melvin messed up, which ruined the streak. They hit mostly all of the favorites, from "I'm Telling Tim" to "Linoleum" to "Bob."

Overall, this was an okay show. Nothing great. The crowd could have been more enthusiastic during Against Me!'s set (before the technical difficulties). Manic Hispanic could have tried to suck less. Against Me! did a great job, despite the problems they had. And NOFX entertained their fans like I knew they would.