NOFX - Backstage Passport [DVD] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Backstage Passport 📀 (2009)

Fat Wreck

Normally, I'm not the person to review a DVD, of any genre. I'm that annoying consumer that requires a high "replay value" in order to purchase a DVD. My collection includes your standard male selections: seasons of The Simpsons, Family Guy and Chappelle's Show. I also hold in high regard movies like "The Toy" (arguably Richard Pryor's best work), "Goodfellas," "The Big Lebowski," "Menace II Society," "American History X," the original Star Wars Trilogy and a few other selections. That said, my selection of music DVDs is rather limited. "Do You Remember: 15 Years of the Bouncing Souls" is essential, and Bad Religion's "Live at the Palladium" is the textbook example of how to release a concert/documentary DVD. Though I really enjoyed the NOFX series on FUSE, "Backstage Passport," I was tentative about a DVD for it. Well, you know what they say about "assumptions"...

For those unfamiliar with the show, NOFX basically traveled the world, playing unusual spots like Moscow, Israel, China, South Africa and the Philippines, and filmed it all. The episodes are a pleasure to watch again, and again, and again. Moments such as the crew being trapped at the facility in Lima, Peru and sneaking out in a worktruck are priceless. Fat Mike performing outside their hotel acoustically to briefly entertain thousands of fans bummed on a show fucked by a shady promoter is an amazing moment in the band's history. The drunken overnight trainride to Moscow is hilarious. Then, there is the story of the green powder snorted in the Philippines. You're gonna have to just watch that one if you haven't seen it.

However, the best part of the DVD is the separate bonus disc, which includes much, much, more footage from the previously mentioned incidents, and others. I honestly enjoyed it more than the actual episodes, but understand why much of the content wasn't included on the television show. Included is a lot more footage from Peru, more debauchery, much more from the overnight train to Russia, and other leftover footage from the entire excursion. Additionally, a video montage is pieced together for the song "Cool and Unusual Punishment" from the band's last LP, Wolves in Wolves Clothing, filmed at the Japanese S&M club it references.

On the technical side, the edits and compression on the disc are top notch. I viewed it using the upconversion option on my DVD player, which basically attempts to increase the resolution of the disc on a HD television. This only works for some movies, often causing glitches and other annoyances, but "Backstage Passport" played flawlessly. Also, the menus incorporated are awesome; using various band members passports as the selection for various countries.

To end this review on my initial point, "replay value," I see "Backstage Passport" as that DVD that you break out from the shelf whenever friends come over that have never seen it. It's fun, entertaining and crude...just what I expect from any NOFX release. Highly recommended.