NOFX - Photo by Rachael Barrett
NOFX – Photo by Rachael Barrett

The Bennies/Frenzal Rhomb

Metropolis City

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Bennies played to a large, polarised audience early in the night. The crowd were clearly there for the headliners, but were still being put in their place by the ska/punk crossover band that have obviously worked hard to get to where they are. It was difficult to gauge how supportive the overall audience was, but explosive pockets of punters swirling in sections of the tightening pit gave the band traction to pick up and deliver a fairly tight set. The thing about The Bennies is that they seem to be so happy and appreciative, which reflects on the performance they gave, leaving a warm cosy place on the stage for Frenzal Rhomb.

After a changeover that seemed to last for quite a while (possibly due to crowd anticipation more than anything) Frenzal Rhomb burst the excitement bubble open with Genius, causing this now over-expectant crowd to decide that it was time to let their hair down. There are few words to describe these guys, apart from saying that they are very much still on top of their game. After a long career of punk rock guitar jump leg kicks and dreadlocks that won’t quit, Frenzal Rhomb are as enjoyably fast and on point as the first time I saw them, delivering pitch perfect harmonies and catchy songs. Russell Crowe’s Band and Punch In The Face soon followed, ensuring a dedicated audience to the end of their set. Fast, loud, a huge amount of energy and fun proved that Frenzal Rhomb were the perfect band to welcome NOFX to Perth this time.

The last time I saw NOFX, Fat Mike finished the show sitting on a stool with his leg gaffer taped in garbage bags full of ice, clearly in a huge amount of pain but committed to playing out the set. He was then taken to hospital. Regardless of your opinion of this man, his commitment to the audience and to fronting this well oiled machine leaves no doubt as to why NOFX are as big as they are. And tonight was a perfect example of that.

Playing the longest back catalogue I’ve seen them play, NOFX pleased the crowd on every level, hitting every note, dodging most flying bottles and aggressively entertaining themselves and whoever was lucky enough to be in this now very full venue. They also lived up to their tour entertainment reputation, with El Hefe’s line of dad jokes and Fat Mike taking his bass off at one stage to jump in to the crowd and fight a bottle-throwing punter (which, given this last week’s media coverage from the Sydney show where he stomped a fan, let’s assume he was willing to do), before he was stopped by security and asked to continue the show.

This didn’t stop the band from performing a long, tight and fun set, which included their “eleven songs in three minutes” medley, as well as Eat The Meek, What’s The Matter With Parents Today, Perfect Government and the song Linoleum which seemed to be the crowd favourite of the night.

Ending on Kill All The White Man, NOFX left the stage with a wave, but the audience knew they’d be back, which they were, playing The Separation Of Church And Skate, Bottles To The Ground and Sticking In My Eye.

NOFX were blunt, entertaining and a pleasure to watch, as they proved to everyone that even though they’re almost 50, they’re doing just fine.