I’m not sure what I can say about Fat Wreck 25 that hasn’t already been said in our stories about Boston and the two day San Francisco blowout, but I had a blast at the last night of this tour here in Los Angeles. There’s nothing like taking off early on a Monday for a 2pm door time and 9 bands covering 25 years of one of the most legendary labels in punk rock.
While eating lunch near The Palladium, among many people wearing various Fat Wreck band tshirts, I received a text from a fellow DS editor with the news that Face To Face were going to play a surprise set! I quickly confirmed this via Instagram and when we arrived at the venue, the set times were posted on the will-call and guest list windows. As I checked in for my photo pass, I had the opportunity to see many fans discover this news and lose their minds. This was just the beginning of a great day.
The day kicked off with toyGuitar, whose melodic surfer-punk sound was a nice compliment to the sun still streaming through the side doors. I enjoyed their energy and they set the tone for the show; they were just a taste of what was to come.
Los Angeles was one of the cities privileged enough to have PEARS on the bill. I first saw these guys in a warehouse show about a year ago and was blown away. I can safely say that their stage presence, even early in the day in a larger venue, is incredible. There is so much passion and power in their set – you can’t help but feel like you are witnessing something special. I am really looking forward to more music from these guys and later found out they will be back in LA soon with Lagwagon!
Now, I’m a huge Masked Intruder fan. I will always have a special place in my heart for lovesick pop-punk, and I appreciate these guys’ commitment to their personas. My husband dedicated “25 to Life” to me the day we got engaged and it was the last song of the night at our wedding – so needless to say, I am always excited to see their live set. I’d like to give a special shoutout to Officer Bradford, who gave me a nice little gem of a photo (below), danced with the crowd, and ended the set in nothing more than a jock strap. This party had begun!
The Flatliners are a band that I can listen to on repeat for days on end. They consistently put out great albums and their live show is energetic and fun. I love seeing a band that truly loves what they do, and The Flatliners are a prime example. They could have been the headliner and I would have been able to leave happy. However, this was only the halfway point!
Swingin’ Utters were up next and helped transition the evening into the older Fat Wreck bands. The sun was starting to set outside and the crowd was getting rowdier.
Next, Strung Out got the party really started – those who had to come after work were starting to arrive and the crowd members who had been there since 2 were keeping the party going. I have had the pleasure to shoot Strung Out twice this summer, and their live show blows me away every time. The highlight for me was their cover of NUFAN’s “Soulmate,” which is one of my favorite tracks off The Songs of Tony Sly.
Joey Cape and Lagwagon came storming out next, ripping through a fantastic set list full of crowd sing-a-longs. Joey also announced that when they return in November, they will be playing Trashed one night and Hoss the other. They even changed up their last song to take a request from the audience. By far, they were one of the crowd favorites, which is expected in the Fat Wreck crowd.
Face To Face took the stage next for their “surprise” set. Although they only played a few songs, it was a real treat to have such an unexpected addition to the lineup. It was obvious the love between the band and the crowd was mutual and it was a great “feel good” moment of the night.
Now, I’ll be honest – with the addition of Face To Face, I was secretly hoping that Spike was hidden somewhere backstage and we would be treated to a surprise Gimmes set. It didn’t happen, and I can continue to be jealous of those who were in SF.
Lastly, NOFX took the stage. Fat Mike, dressed in lingerie, commanded the audience’s attention with his stage banter and the band’s setlist of both old and new favorites. It’s only fitting that the end of the night featured NOFX celebrating both 25 years of Fat Wreck and the end of the tour. There were many happy people leaving the venue that night (which probably led to lots of hungover people on Tuesday) and it was a night none of us will soon forget.
Check out the full gallery from the LA date of the tour below!
Add NOFX to My Radar