Download Festival is tomorrow south of the border in Melbourne and with great festivals come great sideshows one such side is tonight here in Sydney at The Hordern Pavilion reigning kings of punk rock NOFX are headlining tonight Hot Water Music are the special support also on the bill are Fat Wreck signed Badcop/Badcop and Australian supergroup, Dad Religion (members of Frenzal Rhomb, Bodyjar & Clowns). Time to lace up your Docs raise your Mohawks high.

Dad Religion are the sort of band who are perfect for opening tonights epic bill of Punk Rock they play all the best 80s and 90s punk rock covers you love to hear from the genres greatest influences oh and of course some from the bands they are actually in. The group only came to being last year as a replacement support act on The Descendants Australian Tour when Frenzal Rhomb frontman Jay became hospitalised. The people loved it on that tour and here tonight they are loving them on this as the only band tonight on the Download Festival it was great to see so many turn up early hang out with these Dads in support of their dads band lol making for one intergenerational good time!

If you haven’t heard of BAD COP/ BAD COP you should do so right now! these Womanarchistc’s are modern anarchist with punk rock existentialist lyrics laid down over aggressive instrumentation blending into a vibrant pop-punk sound. I love they way they open the show sounding like a barber shop quartet with their helloooo, hellooooo helloooo before tearing into the set with 2015 single Nightmare. The band who are just high on energy and cranked out a slew of tunes from latest release Warrior. Awesome set from these badass gorgeous California girls.

Hot Water Music are back their newest album Light It Up see’s the band touring again not just as part of Download. These guys have been a band for over 25 years so they are a natural fit on this intergenerational lineup. The band have aged very gracefully not only in looks but in sound. Light It Up really is a great album from the band and they wanted us to hear some of the best tracks from it, Bury Your Idols being a shining example of this. Frontman Chuck Ragan’s gravel-throated vocals, the band melodic style mixed with heavy hitting guitars all made for one great set.

Its a NOFX show so it is of no surprise when frontman/bassist Fat Mike rocks out onto the stage in a dress doing the time warp, a fitting intro song i guess given the bands 35 years of music making. A quick tune up of their instruments and we are away with Dinosaurs Will Die. NOFX are the all about the music and the fans playing for us tonight hits from across all 13 of their albums, newer tracks like Six years On Dope sound great amongst classics such as The Moron Brothers, Eat The Meek and Franco Un American.

What makes a NOFX show so good to be part of and what keeps the people coming back time and time again its not just the musical boundaries they push or the honesty of the lyrics. A NOFX show doesn’t take itself seriously you get random improvised songs, witty banter making us all laugh. This is what makes NOFX shows as endearing as they are infectious and even after all these years i still get a kick out of seeing them live. 

Review – Chad

Read our Interview with guitarist Eric Melvin




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