The Sunny Warm Weather Held Strong for the Punk In Drublic Fest Starring NOFX & Other Punk Bands, by Holly Homan

Bad Cop Bad Cop

Saturday Sept 16th kicked off the Punk In Drublic tour, the brain child of Fat Mike, front man of NOFX. This west coast tour was designed not only to showcase some great punk bands, but also multiple types of beer. This concert, held on the grounds of Tacoma’s Le May Car Museum, was the kick-off. NOFX were the headliners. When they came onstage, the break tape was playing Let’s Do the Time Warp, so the band all strutted about the stage in time to the song and mouthed the words.

Fat Mike wore a leather kilt and sported a pink Mohawk on top of his greying hair. The beginning of the show had El Hefe having technical difficulties so Fat Mike told off color jokes (but funny) while that got sorted out. Once that was sorted out the band lit into their 2003 hit, “The Idiots Are Taking Over.” The moshing and crowd surfing began immediately and never let up.

Bass player Melvin was all energy, often leaping and flying through the air without missing a lick. El Hefe doubled up on guitar and trumpet. I’d like to say drummer Erik Sandin kept things steady, but there is nothing steady about this band. They’re crass, they’re unprofessional (as Fat Mike readily admitted) but they’re a ton of fun and I always have the best time at a NOFX show. Many of the band’s songs were written at the height of Bush’s first term but sadly their subject matter is once again timely as this country sees itself in the throes of fascism. They ended their set with another song from War on Errorism, Franco Un-american, before the night was over.

Playing prior to NOFX was another LA punk band, Bad Religion. Like NOFX, they had no new songs to play, but their old songs are so great this didn’t matter. And, like NOFX, many of their songs were written during the Bush administration, but are timely today. They opened with American Jesus, a song about Christian dominance in American culture and the vast intolerance of other beliefs. Moshing and stage diving wielded non-stop as singer Greg Graffin, now completely gray, sang songs about religion, politics and social observations while often joking around about the stage diving and moshing. Many sang along with their songs word for word. Besides the aforementioned, Bad Religion consists of, Brett Gurewitz – guitar, background vocals, Jay Bentley – bass, background vocals, Brian Baker – guitar, Jamie Miller – drums and Mike Dimkich – guitar.

Bad Religion

Less Than Jake, from Gainesville, FL, played before Bad Religion and if I were to sum up their show in one word, it would be wild!
Bass player Roger Lima practically stole their show. His unwavering charisma and high energy combined with the braids roaming down his back made him fascinating to watch. Yes, he’s cute! He also performed most the vocal duties as he leaped and twirled all over the stage. Trombone player Buddy “Goldfinger” Schaub was no slouch in the high energy department. He ran from one side of the stage to the other, often leaning into the crowd to rile them into a frenzy.

When they played “Johnny Quest (Thinks We’re Sell-outs)” someone in a Johnny Quest mask came on stage tossing small objects from a satchel into the crowd before grabbing a toilet paper thrower and spewing toilet paper into the audience. About the same time someone dressed as Spider Man also came on stage with a Super Soaker squirt gun and continually sprayed delighted fans. As I said, this was one wild show and the performance where I really felt like I was being tumbled about the inside of a cement mixer. The rest of LTJ are, Chris DeMakes on vocals & guitar, Vinnie Fiorello on drums, and Peter “JR” Wasilewki on tenor sax.

Goldfinger played prior to Less Than Jake and began my ride in the cement mixer, as I was repeatedly smashed against the barricade in rapid succession. Front man and only founding member, John Feldmann strutted, leaped and literally flew about the stage non-stop. He leaned into the crowd and successfully riled everyone. Everyone in this band was wild. When bass player Philip “Moon Valjean” Sneed was introduced he stood on the drum riser and did a complete back flip back onto the stage, never letting go of his guitar.

Goldfinger sang some songs from their new album The Knife but also sang several old ones like Superman and ended with their usual cover of 99 Luft Baloons, in which John sang a verse in German. I’m holding out hope that Goldfinger will tour their new album and make a stop in Seattle very soon. I always enjoy seeing them. The remainder of Goldfinger is, Mike Herrera (of MXPX fame) on bass and filling in on drums was Aaron Stern. JR from LTJ played sax on a couple songs.

Bad Cop Bad Cop graced the stage prior to Goldfinger. This is my third time seeing this all female quartet and I love them more each time. They are all energy, riot girl and tons of charm. They are clearly passionate about what they do and love being on stage together. Again, this band has a bass player (Linh Le) who is all over the stage, her hair often falling in her face as she dances and runs about the stage. Guitar players Jennie Cotterill and Stacey Dee trade off on vocal duties (they all contribute to the harmony) while Myra Gallarza slams away frantically.

Bad Cop Bad Cop are a band that is getting a lot of well-deserved notoriety and the fact that they were asked to participate in this festival makes me sure they’ll be as popular as the aforementioned bands in no time. They are well worth the seeing.

Starting off the whole event was Tacoma band the Hilltop Rats. Front man Vocalist Zac D. more like grunted and growled out their songs rather than sang them. Songs about getting drunk in the shower and consuming Jello shots consisted of a bit of their repertoire. This punk band combines raw punk power with a heavy dose of humor and I totally enjoyed their show. Besides the aforementioned Zac, the rest of Hilltop Rats are, Josh Emmett on guitar, Ian Reas also on guitar, Aaron Williams on bass and Mike Parker on drums.

A date I’d been looking forward to since it was announced a couple months ago was over way too soon. Despite being battered and sore I’m ready for the next one. I limped back to my car feeling like I’d spent the day tumbling about in a cement mixer all day. In a sense, I had been. Being at the front of the barricade while moshers constantly crash into you, slamming you into said barricade is tantamount to being in a cement mixer.

– All photos property of Holly Homan, all rights reserved.

Bad Religion



NOFX

Less Than Jake

Goldfinger

Bad Cop Bad Cop

Hilltop Rats

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