TD Echo Beach was lucky enough to be the kick off venue for the Fat Wrecked for 25 years tour, with the first show hitting the stage Thursday. NOFX is accompanied by Lagwagon, Swingin’ Utters, Flatliners, Masked Intruder, ToyGuitar and for some of the later shows, Bad Cop/Bad Cop to celebrate the 25th anniversary of a record company that has grown to be quite the success. Mike Burkett, AKA Fat Mike, is the frontman of NOFX, as well as the owner and founder of Fat Wreck Chords. With his influence, it’s hard to imagine the death of punk rock music. So, what better way to celebrate than to get a bunch of drunk punks together for some wild times and great tunes, right?
While some of the bands were a little rusty, having not played in quite a while, it was a good show none the less. By the end of the night, smoke filled the air and mohawks were a plenty. However, it was a slow turnout. The crowd didn’t start to pile in until about 8 p.m. and with the quality of the bands that opened for NOFX, that is a shame. The performances were many and the caliber of music and showmanship was mostly quite high grade. Quality over quantity was not an issue and while the first show was impaired by an unavoidable lack of on stage practice, that did not make it any less of an experience.
Fat Wreck Chords has a lot of amazing bands under the label and the ones included in this tour are just a few of them. They all expressed their gratitude and honor to be included in the tour. As Scott Brigham of the Flatliners told me, “we feel very honoured to even be asked to participate in it because there are so many great bands that they could’ve asked.”
It’s always quite disappointing when the main band doesn’t seem to be interested in what they’re doing, and unfortunately, that seemed to be the case here – at least for the frontman. Not that they didn’t put on a show, but Fat Mike was sparking up commentary in the crowd as seeming very disinterested and causing fans to talk about how just because it was the first show, didn’t make it was any less valuable or important to the hundreds of people who went.
The opening bands seemed a lot more excited to be there and that made the end of the night rather disappointing, which is too bad for all of those who showed up late to catch the headlining act. Lagwagon’s set in particular got the crowd beyond riled up. They played a terrific set, but the highlights were definitely a bout mid way through when they played Violins and at the end when the crowd cheered them on so hard that despite overplaying their time, they came back and played their hit May 16. The guitarist, Chris Flippin, got a good laugh out of the crowd when he came back, strapped on his guitar and said “they like us, they really like us.”
The headlining act usually doesn’t have to worry about following an act like this, but that also factored into the disappointment, as Lagwagon was so involved and Fat Mike was a man of few pleasant words. While NOFX still had their ‘screw it, we’re drunk punks,’ attitude, which is awesome and something that the fans love, hopefully the rest of the tour will match up to the terrific performances they’ve put on in the past.
This story can also be found at http://thisisvinylhouse.com/fat-wrecked-25-years-tour-review-toronto/
Pictures of Swingin’ Utters, The Flatliners, Lagwagon and NOFX, click to enlarge images