Live punk shows aren’t really back yet, but a pair of events this weekend starring some of the genre’s giants might help show-starved fans amble from the pit of housebound despair to a (virtual) punk rock mosh pit.
The fun kicks off this afternoon with Flogging Molly’s Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Saturday, NOFX invites fans to a “Weekend at Fatty’s.” The former is a free livestream which, in part, celebrates the 20th anniversary of Flogging Molly’s breakthrough album, Swagger. The latter is a ticketed virtual event streamed from the backyard of NOFX front man and Fat Wreck Chords head honcho, Fat Mike. Weekend at Fatty’s will also focus on a seminal punk album, NOFX’s White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean. In its first-ever livestream performance, the band will perform the 1992 album in its entirety.
This afternoon’s Flogging Molly show is live and acoustic and kicks off at 4 p.m. Houston time. The show will stream from the band’s official page, Facebook and YouTube. Fans of the band may have caught some of its “Fireside Sessions” recently, mini-concerts featuring vocalist Dave King and his wife Bridget Regan on violin, performing some of the Celtic punk act’s greatest hits. Today’s show promises to be a full band concert and much of the attention will be devoted to the group’s debut album Swagger. It’s the album’s 20th year anniversary and songs from that collection like “Salty Dog,” “Black Friday Rule” and “Devil’s Dance Floor” set the tone for punk fans who weren’t used to seeing acoustic instruments on stage.
“When we first started, when we were told we were going to be on the Warped Tour, we were like, holy Jesus, how are we going to do that, you know? We’ve got fiddles, we’ve got accordions, banjos and mandolins. The kids are gonna fucking kill us,” Dave King told Houston Press in 2018. “I remember walking out and every day you’d see the reaction on the kids’ faces where they’d look at you and go 'What the fuck is going on here?' And then you’d start playing. And then, halfway through the first song, you could see them actually looking at each other and smiling and then dancing — and then the mosh pit happens. And it was incredible.”
Today is also the first day to pre-order a limited edition vinyl box set of Swagger. The set will be limited to 5,000 units, to be released October 23 on SideOneDummy Records, and it’ll feature some neat perks for fans, aside from a remixed and remastered version of the album. A bonus LP with three live songs recorded in 2001 and a traditional Irish set recorded with Steve Albini, who mixed Swagger, is included. There’s a newly released documentary of the band, which includes a full live set. The band contributed photos from its personal collection for an expanded lyric booklet and the album includes a bonus version of the track “Sentimental Johnny,” performed in Spanish and dubbed “Juan El Sentimental.”
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NOFX’s Weekend at Fatty’s starts at 4 p.m. Houston time Saturday, September 19 and promises to be a “one-night three-day weekend.” The band will be joined by special guests Slightly Stoopid, Fishbone, Bad Cop Bad Cop, Get Dead, Laura Jane Grace and Avenged Sevenfold and all that music will ultimately give way to “all night campfire stories,” according to the show’s flyer. Weekend at Fatty’s is a ticketed event, with show-goers provided a private link to the festivities. If you ask us, just listening to punk rock dignitaries tell war stories around a campfire somewhere in Van Nuys sounds worth the $15 admission, or $25 for “VIP All Access.”
But, of course, there will be music, including NOFX’s complete run through White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean. The classic album features fan favorites like “Stickin in My Eye” and “Bob,” and was guitarist El Hefe’s debut album with NOFX.
“It’s gonna be fucking cool as shit,” Fat Mike recently related on a podcast interview. He said he has had his own COVID scare but ultimately attributed his illness to “bad herring. And I was doing nitrous oxide, so that’s why I couldn’t taste anything.” Still, he’s taking precautions for the special guests playing the show. They’ll mask up and spread out while in his backyard.
“It’s like a big wedding – four people to a table, you have to wear masks, the whole thing’s outdoors, so it should be fun,” he said.