Last year, Fuse aired a mini-series on NOFX entitled Backstage Passport, which scored an official DVD release this week. The show covered the band’s attempts to tour countries they’ve never visited before (Check out the deleted scenes on the second disc – the band has sold less than 80 CDs in each of the countries featured), and the result is pretty mixed. There’s tons of footage of NOFX playing to crowds – dig that acoustic version of “Franco Un-American” in front of a hotel in Peru – and plenty of breathtaking shots from around the globe. But as a whole, the show gets repetitive really fast.
Each episode is set in a different country, but the plot remains the same – the band rolls in, deals with a shady promoter, and complains about sound problems/bad crowds/missing home, and then all of the money generated from the show disappears. Sometimes it gets better than that; the
Given how arduous the tour was (NOFX receives a few death threats and police scares throughout), it’s understandable that the band and crew would be on edge and therefore a bit testy. But the show really doesn’t offer much else. Backstage Passport rarely analyzes the cultures visited outside of A) how the show went and B) how many cops were present. Sure, the
Like the band’s perpetually drunk-yet-hard-working manager Kent, Backstage Passport is funny in doses. But when taken all at once, it becomes a blur of drunken whining. The show’s thesis statement, if it has one, comes from bassist/frontman “Fat” Mike in the first episode: “When you play weird, crazy cities, crazy shit’s gonna happen.” Unfortunately, scumbag promoters, drug managers, and talking head shots explaining off-camera hijinks just aren’t crazy enough for me.