Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pretty Fly (For a Radio Show)

Here's a sneak peek at my review for IN of the Offspring's performance at the X96 show.

The Offspring
USANA Amphitheatre
May 29, 2009

The Offspring just don't get no respect. They've never been cool like Green Day or teenage heartthrobs like Blink 182. (This could certainly be due to tracks like "Pretty Fly For a White Guy" or singer Dexter Holland's awful braided hair in the '90s). But the reality is that they've consistently churned out hit after hit for 15 years.

This was made abundantly clear at USANA Amphitheatre Friday night. The set list played like a greatest hits album as the weathered So Cal punks blistered through fan favorites past and present.

The foursome opened up with 2008's "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" and 1994's expletive-filled sing-along "Bad Habit" and didn't slow down for the next 30 minutes—when Dexter Holland made the only rockstar indulgence of the night, rolling out a piano for a solo performance of "Gone Away." (Though it was a nice change of pace, it was far from a masterful reworking of the great song.)

The biggest chunk of older songs came from 1998's "Americana," including "Staring at the Sun," "Pretty Fly," and the album's title track. But the band was not afraid of busting out new materials as well. In addition to "Go Far, Kid," the band rifled through "Hammerhead," and "Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?" all of which were show highlights.

The show's best moment, however, came when every person in the crowd shouted along to every word to "Self Esteem," the most popular song to ever use the word "dweeb." Who would have thought that song would still be so good after 15 years?

It was hard to find a bad moment during the hour-plus set. It's easy to see why this band has been so popular for so long.

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