Friday, July 03, 2009

The Offspring
Molson Amphitheatre
Toronto ON
Shit Is Fucked Up Tour

It's been awhile since I've seen these guys...they seem shy about playing North American dates; first time through here since 2005. Perhaps that retro-stuff goes over better on the Continent. First time I saw The Offspring I was sitting on the rail at the KOOL HAUS with my pre-teen kids. It hasn't gotten better than that... 'course it hasn't gotten much different either.

We have the distinct pleasure of having Pennywise open the show, their only appearance on the tour. We won't be lacking any Orange County feel tonight.

They better bring it though, they are playing in a cavern, not the Cavern Club.

Caught a break during the day as it rained almost non-stop. Ontario Place is open now and if it's sunny and warm parking can be a problem. I'm late getting out of a downtown meeting, had to rush home to feed the family (or at least arrange for them to be fed), then rush back down to the lakefront for what promises to be a night of power-pop-punk that should release all the pent up frustrations.

Luckily I wasn't looking at my ticket of the 6:30 pm doors would have had me even more concerned as I left home at quarter past the hour. We end up inside the venue at 7...just in time to miss Frank Turner's opening song. This was a pleasant surprise. Very much in the Billy Bragg mold with a young man's anger still present.

It's a band like Pennywise that makes a band like The Offspring necessary...and possible. That's no diss. They embody the spirit and soul of Second Wave punk movement that spawned rock-gods Green Day and the Princes' of Power Punk, The Offspring. They are not as accessible as those bands and it appears they have no desire to change that. As noted from the stage: "We've been a thorn in their (Offspring's) side for 20 years." That alludes to the grief The Offspring used to take in the press about being punk-lite. That's a press thing though. Dexter was Fan #1 sitting along side-stage for the complete set.

Nothing lite about the Pennywise set as they joked going into their 3rd song; "Here's another slow one for you."

Lots of jawing with the audience. They wouldn't start their set until everyone in the Amphitheatre stood. The instant mosh-pit set the tone for the was gonna be raucous. We got a couple covers via the "t-shirt" request method...a Misfits shirt was spotted...don't know why we got the Beastie Boys cover but it was cool.
Sample Track: You've Got To Fight For Your Right To Party/Pennywise

The sun goes down and Dexter is finally touring his 2008, prescient record, Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace.

If only those guys at the Fed were listening to Stuff Is Messed Up last summer...when there might have still been time to avoid the panic. Ya, right, as they say.
We get a generous helping of tunes from Americana, Ixnay and three from Smash so the old-goat's happy with the set list. The new record, first in five years, is more to the familiar formula we all came to love.
With this band it's not about the flash, though their backing screen was filled with images most of the evening and the lights were intense. They are definitely a case where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Even with the serious subjects they tackle they remain a 'feel-good' band...there's just something about the way they do it that makes you want to smile.
Here are some samples and the set list.

The Offspring
Molson Amphitheatre
Toronto ON

Track 01 Stuff Is Messed Up (Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace)
Track 02 Bad Habit (Smash)
Track 03 You're Gonna Go Far Kid (Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace)
Track 04 Come Out And Play (Smash)
Track 05 The Meaning of Life (Ixnay on the Hombre)
Track 06 Have You Ever (Americana)
Track 07 Staring At The Sun (Americana)
Track 08 Dexter's Amazing Piano Solo
Track 09 Gone Away (Ixnay on the Hombre)(Dexter on piano)
Track 10 Kristy, Are You Doing OK? (Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace)
Track 10a Gotta Get Away
Track 11 Half-Truism (Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace)
Track 12 Get A Job (Americana)
Track 13 Intermission (Ixnay on the Hombre)
Track 14 Americana (Americana)
Track 15 All I Want (Ixnay on the Hombre)
Track 16 Noodle's Talks Beavers
Track 17 Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) (Americana)
Track 18 (Can't Get My) Head Around You (Splinter)
Track 19 The Kids Aren't All Right (Americana)
Track 20 (encore break)
Track 21 Hammerhead (Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace)
Track 22 Want You Bad (Conspiracy of One)
Track 23 Self Esteem (Smash)


Surly Bastard said...

Did you happen to tape the Pennywise set?

Anonymous said...

yes i did.
should have the tracks cut up tomorrow.

Surly Bastard said...

Awesome, thanks so much I really appreciate your work. I've recently discovered your blog and postings on Dimeadozen, and as a Toronto resident have been at a few of the shows you've taped. If I run into you sometime I'll buy you a beer (between sets of course)