Music Reviews — 20 September 2012
The Offspring at Terminal 5: A Concert Review

The Offspring
Terminal 5, New York, NY
September 19, 2012

Concert Review: The Offspring at Terminal 5

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In our exclusive interview last week with The Offspring frontman Dexter Holland, we remarked that despite some two decades with the group, the band remained ageless, rejuvenated by some metaphoric fountain of youth they had been harnessing for their own benefit. Wednesday night’s show at Terminal 5 proved if nothing else that time has in fact stood still for the Orange County punk rock legends, as a just about sold out New York City crowd will testify. The band’s 90 minute set was a lightning fast trip to the mid-90’s and back again performing a collection of greatest hits and new tracks from “Days Go By,” their latest album released in June. And a fired up collection of a few thousand Manhattanites packed the standing room only floor and the two balcony levels of the venue for a glimpse at the iconic rock band up on stage having the time of their lives, and who are clearly in no hurry to slow down.

With the support of a rocking performance by Dead Sara and the glam of Neon Trees, The Offspring took the stage to a deafening ovation, with chants of the band’s name being shouted all around us. While you might expect the band to deliver a fun and interactive show, toying with their fans, fitting roughly 20 tracks into a singular show is no easy task and as such, the band stuck to a workmanlike pace song after song. But the band’s time on stage was wisely used to deliver as much of their signature sound to the passionate Offspring faithful led by their blonde spike haired frontman and guitarist Noodles, with his similar quaff of colored locks. Beginning with a fury, The Offspring smirked at the capacity crowd gathered inside, genuinely humbled by such warm praise before launching into the pounding “Hurting As One,” from the new record, “All I Want,” which unraveled an already frenzied crowd, and “Come Out and Play,” the single that brought the band to the forefront of mainstream culture in the mid-1990’s.

The Offspring is a band that works tirelessly to please their fans and despite having played the same cuts thousands of times in a live setting, they don’t ever lose sight of what brought them to prominence. With a plethora of singles, it would be easy for the band to play some of their deeper cuts in some sort of self-serving, satisfying ego-trip. Instead, the band performs all of the songs that fans are waiting for in a live show, as well as some that you likely forgot about. And while Holland and mates might be a bit paunchier and perhaps at a slightly lower vocal octave, it would be nitpicky to watch the band’s performance and consider it anything less than stellar. Drummer Pete Parada’s pounding and long time bass player Greg K.’s subtle whacks on his four strings paced each rock anthem, as Noodles and Dexter alternated in the spotlight.

With a start to finish performance of notables, the band mixed in a collection of more fun songs like “Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)” and “Why Don’t You Get a Job?” with punk laden tracks that exemplify the frenetic energy that still lives within their roots. “Bad Habit” was particularly vigorous, as the entire crowd seemed anxious to release the negativity lying within them screaming out the song’s chorus while feverishly banging their heads in unison. A typically energetic and frantically fast paced “Gone Away” was slowed down to a piano led ballad, as Holland was joined on stage by Dead Sara’s Emily Armstrong, and the two harmonized beautifully over the drum beats, ranking as perhaps the evening’s finest moment. But while the re-tooled live cut was soft and inspired, main set closer “The Kids Aren’t Alright” and encore “Self Esteem” further unglued an already turbulent crowd, who bounced around with vigor as they regurgitated line after line. And just like the members of The Offspring themselves, one thing that never seems to get old, is the thunderous applause heaped upon them from their passionate fans, stirred up by the anthemic punk songs they’ve created and by the definable mark left by the band’s inspired performances time and time again.

The Offspring- Live at Terminal 5, New York, NY
September 19th, 2012

1. Hurting as One
2. All I Want
3. Come Out and Play
4. Days Go By
5. Have You Ever
6. Staring at the Sun
7. Turning Into You
8. Bad Habit
9. Gotta Get Away
10. OC Guns
11. Gone Away (w/ Emily Armstrong of Dead Sara)
12. Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?
13. Why Don’t You Get a Job?
14. Slim Pickens Does the Right Thing and Rides the Bomb to Hell
15. You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid
16. Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)
17. The Kids Aren’t Alright
18. Americana
>19. (Can’t Get My) Head Around You
20. Self Esteem

- Jane Van Arsdale

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