Punk rock lives in the minds and hearts of the state's youths. And once they've been to an Offspring concert, it shows.
The band from Orange County, Calif., brought a little sass, attitude and driving rhythms to the Fairpark coliseum Monday. The band added the show (which was its last one of the year) after the Saturday night show sold out.Dreadlocked singer Dexter Holland, guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman, bassist Greg "K" Kriesel and drummer Ron Welty slammed through 60-plus minutes of potent frustration while the standing-room-only crowd bounced along.
Not only did the crowd bounce, it moshed, body surfed (rolled around on top of outstretched hands) and stage-dived.
Holland's grunge-like vocals topped the cutting guitar chords and popping bass lines as Welty smacked out double, triple and single-time rim-shots.
Offspring offered "We Are One" and "Come Out and Play" to the restless audience whose average age must have been no more than 18. The gaps between the songs served as breathers for the audience, which jumped and slammed around to every single note, word and beat.
Wasserman's threatening leads cut to the bone as Holland, who incidentally has a degree in molecular biology, strapped on his guitar to grind out some catchy, punk-inspired power chords while screaming the lyrics in his "lost-boy" voice.
The campy "Gotta Get Away" reached the limit of intensity as people clawed their way to the stage. Every now and again, arms and torsos would bob up and flash the peace sign to people sitting in back. And though those individuals were sitting, they weren't still. The music had them shaking heads, tapping feet or clapping along.
The 1960s surf-music style intro to "Keep 'Em Separated" proved to be a crowd-pleaser. People everywhere were up in the aisles, on the floor or in the air. And after poking fun at fellow alternative band Blind Melon, Offspring jumped into its own current hit "Self Esteem."
The Nirvana-like, chanty intro became the cue for all in attendance to sing along. It was one heavy mosh-fest pushed to the limit. The hyperdriven "Smash," from the band's latest album of the same name, served as the encore. The show reached its climax as Offspring's road crew joined in the smacking frenzy. What a show.
Utah County's own Stretsch Armstronng opened the show with its spastic ska (an accelerated and demented form of reggae). The band, which has an independent-label debut CD in the stores, showed professional poise and great musicianship.
Orange County's Guttermouth was a different story. The obnoxious lead singer of this straight-edge punk band traded insults and saliva with the audience. Every time he'd get near the stage's scrim, he'd spit or get spit on.
The music ripped off early punk pioneers Tiger and Black Flag and didn't have the depth of Offspring jewels.