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311 and The Offspring
July 24, 2010
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
It was surprising to see the Offspring
open for 311
in their own backyard. Given these financial times, packaging 311 and The Offspring on Unity tour would surely fill amphitheaters across the country drawing two fiercely devoted fanbases. While it would have been nice to see the Offspring at the top of the bill, 311 still put on a crowd pleasing performance as the headliners.
Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly
Opening with the groove based chugging guitar riff of "Down," S.A. Martinez charged the front of the stage swaying with the beat trading vocals with Nick Hexum who also was busy strumming his Gibson Les Paul. Tim Mahoney was hiding in the shadows in front of his massive two pedal board rig navigating his Paul Reed Smith guitar.
Decked out in his usual Lakers warm up gear, P. Nut worked over his 5 string Warwick bass throughout the evening and had some time for some in the spotlight prior to "What Was I Thinking." With over 20 years experience playing together as a band, 311 puts together an airtight set that is honed to perfection.
Even though their airplay on KROQ these days isn't as prominent compared to the '90s, you forget about all the hit songs 311 has amassed over the years. "Come Original," "All Mixed Up," and "Beautiful Disaster" still managed to rock as if I hadn't heard them on KROQ 10 times during the day. "Amber" was the quintessential summer mix tape staple back in 2002 and provided sufficient flashbacks during its performance.
The Offspring however stole the show. Taking full advantage of their shortened set allowance, the band came out blazing with "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid." Dexter Holland almost seemed surprised by the energy emitting from the crowd and instantly kicked it up a few notches. "Bad Habit" was as rambunctious as ever with Noodles dispensing power chords effortlessly.
Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly
Greg K was as awesomely stoic as ever, gently rocking back and forth using his personalized "K" bass pick for a rocksteady bass foundation. Holland showed off his piano skills for a captivating version of "Gone Away." Is there anything Holland can't do? "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)" still makes me chuckle every time--and it always makes me think, whatever happened to Ricki Lake?
"The Kids Aren't Alright" had the strongest reaction of the evening as the whole amphitheater sang the "Woah Oh" portion of the song. At the conclusion of their set with "Self Esteem," the crowd chanted and cheered for one more song but ultimately the house lights came up as a slight portion of the crowd headed for the exit before 311 even started.
Personal Bias: After mastering Green Day "Dookie," the second album I learned to play on guitar was The Offspring "Smash."
Crowd: Brostastic! But not nearly as bad as I suspected. Does a massive smoke cloud of weed count as a crowd member?
Overheard in the Crowd: "Why aren't the Offspring headlining?"
Random Notebook Dump: It was impressive to see Dexter Holland's hot sauce Gringo Bandito at the merchandise booth for sale. Didn't see any flight lessons for sale by Holland though.
The Offspring Setlist:
"You're Gonna Go Far, Kid"
"Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)
"All I Want"
"Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?"
"Gotta Get Away"
"Guns of Brixton"
"Why Don't You Get A Job"
"Staring At The Sun"
"Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)"
"(Can't Get My) Head Around You"
"The Kids Aren't Alright"