Show: The Offspring
Date: March 25, 2015
Venue: Grey Eagle Resort & Casino, Calgary, Canada
They are still Pretty Fly for a bunch of White Guys as Orange County’s Offspring rocked the sold out Grey Eagle Resort & Casino on Good Friday in Calgary. In what seemed like one massive 90’s Frat Party, the beer fueled, sold out crowd of almost 3,000 moshed, crowd surfed and sang along with all the right parts the entire night in what had to be one of the most polished sounding Punk shows I have ever seen. Despite the rumors on the web that The Offspring have been in and out of the studio and that they will have a new CD out in 2016 there were no new songs tried out and that suited the frenzied crowd just fine.
Dexter Holland, Noodles, Greg K, Pete Parada and a touring second guitarist pounded out one hit after another in what was essentially a greatest hits show that spanned the band’s entire catalogue. The weirdest thing was seeing Dexter come out without a guitar around his neck for the first two songs of the night, but I felt that really allowed him to connect with the audience and when he did put it on for “Come Out And Play” the sound with all five guys playing was immense. The band focused on the music most of the gig as the banter was kept to as minimum except for when Noodles had to tell us all that he was “Working on his second boner of the night” because of all the love he was feeling from the crowd as they chanted “Noodles! Noodles! Noodles!” during a well planned beer break/guitar swap.
The highlight for me personally was when Dexter got us all to sing along during the most “Punk” song of the show, those beautiful lines from their take on California road-rage, “Bad Habit” from 1994’s multi-million seller on Epitaph Records “Smash”… “Drivers are rude, Such attitudes, But when I show my piece, Complaints cease, Something’s odd I feel like I’m God, You stupid dumb shit goddamn motherfucker!” Then place simply exploded in a barrage of guitars and lights. This also marked the spot on the set list when everyone would be treated with the songs that made them the commercial success they are today. Everything from “Gone Away”, “Hit That”, “Why Don’t You Get A Job” and their most goofiest song, the aforementioned “Pretty Fly For A White Guy“.
Despite being an all ages show I was glad not to see the swarms of kids under 13 like the last time I saw the band in Calgary in 2001 during the peak of their success on tour for Americana. I guess in reality they had all grown up as the room was full of people in the 25-35 year old range. I am sure this suited the venue just fine as the beer lines were long and the Grey Eagle’s slot machines, game tables and various bars inside the casino awaited the pumped up crowd’s exit following the end of the show, which finished off in grand style after a two song encore and closed on arguably their greatest hit “Self Esteem“.
Also on the bill were Vancouver’s Pigeon Park & Gob. Not being some of my favorite bands, I was partaking in the usual pre-concert tailgate debauchery in the parking lot and as a result we all walked in (thankfully) just as Gob finished their set. All in all the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino is quickly becoming home to some of Calgary’s best mid-sized shows. It was a treat to see the Offspring in the Grey Eagle’s Event Centre and also take advantage of the in-house video production so that no matter where you were in the throng of people you could see the fun the guys were having on the stage, and the sound and lights at the Grey Eagle are second to none. Overall I would give Dexter, Noodles and company an 8/10 for their show and if you like The Offspring go see them when you get the chance. They have a few more one off’s in April before they hit the road for a series of shows and festivals in June and July.
Reviewed by: CC Getty of Metal Nation Radio and Metalheads United.
Photos by: Jef Thorell