The Offspring | 07.20.12

ingrid sqMost were screaming the lyrics at the top of their lungs, with the kind of passion that can only be shown with through the visible veins and tendons in their necks.

 

 

 

 

Soldier Memorial, St. Louis                                                                                     Michelle Huff Photos

The crowd grew larger and larger, as people filed in to watch the Offspring for free in the middle of downtown for the St. Louis Fair summer concert series. The fans were an array of ages, anywhere from 8 to 58, and Soldier Memorial was covered and barely recognizable with all the people standing shoulder to shoulder. I felt at home knowing I wasn’t the only Offspring first-timer, nor was I the only one there who grew up in the ’90s, hearing all their music on the radio. The crowd was pumped well before the show. Promptly at 8:55 the crowd chanted “Offspring, Offspring,” until you saw the lights dim and the band members enter from stage left.

Everyone immediately was satisfied with the band’s first song in the set list, “You’re Gonna Go Far Kid.” Not a foot was left solidly planted on the ground as the band seamlessly transitioned into “All I Want” and “Come Out and Play,” and the crowd didn’t miss a beat, either. The Offspring definitely held on to their sense of style and rhythm that they had starting in 1994, when they dropped their breakthrough album Smash. They continued onto music from their new album, Days Go By, released on June 26.

It was almost as if the music took you back to a different time. Then the band stopped playing and the masses got quiet when lead singer Dexter Holland made the announcement that they were going to perform “Gone Away” as a tribute to the victims of the Dark Knight Rises massacre in Aurora, Colo. The crowd cheered and some had tears in their eyes, but most were screaming the lyrics at the top of their lungs, with the kind of passion that can only be shown through the visible veins and tendons in their necks. The band continued the set by playing a perfect blend of well-known—and up-and-coming—hits.

Then the band paused again as Holland and Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman came to the front of the stage to talk to the fans. They cracked few jokes, calling the audience a “baby-making crowd.” Some booed, some cheered, and then the fans roared as they launched into “Hit That.” When the song began, this sent the hint of a challenge, one which the crowd agreed accepted.

The Offspring ended their show with an encore of “Head Around You” and “Self Esteem,” not only leaving the fans amped, but leaving them satisfied and most likely wanting more. Although it was a free concert, I think the majority would agree they would pay to see them again. | Michelle Huff

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