Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Concert Review: The Offspring, Taking Back Sunday, the Used at Buzz Under the Stars

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2009 at 10:12 AM

This past Friday night, the intellectuals went to the Beaumont Club, and the people that really wanted to rock were at the City Market.

How many of these kids have actually been to the Steamboat Arabia Museum?
  • How many of these kids have actually been to the Steamboat Arabia Museum?

96.5 The Buzz kicked off their Buzz Under the Stars concert series with the Offspring's The Shit Is Fucked Up Tour, with opening support from the kinda-Christian alternative band Anberlin, suburban Chicago punk three-piece Alkaline Trio, the angsty platinum-selling the Used and mainstream New York showmen Taking Back Sunday.

Deciding to save energy for the upcoming holiday weekend (but mainly because it was kind of too hot outside), the Buckle Bunny and I skipped out on Anberlin and Alkaline Trio and arrived around eight for the beginning of the Used's set, or rather, The Fucking Used, as lead singer Bert McCracken kept referring to his ensemble.

Bert McCracken of the Used.
  • Bert McCracken of the Used.

The B.B. was especially excited for this band from Utah. She told me they really stood out for her because one of the first times she had seen them live, she could really feel McCracken's pain in his performance. I've read that McCracken once suffered from acute pancreatitis. Ouch!

Honestly, I was having a hard time getting into it, unlike the rest of the crowd. McCracken kept telling the crowd to put their fingers in the air. It was fuel for his fire. I save my middle finger usage for traffic on the Plaza. Also, unlike McCracken, I turn my really dirty shirts into cleaning rags instead of wearing them to concerts. Funked-out laundry aside though, he was a huge crowd pleaser. I can see where bands like Josephine Collective get their inspiration.

Another huge crowd pleaser? Taking Back Sunday.

Taking Back Sunday's bassist gets more air in tight pants.
  • Taking Back Sunday's bassist gets more air in tight pants.

Adam Lazzara of TBS.
  • Adam Lazzara of TBS.

From the band's grandiose entrance to frontman Adam Lazzara's mic-twirling tricks, a rapt audience ate it up like kettle corn on a hot day at the market. Recorded, TBS is tight, formulaic. I imagine it took some work to translate it to the stage. Lazzara was charismatic though, and gave the crowd what they wanted. (Later on, as I was exiting, I overheard some big, goofy teenager say, "Who the fuck hangs from the rafters and sings at the same time?"). He even urged us in his weird raspy voice to look at the downtown skyline. As soon as TBS finished their set with the hit "MakeDamnSure," a good chunk of the crowd split.

That left me and the rest of the olds ready for the O.C.'s own Offspring.

These people still listen to the Offspring.
  • These people still listen to the Offspring.

I'm aware that the Offspring is in heavy rotation on alternative radio stations. I know that the singles off of 1994's Smash are played out and that's why I don't really pay attention to the band's new releases. However, I did see the Offspring at Liberty Hall about 12 years ago, shortly after the release of Ixnay on the Hombre, and it was one of the best shows I'd ever seen.

Like the selections performed from that 1997 record, songs from the Offspring's newest, Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace were kept to a minimum. Opening with "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" and playing "Hammerhead" and "Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?" before the encore, Dexter Holland and the rest of his aging crew stuck with the old faves, including "Gone Away," for which a piano was rolled out on stage.

Holland announced that he was in fact, a "serious" musician. The lights went down and the lighters came out. It sounded pretty awesome. Dexter Holland might have ditched those signature white-man dreads, but he has still got a set a pipes that won't quit.

Dexter's pretty fly.
  • Dexter's pretty fly.

Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman. Mmmm ... noodles.
  • Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman. Mmmm ... noodles.

It wouldn't be a complete set without the love-it-or-hate-it hit, "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)." One can talk all the shit they want on the Offspring, but that song was adapted for play by marching bands, for Christ's sake!

Dexter Holland noted that the "kids in KC are just as fucked up as they are." I wasn't really sure where that observation fit in, but the line, "So if you don't rate, just overcompensate" is always universal.

The 15-song set lasted just under an hour. Holland, Noodles, bassist Greg K. and recently added drummer Pete Parada were in and out. All those kids should have stuck around.

Offspring Setlist

You're Gonna Go Far Kid

Bad Habit

Come Out And Play

Hammerhead

Staring at the Sun

Gone Away

Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?

Why Don't You Get A Job?

Intermission

Americana

All I Want

Pretty Fly

Head Around You

The Kids Aren't Alright

Encore:

Want You Bad

Self Esteem

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I'm West Coast.

Random Detail: I was kind of shocked by how many homemade tattoos I saw.

By the Way: Best concert food ever? Bo Ling's.

Bonus Photos of Bands that Weren't Reviewed

Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba
  • Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba

Anberlin
  • Anberlin

Bonus Gallery: White People Gone Wild

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usedcrowd2sm_opt.jpg

concertgoersmohawksm_opt.jpg

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punkcouple1sm_opt.jpg

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