Words by Brett Bodner | Photo by David Turcotte
The year was 1994 and California punk rockers, The Offspring, were part of a movement, along with Green Day, NOFX, and Weezer, that helped launch punk rock back into the mainstream. This summer the band decided to celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the key ingredients in that movement, their album Smash.
Fans packed the Summer Stage of the Stone Pony in Asbury Park to hear the greatest selling independent album of all time, performed in its entirety on Friday.
Punk legends, Bad Religion, Pennywise, and the Vandals tagged along with the Offspring on their Summer Nationals 2014 Tour. Everyone in attendance loved the openers, as they sang along with Pennywise during “Bro Hymn” and with Bad Religion during “Infected.”
A little bit after 9 p.m., the lights went out and the spoken word introduction off Smash, “Time to Relax” began to play. Attendees screamed with excitement and the drums began to blare as the band went right into “Nitro (Youth Energy).”
Fans threw their hands in the air, sang along, and jumped up and down as the band rolled right through the album playing favorites like “Come Out and Play,” “Gotta Get Away,” and “Bad Habit.” It was amazing to see how the songs sounded just as good live as they did on the record. The Offspring saved “Self-Esteem” for last to end ‘the Smash set’ as everyone sang all the “Woahs” and “Yeahs” at the top of their lungs.
Signaling a very short set-break, “Intermission” off of Ixnay on the Hombre started to play as the band walked off stage. A giant banner began to rise behind the stage with The Offspring’s skull logo on it. They were back 45 seconds later and kicked off the second half of their set with “All I Want.”
Lead singer Dexter Holland let everyone at the Stone Pony know that they loved Asbury Park, and lead guitarist Noodles added that he loved the crowd so much he wanted to make love to “at least 75 percent” of the people there. They also went on to say that it was the “best Jersey show” they’ve ever played.
Whether you’re 40 and first heard the album when you were in college, or you recently discovered The Offspring, fans of all different forms came to see the rockers and enjoy the melodies of one of the most important records in the history of punk.
After 20 years, the Offspring’s music still soothes even the savage beast.
Time to Relax
Nitro (Youth Energy)
Gotta Get Away
Something to Believe In
Come Out and Play
It’ll Be a Long Time
What Happened to You?
Not the One
All I Want
You’re Gonna Go Far Kid
Staring at the Sun
Why Don’t You Get a Job?
(Can’t Get My) Head Around You
Pretty Fly For a White Guy
The Kids Aren’t Alright
TheWaster.com | Asbury Park