The Offspring: A Terrible Band

As I was eating my $6 slice of pizza I thought to myself, what a pleasant day it's been so far. I caught at least 15 minutes of six acts and the quality ranged from pretty good to really, really good.

And then came the Offspring.

This festival is heavy on '90s alt-rock, which makes sense because the teenagers then are the young adults with disposable income now. Foo Fighters have maintained superstar status for more than a decade, Nine Inch Nails have stayed relevant and have a (scarily) devoted fan base. Stone Temple Pilots are getting on the reunion train. But ... the Offspring?

The band's appeal can probably best be summed up by the dude - or bro, if you will - standing in front of me in the "Win or lose, we still booze" t-shirt who threw up devil horns at the conclusion of each one of the band's big, stupid songs. How could a guy who was so close to getting his PhD in molecular biology (singer Dexter Holland) write such mindless, aggressively simple and stupid songs?

That's not to say that hits of yesteryear like "Gotta Get Away" and "Come Out and Play" aren't catchy, but it's in the worst kind of catchy. Actually that should be reserved for "Why Don't You Get a Job?" the "Ob-La-Di" ripoff that like many of the band's songs relies on cheap, expletive-filled lyrics to get its lowest common denominator appeal.

I'd leave and go somewhere else but experiencing 40 minutes of this has caused my brain to lose most of its functions, rendering me incapable of walking.

And I wrote all of this BEFORE they played "Pretty Fly For a White Guy."


By David Malitz |  August 9, 2008; 5:32 PM ET Virgin Festival
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Well, I don't like Foo Fighters so I guess you know where I'm coming from, but I like Offspring's take on things. It's downright adolescent.

If Jack Johnson is dreamy and poetic, a chick performer, these guys are just plain male.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 10, 2008 11:46 AM

Really? After sitting through a full day of rock, I thought the Offspring were the highlight of day 1. Not a band that wishes it was still what it was 5-10 years ago (Wilco), not a guy that refuses to play with the band he was supposed to play with (Chuck Berry), not a band that I saw ten years ago, and wound up playing to an empty theater because everyone was there to see the opener (Citizen Cope), nor a band that refuses to play a single song from the first album that made them big, and was one of the best albums of the 90s (Foo Fighters).

I guess a band that knows its place in music and understands their role is more attractive to a critic than a band that is doing everything they can to hide that they aren't what they used to be.

Posted by: FS | August 11, 2008 1:04 AM

Mindless. I know right? Throughout their set I wished I was being stimulated intellectually a little more, and I pined for the intellectually deep, profanity-free performances of Kanye West and others.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 11, 2008 10:46 AM

I am just disappointed that you bought pizza instead of any of the other awesome international food choices.

I agree with you that I felt they were pretty flat compared to so many other acts I saw (The Swell Season, The Silver Beats, Bloc Party, Wilco) that day.

Posted by: Rebecca | August 12, 2008 11:26 AM

The offspring have always, uh, made a vacuum in which liquid can flow through a straw. They were the worst cash in "punk" band I can think of from the early nineties. Maybe Andrew WK is worse...

Posted by: aceofspades | August 13, 2008 7:46 AM

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