Bad Habit. Come Out & Play. Self Esteem. The list of classic Offspring hits played at Fiddler’s Green yesterday was outshined only by deeper, rarer tracks like Killboy Powerhead and Genocide as the band blasted through the classic Smash album in its entirety for ecstatic Denver fans.
A day of punk and perfect weather at the Green was paced by Stiff Little Fingers, Pennywise and Bad Religion, but it was The Offspring who absolutely owned the night. With the Rockies in the distance and the stage brightly lit, Dexter, Noodles and the rest kicked off with Nitro and sailed through Smash for the next 45 minutes.
Bad Habit was an early high point of the night, Dexter stopping the song right before the infamous break to encourage the audience to scream along for “stupid dumbsh*t goddamn motherf*cker!” Come Out and Play followed a few minutes later, generating bellows of “you gotta keep ‘em separated!” that could probably be heard for miles in every direction.
Smash is one of those albums that remains an indelible part of our younger years, perhaps even a first exposure to heavier music, and the nostalgia was apparent on the faces of every fan singing and dancing along to tracks like Something To Believe In and So Alone. Every intro, every riff, and every “whoa-oh,” burned into our consciousness from repeat play until the cassette broke or the CD got too scratched was thoroughly enjoyed all the way through the eponymous song Smash.
Self Esteem was actually plucked out of its original track order and tacked onto the end of the performance, a perfect encore that had the fans out-singing the band to the monster radio hit. But even after they'd finished playing Smash, the band roared back with the heavy metal-esque Americana and All I Want. Noodles offered up the super-rare Spare Me The Details as a Denver-only song, and the night wrapped up with a double-whammy of Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) and The Kids Aren’t Alright.
From the frothing GA pit in front of the stage to the smoked out corners of the back lawn, the entire amphitheater rocked out with The Offspring from start to finish. On top of Dexter and Noodles’ typically enjoyable stage banter and perfect guitar playing, it’s also noteworthy that merchandise for the show was priced at a very reasonable $25 for t-shirts, something few other bands dare to do.
While The Offspring regularly tour every year or two, there’s no doubt that Sunday night’s show was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Smash live and in person, and anyone who missed it will forever be poorer for that. Still, Noodles tantalizingly suggested that next year’s tour might feature Ixnay On The Hombre or another album, so when you see tour dates being announced next summer, don’t hesitate to come out and play!