Concert Report: The Offspring in Spokane! [PHOTOS]
Thanks to the amazing folks at Spokane's Knitting Factory, I was able to cross off a "bucket-list" band of mine. The first CD that I ever got was The Offspring's Smash back in 1994, I immediately bought their self-titled & Ignition albums and have been hooked ever since. After the show, well, to quote my wife after watching my reaction to seeing them for the first time, "I have never seen you happier!"
The Knitting Factory is an amazingly beautiful venue. With a capacity of 1,500, it's split between two levels -- and each level is tiered. Let me tell you that place was packed, standing room only!
Opening the night was Social Distortion guitarist Jonny Two Bags. He opened with a half-hour set playing acoustic guitar and singing songs from his two solo albums in a nice mix of folk & punk, with a little twang of country. A great choice as an opening act, especially for an acoustic show.
After a little intermission, when I was kind of disappointed that they didn't take the opportunity to play The Offspring's "Intermission" track from Ixnay on the Hombre, the band came out and started the night out with Come Out and Play. They talked about how the show would be a little different, since it's their first acoustic tour, some of the songs are changed up, like The Kids Aren't Alright done in a reggae style. The banter between the crowd and guitarist Noodles was amazing and funny. Many times saying how "He's so grateful to just be doing this, hanging out with great people, drinking beer and playing guitar!"
After getting the crowd ramped up questioning whether you could even do punk rock music with an acoustic guitar, they proved that you could -- and how awesome it could sound by busting into Da Hui, a very fast-paced yelling tune getting the crowd bouncing and screaming along with "Don't Fuck With Da Hui!" Other songs from their catalog, like Defy You, Dirty Magic, Gotta Get Away, & Want You Bad, proved that this wasn't just a rock show. It was a sit around the campfire and sing along with a thousand of your best friends type of show!
The band sounded amazing live and better than I could have ever imagined acoustic and when they busted into some covers, I was blown away. First comparing themselves and their style of playing (jokingly) to the likes of Led Zepplin, they busted into a faithful cover of Immigrant Song. The covers didn't stop there, sparking what Dexter & Noodles believed was the first time ever a mosh pit was formed during a Fleetwood Mac song, The Offspring rocked The Chain! Mixed in with their own songs, the covers kept coming with a Noodles solo of Bach and going straight into a beautiful punk acoustic cover of Black Sabbath's Iron Man. Teasing the crowd about what else weird could they play, "What about Creedence?" They jammed out to Born On The Bayou by Creedence Clearwater Revival and then wrapped up their set with fan favorite from their Americana album Why Don't You Get A Job!
For the band's encore, they came out and performed a cover of Bro Hymn by Pennywise, a band they have had the pleasure of touring with many times in their 35-year career. Then they took some time talking about how doing the song Self Esteem acoustic was a challenge, until Dexter suggested that they use Noodles' Grandpa's "Tiny Guitar" for the main driving rift of the song. It did sound amazing! After hearing the history of his grandpa and history of his ukulele, Noodles proceeded to destroy it in true rock star fashion as the night drew to a close. Being the final stop on their acoustic tour, the band commented how the crowd was by far, the sexiest one they had played for. Thank you Offspring & thank you Knitting Factory!
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