The Offspring at The Marquee Theatre: That '90s Show

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The mid-'90s were in full swing on Monday night when power-punk phenoms

The Offspring

took to the stage at the standing-room-only Marquee Theatre. And, yes, they played all the hits -- from "Keep 'Em Separated," to "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)."  

The crowd ranged from punks passed their prime to their pre-teen counterparts lost in a sea of drunken debauchery.

There was not a sober soul in my vicinity -- present company excluded -- and the various mosh pits that exploded in the crowd sure didn't help the intoxicated's cause.

During the opening acts Street Dogs and the once-headlining Alkaline Trio, most of those in attendance assembled in the lobby to check out merch or wound up outside, indulging in drinks or smokes.

Though it was extremely balmy, many people apparently decided the heat was more bearable to endure than "not The Offspring," despite the temperature inside being a comfortable "cool enough."

Plenty of things to note here, including the smell of marijuana increasing throughout the night; at any given time, at least 10 people texting non-stop around me; and an obnoxious chick in a white T-shirt who tried, unsuccessfully, to grind with my girlfriend, and accomplished the task of knocking my glasses to the ground -- twice. Also, my girl-in-action witnessed a trifecta vomit-fest in the stalls of the ladies' room. Classy.

Maybe it's just me, but I always thought singer Dexter Holland sounded a lot like Weird Al Yankovic, he even did a little last night while playing his brains out.

The musical highlight of the night came when a piano was brought onstage and Dexter goaded the audience into encouraging him to play by saying, "Don't make fun of me, goddammit! If I want to play the fucking piano, I'll fucking play it! I'm a musician, goddammit!" before ultimately playing the Peanuts theme song, "Linus and Lucy," followed by the exclamation, "That's all I've got."

He then led the crowd in a rousing rendition of the piano-driven "Gone Away."

The Offspring never really landed on my Top Five Desert Island Bands, but clearly, after looking at all of the amazed, longing, and pierced faces of the crowd, they have that kind of effect on people.

Critic's Notebook

Last Night: Shit is Fucked Up Tour with The Offspring, The Alkaline Trio, and Street Dogs.

Better Than: Listening to The Offspring in your pal's Toyota with no air conditioning in the summer.

Personal Bias: None, really.

Random Fact: Mohawk Count: 15 1/2 (Faux-hawks count as one half).

Further Listening: The Offspring are available on a plethora of '90s compilation albums.

By the Way: Offspring guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman was sporting a "Listen to Britney Spears" T-shirt. Not sure if ironic.

One More Thing: OutKast and The B-52's as segue/intermission music? Why, yes.

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