Dancing in the streets | AspenTimes.com

Dancing in the streets

May Eynon

Punk band The Offspring brought ESPN’s Winter X Games VIII to a close on Tuesday, Jan. 27, with an outrageous outdoor concert. Part of the Budweiser Hi-Fi Concert Series, presented with the Aspen Skiing Co., the downtown show was free to the public. An estimated 2,000 fans attended the block party, which started at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Hyman Avenue and Hunter Street.

The Orange County, California-based punk band comprising drummer Ron Welty, bass guitarist Greg K (Kriesel), lead singer and rhythm guitarist Bryan “Dexter” Holland and lead guitarist Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman performed a tight set. Together since 1984, The Offspring is recognized for a distinctive blend of punk rock, ska, thrash and pop music. In 1994 they achieved commercial success with “Smash,” their third album. (With more than 11 million copies sold worldwide, it remains the highest-selling independent recording ever.)

For the street concert, the band played old favorites from albums including “Conspiracy of One” and “Ixnay on the Hombre,” mixed with songs off their latest CD “Splinter.” Many a concertgoer who had assumed they would not know the music quickly recognized familiar tunes from heavy radio rotation.

“They still rock,” said Grand Junction disc jockey Tom Saxton of station KMGJ. He and fellow DJ Josh Taylor made the 90-minute commute to attend the free show. The crowd was a blend of the young and the old, who formed a lively mosh pit in front of the stage. For those not wanting to get so interactive, there was ample standing room on the fringes.

The subfreezing frigid weather made for a fast set. Lead singer Holland announced it was only 17 degrees midway through the show. The hour-long concert went off without incident, though Aspen police and private security guards had positioned themselves throughout the three-block area.

The Skico, Columbia Records and Avalanche Productions collaborated on the production. David Laughren of Avalanche Productions seemed pleased with the turnout and easygoing nature of the crowd. “We’re thrilled with the response tonight,” he stated. “We hope to do something like this again.”

“These are clearly the coldest conditions these guys have ever played in,” noted Michelle Albert, Columbia’s senior director of strategic marketing alliances.

For more information on upcoming shows in the Budweiser Hi-Fi Concert Series, log on to http://www.aspensnowmass.com and click on “events.”

To contact May to send info, insight or invites, e-mail: allthewaymaymay@hotmail.com