Offspring proves Aspen can still rock
Aspen Times Staff Writer
At least it did for 60 minutes on a bone-chilling night.
California post-punk outfit The Offspring ripped through a one-hour set of favorites, mixed with cuts off their latest CD, for an estimated 2,000 to 2,500 fans who packed Hunter and Hyman for an outdoor concert Tuesday.
“You guys fucking rule for sticking out in a cold night like this,” shouted lead singer Bryan “Dexter” Holland, noting later, “This has gotta be the coldest show we’ve ever played.”
Holland’s breath was visible despite heat vents aimed at the band, but bounding fans in the mosh pit were impervious to the chill.
“I thought I rocked, but you know who rocks? You guys fuckin’ rock,” guitarist Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman told the crowd.
The concert, produced by the Aspen Skiing Co., marked the closing of ESPN’s Winter X Games VIII at Buttermilk, bringing the vibe of the games into the downtown.
Aspen Mayor Helen Klanderud, admitting she’d never heard of The Offspring, was nonetheless quick to praise the event.
“I think it was great ” absolutely fantastic,” she said, predicting the city would embrace an expansion of the rock concert series in conjunction with next year’s X Games.
Authorities received no reports of trouble during the show, according to Police Chief Loren Ryerson.
Unsure of what to expect, however, the city took a few precautions before the concert ” removing all the street lamp fixtures from poles in the vicinity of the stage, for example. Light poles and parking meters were wrapped in cellophane and sprayed slick with teflon to keep fans from climbing up for a better view.
The crowd was a mix of youngsters, teens and young adults mingling with graying Aspenites who did their best partying three decades ago. All praised the Skico for producing the concert, part of the Budweiser Hi Fi Concert Series.
“I love turning this town upside down,” shouted Skico Senior Vice President David Perry, hinting at more of the same in the years to come.
“It’s the first concert I’ve ever been to in my life,” screamed Basalt High sophomore Kirsty Spencer, jumping and screeching excitedly as the band took the stage, about a half-hour late.
Carbondale teen Maggie Seldeen, shivering in spiked hair, a studded choker, leather jacket, T-shirt and jeans, came prepared to hold a sign proclaiming “sellouts” to chide the band for playing the posh resort.
“I like them, but I came to heckle them,” she said.
“We’ve never seen them before so this is awesome,” shouted Valerie Timm, here from St. Paul, Minn., for the X Games.
Longtime Aspenite Ronnie Factor, 55, came to check out the goings-on, as well.
“I’ve lived here for 30 years. To see The Offspring in Aspen is great,” he said. “This is great for the community, as far as I’m concerned.”
The band offered a smattering of tracks from their new release, “Splinter,” including “Hit That,” “Long Way Home” and “(Can’t Get My) Head Around You.”
Sprinkled into the set were such crowd-pleasers as “Have You Ever,” “Why Don’t You Get A Job?” “Gotta Get Away,” “Come Out and Play” and “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy).” They closed with “Self Esteem,” and the crowd quickly dispersed without demanding an encore.
[Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org]
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