Concert Reports


The Offspring

Neon Trees, Dead Sara

10/03/2012, Avila Beach Resort

THE OFFSPRING–Dexter Holland (vocals, guitar), Noodles (guitar), Greg Kriesel (bass) and Pete Parada (drums)—are in the midst of a national tour supporting their Active Rock and Alternative hit “Days Go By” with its signature guitar line and lyrics about hope in uncertain times. The song is from their acclaimed ninth studio album of the same name (Columbia). The band touched down at Avila Beach Resort on October 3rd with Neon Trees and Dead Sara supporting.



All Photos: Ray Soto/Central Coast Rocks

Show Review: Maggie White

Very Special Thanks: Bari Lieberman, Lauren Mele, Taylor Stevens


“A healthy representation of how the quartet has evolved from its punk roots,” noted Billboard (5/26/12) about the single “Days Go By,” adding: “Vocalist Dexter Holland is still adept at delivering well-timed alt-rock hooks, and veteran producer Bob Rock keeps this a tight affair.” Commenting about the album, the OC Weekly (6/21/12) said that “the band haven’t given up their edge while still keeping their crown in the pop-punk strata. Lyrically, the album comes across as one of the Offspring’s most personal, with touches of the frustration of the daily grind.”  


THE OFFSPRING’s last album, 2008′s Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace, featured the alternative and rock radio staples “Hammerhead” and “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid.” Also among the band’s best-known hits are the rock anthems “Self Esteem,” “Come Out And Play (Keep ‘Em Separated)” and “The Kids Aren’t Alright.” The Huntington Beach, CA-based band has performed over 1100 shows across the globe and sold more than 36 millionalbums worldwide. Their 1994 release Smash remains the highest-selling album of all-time on an independent label.  


THE OFFSPRING are continuing to earn critical acclaim for their live performances across the country



On October 3, Avila Beach Resort played host to a kick-ass up-and-coming band, a band with one of the biggest hits of the summer and a band that’s pretty fly (for a white guy), which was, um, most of the audience.


Dead Sara, Neon Trees and The Offspring rocked a large crowd (especially for a weekday) of excited, committed fans. Though there were a lot of locals, this reviewer included, people drove from Fresno, LA, even Sacramento for the chance to see these bands in a beautiful, beachfront GA setting.


DeadSara111.jpgDue to the early noise curfew, Dead Sara went on promptly at 6 p.m. I’d never heard of this band, so I didn’t know what to expect. WOW! Was I impressed! A 4-piece from LA, Dead Sara is a full-on rock band, fronted by Emily Armstrong on vocals and occasional guitar, bassist Chris Null and drummer Sean Friday round ou the band. Armstrong was fierce on stage, strutting and chest thumping in a way that reminded me of a young Chrissie Hynde. She didn’t give a shit what she looked like, didn’t give a shit if she said the word “fuck” a dozen times at an all-ages show, and didn’t give a shit that they were “just” the opening band. It was exactly what rock and roll is supposed to be! Kudos to the rest of the tight band for keeping the energy and volume at 11. My only complaint is that when Armstrong strapped on the guitar, her vocal volume seemed to drop. Too much guitar (including awesomeness from lead guitarist Siouxsie Medley – love the nod to Siouxsie Sioux) overpowered Armstrong’s powerful vocals in the mix. But I was in the front, and the sound in the front always sucks. “We really feed off the crowd’s energy when we play live,” guitarist Siouxsie Medley told us after the group’s set. All I know for sure is that the hard-core Offspring fans around me were LOVING Dead Sara, and the band definitely made some new fans that night. Hot on the heels of the band’s Smash Hit “Weatherman,” Dead Sara has just released the video for their newest single “We Are What You Say.”




NeonTrees161.jpgNeon Trees was up next. Definitely the “pop-iest” of the three bands, Neon Trees is riding high right now on the success of “Everybody Talks,” which has been Number 1 on several charts and just reached 2 million downloads. I wondered how a crowd of Offspring fans, certainly more steeped in KZOZ than Neon Trees fans, would react to Tyler Glenn’s particular brand of Michael Jackson toe stands and 80’s pogoing, but I need not have worried. Glenn is a mesmerizing front man and the crowd was captivated. The energy peaked near the end of the set when the band broke out “Animal,” their monster hit from their first album. The crowd sing-along was massive. Which goes to show that even rockers pay attention to what’s on pop radio. A mosh pit started during “In The Next Room,” which is something I’ve never seen at a Neon Trees show. The live version of “In The Next Room,” features verses with a bluesy, smoky jazz club flavor before the chorus rips out in a ferocious ska/punk tidal wave. So, mosh away, dudes. It’s too bad that the band’s regular drummer/backup singer is on maternity leave, as some of the songs, particularly “Mad Love,” lose some of their punch without her added vocals. Neon Trees is an American rock band from Provo, Utah, with origins in Murrieta, California. The band received nationwide exposure in late 2008 when they opened several North American tour dates for the band The Killers. Not long after, the band was signed by Mercury Records and released their first full length album, Habits, in 2010. Their first single "Animal" climbed to No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Alternative rock Chart. Their latest CD "Picture Show" was released in April and contians the first single "Everybody Talks."




CD19.jpgWhat can you say about The Offspring? I mean, these guys are legends and the crowd was fist pumping and roaring from the first note. Lead singer Dexter Holland looked like an elder statesman on stage in a suit jacket, but he quickly shed that stuffiness and got down to business. I loved that the second song they played was one of their biggest hits, “Come Out and Play.” It’s a pet peeve of mine when bands hold back their hits until the encore. Screw that! Good live bands, like The Offspring, know that familiar songs increase the energy in the crowd and get the audience invested and excited. So they bust them out early and let fans know that they are gonna get a SHOW! The Offspring are pros and they always deliver a great set. Wednesday’s show was a good mix of hits, fan favorites and new songs from Days Go By. Sometimes sound at big rock shows can get distorted, but the sound at Avila was clean, which made it a treat for fans.


All Photos: Ray Soto/Central Coast Rocks

Show Review: Maggie White

Very Special Thanks: Bari Lieberman, Lauren Mele, Taylor Stevens


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