A decade has passed since the likes of Green Day and the Offspring introduced a palatable rendering of punk rock to the pop and MTV crowds. Over the last few years, the once-dominant pop-punk trend has taken a back seat in the rock world to nu-metal noise, sensitive folk rockers and the ill-defined emo movement. But at a sold-out Universal Amphitheater on Saturday, the Offspring proved that, despite faltering commercial fortunes, the veteran band can still pack ’em in and deliver a rousing performance.
The L.A.-based quartet (augmented here, as usual, with a fifth member on percussion, guitar and vocals) was never the most talented band on the block, but it made its mark with a succession of well-written songs that delivered punk’s energy on a melodic, near-metallic bed of adolescent angst.
A dozen-and-a-half songs, including several radio hits, were jammed into this 70-minute show, providing nonstop thrills for the raucous, packed house, comprising a mix of aging punks sporting colored mohawks and young “TRL” fans accompanied by their parents.
Band also offered a few tracks from its recently issued seventh album, “Splinter” (Columbia), like the short and fast surf tribute “Da Hui” and the reggae-splashed drinking song “The Worst Hangover Ever.”
These new tracks failed to elicit the manic response of such established tracks as “Bad Habit” and “Gotta Get Away,” which were included in the show’s well-received opening salvo.
Singer Dexter Holland remains the focal point of the show, a hyperactive front man with flat vocals who nonetheless retains the ability to simultaneously generate a mosh pit of tough guys on the floor and singalong participation from the kids in the balcony.
Show ended with a string of crowd faves including “The Kids Aren’t Alright,” plus the encore entries “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” and early hit “Self Esteem.”