Opening tonight’s show at Mattress Firm Amphitheatre in Chula Vista was the Menzingers, who are an American punk rock band from Scranton, Pennsylvania, that formed in 2006. The band consists of Greg Barnett (vocals, guitar), Tom May (vocals, guitar), Eric Keen (bass) and Joe Godino (drums). To date, the band has released five studio albums, with their most recent, “After the Party,” released in February 2017. The Pennsylvanian natives were a good opening act, and it was worth getting there early to see the group. For me the highlight from their set was the song “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore.” The attending crowd appeared to love the song as well.
Then it was time for The Offspring, a Southern California-based punk rock band from Garden Grove formed in 1984. The punk rockers kicked off their set by blasting into “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” from the 2008 album “Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace” followed by the song “All I Want.” The band immediately energized the crowd by playing three of its most recognizable songs in a row, including the 1994 hit “Come Out and Play.” The entire crowd was standing and pumping their fists, bobbing their heads and shouted along to the songs, a clear indicator of the band’s reach and staying power.
After that, it was just hit after hit. In fact, the group played almost every song on their greatest hits album, along with a few extra tracks thrown in for good measure. The band was energetic and had the ability to keep the crowd dancing and singing along the entire time; something you don’t see very often. Dexter Holland’s (Offsprings frontman) charismatic stage banter helped keep things interesting as well. Highlights from their set included: “Why Don’t you get a Job,” “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy),” “The Kids Aren’t Alright,” and “Self Esteem.”
After The Offspring, Sublime with Rome, a collaboration between bassist Eric Wilson (formerly of the band Sublime) and singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez, took the stage next. The band has had a significantly shorter run than The Offspring, releasing two studio albums since 2011; however, the band primarily plays music from the 1990s ska punk band Sublime fronted by Bradley Nowell until his 1996 death. I reviewed this lineup last year and was impressed enough to find Sublime’s entire catalog and purchase it. Rome Ramirez’s vocals worked well with the reggae infused rock tracks the band was known for, and just like last year’s concert it was interesting to see his take on them. The band opened with “Date Rape” and followed that up with numerous other classics, along with a couple of Sublime with Rome originals like “Murdera.” When Ramirez sang “Murdera,” he did it with a Jamaican flair that made the crowd grow silent as if they were experiencing reggae for the very first time. It was a magical moment.
Overall, their set was entertaining and helped keep Nowell’s music alive. Highlights included: “Doin’ Time,” “What I Got,” and “Santeria.” Ramirez’s Sublime performances did not fall flat and he immediately captured the audience with his eccentric personality. Sublime with Rome created a full sound. Ramirez’s performance did not feel artificial or forced. It was a welcome tribute to his ska and reggae influences. His band closed knowing that they performed the Sublime songs with style true to the original recordings.
The Offspring’s Set list:
- You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid
- All I Want
- Come Out and Play
- (Can’t get my) Head Around You
- Days Go By
- Staring at the Sun
- Want you Bad
- Bad Habit
- Gotta Get Away
- Gone Away
- Why Don’t you get a Job?
- Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)
- The Kids aren’t Alright
- Self Asteem
Sublime with Rome and The Offspring
Review by Storm@backstage360.com
Venue: Chula Vista’s Mattress Firm Amphitheatre