PENNYWISE / BAD RELIGION / THE OFFSPRING @ Echo Beach - Aug 7th

Once upon a time (August 7th, 2014 to be exact) in Toronto, a bunch of 90s punk rock kid's wet dream of a show happened at Echo Beach.
The Offspring showed up to play their entire album, Smash, from front to back with support from some of the biggest names to stem from the genre.. Bad Religion, Pennywise, and The Vandals.

Unfortunately I missed The Vandals because I work across the city and couldn't make it in time for their set. I'm actually really fucking butt-hurt about it because they're one of my all-time favourite bands, yet I've never had the chance to see them live for one reason or another. Almost a week later and I'm still so ass-sore that I can't even write about it without wanting to cry, so let's move on.

I made it just in time for Pennywise but opted to sit in a park across the water to drink my Soju and watch planes take off and land... alone... like the poor loser I truly am... instead of physically watching their set. Looking back, this choice still is more appealing to me, #noregrets. Not that I dislike the band at all, I actually used to love them, I'm just worn out after seeing them soooooooo many times and just kind of over it. Their onstage presence isn't anything to write home a blog about - aside from the fact that they called out some dick who was groping a girl in the pit (from what I've heard). Gotta respect them a ton for that. I did make my way to the venue as soon as I heard "Fuck Authority" blasting across the lake, and managed to catch a new old song called "Society" (which was pretty sweet) and, surprise surprise, "Bro Hymm". Whodathunktheydplaythat. Regardless of pretty much just being over this band by now, it was still a solid sounding set and the crowd seemed to really love it.

Bad Religion were up next and holy pepperoni did they ever work that stage. Despite being like 100 years old, too! They kicked things off with the hits "Stranger Than Fiction", "New America" (cutely changed to "New Canada"), and "21st Century Digital Boy" before diving into a newer track called "Fuck You" off True North, which honestly seemed to garner the same ecstatic reaction from the crowd as the old favourites did. They played the title track from that new album later on as well among more hits, including "Sorrow", "Best For You", "1000 More Fools", "Infected".. and the list goes on (not much longer since the set didn't last forever but you know what I mean). Those old fucks did not disappoint. The only thing that soured their set was getting stuck in the longest beer line of life in an area that made it impossible for short me to still see them on stage. Whatever, tho.

Last, but certainly not least as they were the main focus of the tour, The Offspring hit the stage. This wasn't just any old Offspring show, this was a chance for them to perform one of the greatest punk records of all time, their best album, Smash - though many would argue Ignition is, to that I say: tomāto tomäto, they're both really great. One of the greatest parts about legendary bands performing their most influential albums front to back is that it opens up so many conversations about what that album meant to people in attendance, and how it influenced people when they first heard it. While I was there I must have heard at least 10 different stories from punk fans about remembering what they were doing and where they were when they heard Smash for the first time. It's really fucking heart-warming to hear about how one measly album had such an impact on soo many people. As they made their way through each track in order (except for "Self Esteem" which they obviously saved for the very end) you could almost hear everyone in attendance eargasm all at the same time. The crowd had grown 3-times the size as it had been for the other bands on the bill, and looking out over it you just saw a sea of black shirts and tattoos, a beautiful mix of the older generation along with their kids, and newer teenage + young adult fans, all being incredibly respectful and mature while the band (sorta) rocked out on stage. Despite how old they are now each song sounded as crisp and perfect as it does on the album from 1994 and Dexter's voice was still bang on. It was an excellent set, which they capped off with an encore featuring a bunch of tracks from other albums, like "The Kids Aren't Alright", "Pretty Fly For A White Guy", "Why Don't You Get A Job", etc etc etc.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.