Offspring unplugged: Mosh pit survives Tahoe acoustic show

Conrad Buedel / Tahoe Onstage

The Offspring are unplugged, drinking beer and telling stories at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Conrad Buedel

The Offspring performed a unique acoustic show to a sold-out crowd at Harrah’s South Shore Room on Sunday, March 31. The band played a couple of short acoustic sets back in November and thought it was really cool. “So cool, we’re going to do five acoustic shows with the full band playing all your favorite Offspring songs,” the band’s website noted.

“We’ll drink some beer, tell some stories and do a few fun cover songs.” Lake Tahoe was the second stop of five shows in five days for the 2019 Acoustic Tour. Jonny Two Bags from Social Distortion opened with a solo acoustic set.

The Offspring was formed in 1984 in Garden Grove, California. The current members have been together for 12 years and have great personality onstage. Bryan “Dexter” Holland is the lead vocalist and guitarist. He is joined by Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman on guitar, Greg K. on bass and Pete Parada on drums.

“We don’t even know how to play acoustic guitar,” Dexter quipped as they took the stage.  They opened with “Come Out and Play.” The crowd knew every word and was immediately riveted.

A fan promptly ran up onstage to do a stage dive and was quickly escorted off. Dexter later said “I hope he did not get kicked out. I met him at breakfast and he asked if he could do a stage dive. I told him to go for it.” The Offspring followed up with “The Kids Aren’t Alright.”

“You can play punk songs acoustic,” said Dexter as the band rolled out “Da Hui.”

“We’re going to play some of the bands that influenced us.”

The cover songs performed included It’s “All Over Now” by The Rolling Stones, “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac, “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath, “Born on the Bayou” by Creedence Clearwater Revival and “I Don’t Care About You” by Fear.

Holland kept his sharp banter with the audience throughout the show. “We like acoustic shows because we get to sit down and have our friends bring us beer.” The fans in front of the stage started slam dancing and he exclaimed, “I didn’t think you could have a mosh pit at an acoustic show! This is our first acoustic punk rock brawl ever.”

The final encore was “Self Esteem” and Holland continued, “Thanks for making our first show in Tahoe our best ever! Tahoe is beautiful inside and out. Noodles you got a tiny guitar.”

“Yes, it’s my grandfather’s ukulele. We’re going to nail this.” There was even crowd surfing in the mosh pit. When the song was completed, Noodles smashed the ukulele like The Who and tossed the broken pieces out into the audience. It was a fitting ending to a fantastic show. 

— Conrad Buedel

Tahoe Onstage

Bryan “Dexter” Holland and The Offspring at Lake Tahoe.
Conrad Buedel / Tahoe Onstage

Tahoe Onstage

Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman on guitar.
Conrad Buedel / Tahoe Onstage

Conrad Buedel / Tahoe Onstage

Jonny Two Bags from Social Distortion opened the show.

About Conrad Buedel

Conrad Buedel was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He moved to Nevada in 1987. Conrad is a professional writer and photographer in the Lake Tahoe area.

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