Another Pilot Down: The Artwork of George Gonzalez

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Eleven years later.. the best day ever.

I have seen Green Day live. Linkin Park twice. Nine Inch Nails four times. Cold twice. theSTART twice.

..and so on, and so forth.

But there is really only one band that has gotten away so many times, so much so, that the joke became unfunny over the years. That band is, the Offspring. Since 1998, I have been a fan of them. I wore their symbol around my neck like a god damn crucifix each and every day. I wore it proudly and have always taken it to every show that I have ever been too. I sported their posters and have all their music memorized by heart. They are, above all others (forever and ever) my favorite rock band.

Back in 2002, during their Conspiracy of One tour the band did an extensive North American tour that had both theSTART and the International Noise Conspiracy as openers. One of their stops was at the Sunken Gardens in San Antonio, TX. Being the huge fan that I was I got bought tickets for my mom, dad, and brother. I was so excited I could not wait. However, this did not last. The only tour date that the band cancelled in that year was the San Antonio one. I was crushed. I couldn't believe that the only one concert date that I was going too was cancelled. I felt as if somebody was playing a sick joke.

Years later, the band avoided playing several Texas shows. When they did return for San Antonio it was the Summer of 2004 as a part of the Warped Tour. Always being against those kinds of festivel tours, I made the contraversial choice of not going. Why bother sitting in the hot sun to watch a 100 run-of-the-mill punk bands, only to see The Offspring for half an hour?? It just didn't make sense to me. The band deserved better.

Now lets flash forward to 2009: The Offspring have returned with an extensive North American summer tour, appropriately titled the "Shit Is Fucked Up Tour." The band just finished playing two Texas dates last night, and yours truly was at the Austin, Texas show.

It was hands down one of the greatest experiences of my life! Behind the scenes, my mom had gotten in contact with somebody from the venue (which was, Stubb's BBQ), and tried to see if the band was going to do a meet and greet. Having no control over these sort of things, the marketing manager who worked at Stubb's tried anyway.

Low and behold, my name was submitted to the KROX radio station contest winners list.We were going to get a very intimate acoustic set by both Dexter and Noodles! Me and Jaime got to go about 3 and half hours before the Stubb's show and got to see the band peform! In the acoustic set (which was being recorded for the radio station), Dexter and Noodles played, "Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?", "The Kids Aren't Alright", and "Come Out And Play." After that, one lucky winner got to play Noodles at Guitar Hero: World Tour. As they set it up, I got to talk to Dexter Holland himself!! I told him how I was also going to their show in Las Vegas later in the month. After, he signed my booklet of "Ixnay on the Hombre", I took a picture with him.

..the photo I have been waiting for, for so many years. After all my trials and tribulations, I felt that my moment was finally here.

After the get-together, Dex and Noodles had to head out to the venue and so did me and Jaime. Now that we met the band, it was time to see them rock out. After watching the openers, Street Dogs (whom were really fucking cool) and the Alkaline Trio, I noticed the crowd getting bigger and much more hostile. Afraid I might end up getting crushed to bits and peices like I was during my second outing with Mindless Self Indulgence last year, I decided to ask a security guard if there was any place I could be at to see the show. The dude was so nice, he was like, "Yeah! Sure, why didn't you say this sooner?? I'll take you to the VIP section." I was so excited!

I got to see The Offspring perform from the saftey of the second floor balcony. No seats, just leaning on the rail down at the stage and crowd. They blasted through all their hits and included some of their fastest songs. The mosh pits were insane and lasted throughout their entire set! (They even moshed during the slow songs, "Gone Away" and "Kristy.") One of the coolest moments was when they played, "Have You Ever" and "Staring at the Sun" just like the order in "Americana" album. Very cool, very fun, very emotional. "Gone Away" was performed on piano which sounded so beautiful and rocking. I really hope the band decides to do a studio recording of that. "Alot Like Me" off of "Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace" made it's live debut in our set which was totally AMAZING. It is definetely the song I related to the most in that album, so I was so psyched that they performed it.

I could continue to go on and one, but really.. it was an amazing day. I am so glad that I am going to see them again in Las Vegas on the 30th. It is going to be a lot of fun. There was nothing that could have made the day any better. It was everything I could have ever imagined and more. During the song "Half-Truism", the lyrics in the chorus go; "..if we don't make it alive, well it's a hell of a good day to die."

Nobody in the audience that night yelled that with more honesty than I.


Juan C. Garcia said...

thats freaking amazing dude. im so proud and glad you finally got to see them live and, hell, got to meet Dexter. Dude, if you couldve known, you shouldve taken some of the art you did of him. how cool wouldve it been if he signed the drawing you made back in high school?

Jorge Gonzalez said...

Man, that would have ruled! I was thinking about it, but I couldn't find the drawing. *sniff*