Mark this down as The Day Dexter Trashed the Weenie Roast.
It seemed that fame had finally gone to the heads of Orange County’s most famous punk rockers, namely the Offspring. In the 10th hour of the 12-hour-plus fifth annual KROQ Weenie Roast & Luau, something possessed singer Dexter Holland to start issuing all manner of “cheesy,” as he put it, rock-god commandments.
Light your matches. Clap your hands. (Geez--just because he cut his hair like Billy Idol’s, does it mean he has to regress from punk-rock hero to arena-rock cliche?)
And then came the Third Commandment: Thou shalt pick up all the trash around you and heave it at the Offspring.
The ensuing barrage of flying paper cups, plastic bottles, food containers and all of their contents doused most everybody in the house, especially the instigators, who looked as if they had been caught in a cloudburst as they finished pounding out “Self Esteem.”
For the 15,400 fans at the sold-out Weenie Roast who beheld 14 main-stage performances, this mass-trashing became a moment to remember.
Earlier, during a proud, fiery set of classic, crowd-pleasing punk rock, Mike Ness of Social Distortion had mused about how he missed the old days, when punk rock was deemed a menace. “Now,” this original Orange County punk harrumphed, “it’s kinda cute.”
Menacing or cute? The Offspring’s move, which left their half of the revolving stage looking like the slop-soaked bottom of a Dumpster, split the difference.
What else colored this Weenie Roast? Ska bands making jokingly extravagant claims and having them come true, after a fashion. Dicky Barrett of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the day’s most nattily dressed group, took responsibility for the gray day, saying they brought it with them from Boston. And Aaron Barrett (no relation to Dicky) of Reel Big Fish, another Orange County band, claimed that his affection for Hawaiian shirts had inspired the event’s luau motif.
Lo and behold: The minute the Bosstones left the stage, the sky grew sunny and blue. And before the night was through, Barrett and two of his RBF mates had become honorary Hawaiians, backing guest novelty item Don Ho as he sang his signature “Tiny Bubbles.”
Tiny bubbles were about all the spectators got from the disappointing “explosion” of the big faux volcano that loomed above the stage, but a Hawaiian interlude featuring fire-juggling acrobats, the pounding of traditional drums and hula dancers in gigantic headdresses was OK.