Psychedelic punk band to cover ’90s pop punk


In this Oct. 11, 2010 file photo, Guitarist Hayden Halgren and drummer Mike Finnigan trash gear as bassist Eric Jorgenson looks on at the end of a show at The House Café.

By Connor Rice

There’s something uniting about punk rock.

It’s not about the clothes being worn or the rarity of the records, but the visceral emotion pouring out of the music. By that token, it’s not uncommon for fans of punk music to reach through hardcore, emo, grunge and ska and hand-pick their favorites from the bunch. It’s about the energy.

That’s why it only makes sense for local psychedelic punk rockers Hasta Lumbago to cover a radio-friendly band like the Offspring.

“It’s kind of hard to see the correlation,” said Hayden Hallgren, guitarist for Hasta Lumbago. “The energy is a big thing.”

Hasta Lumbago, as a part of this year’s annual Kickstand Productions Halloween Extravaganza, will do an entire Offspring cover set (and dress the part while they’re at it) at 7 p.m. Saturday at the House Café, 263 E. Lincoln Highway.

The group, inspired by an off-handed text message from a friend and the simplicity of the songs, chose to cover the ‘90s pop punk act, whose songs appeared in the seminal Crazy Taxi video game. Billboard-ready songs like “Pretty Fly for a White Guy” and “All I Want” gave kids like a young Hallgren a crash course in punk and pumped the gospel of the Ramones into millions of middle-class American homes.

“It’s something you listen to in seventh grade,” Hallgren said. “They’re kind of like an intro to punk rock.”

Despite being more akin to acts like Fugazi and the Minutemen, Hallgren thinks that the instrumental grooves of his band aren’t so different from the three-chord structures of the Offspring. The energy is the common bond.

“It’s basic rock ‘n’ roll,” he said.