Orange County Register Concert Review

Typed in by

'Goodbye, Goodbye' for Oingo Boingo

Review: The famed Los Angeles alternative group calls it quits, but only after rocking the Halloween-night capacity audience for more than 3 1/2 hours.

By Robert Kinsler.
Special to the Register.

Capatain Kirk, Dracula and Elvis were there. So were any number of monsters, ghouls, space aliens and the costumed like - and that was just in the audience of the Universal Amphitheatre on Tuesday as a sellout crowd came to say goodbye to Oingo Boingo.

The Halloween-night farewell to Danny Elfman's crazy, alternative muscial creation - the last of a four-night Southern California run - came to an end with a 3-hour, 40-minute finale that covered every phase of the 17-year-old band.

Like a marathon, the final show was at times smooth and other times in danger of falling down; but in the end both boingo and its faithful legion of fans could look back at a run that was often adventurous and always fun.

Early in the show, and as an introduction to the song "Gratitude," Elfman said, We're not here to be sad. We're here to celebrate 17 years together. Thanks for being with us here tonight."

There were no tears. For most of the night, Oingo Boingo ripped through fast and - at times punkish - material to the delight of those in the mosh pit and at their seats. Lighting and visual effects added to the festive, Halloween atmosphere but didn't detract from the real show being played onstage.

Because the Oct. 31 show marked the bands's last, and perhaps because the concert was being filmed and taped for commercial release, Elfman and his always-solid band weren't afraid to take a casual approach to the party.

When Oingo Boingo went into its 25-minute acoustic segment, things began with a slow and thoughtful performance of "We Close Our Eyes." However, at the end of the song. Elfman said, "That sounded slow to me. I want to do it again." and they did, only faster.

There were other treats; an upbeat version of the Beatles' "I Am the Walrus" and a super-hyper version of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me." They illustrated that Elfman and company were always up to a challenge, able to take other artists' material and make it - well- Boingo.

No Oingo Boingo show - especially the final one - would be complete with the favorites, including a 10-song encore featuring "Grey Matter," "Dead Man's Party," "Violent Love" and "Only a Lad" Which, Elfman reminded the audience, was the first song recorded by the group).

It was a nearly hoarse but energized Elfman (barefoot and shirtless by the time the encore rolled around) who introduced the band's final song after.

"I said I cannot do it, and we didn't rehearse it." Elfman said.

Oingo Boingo then sped into the appropriately titled "Goodbye, Goodbye," (a song not included in other farewell tour dates), with even the aisles of the Universal Amphitheatre reduced to nothing but mosh pits and dance floors as the celebration ended with a flourish.

The final chapter of the band was written as Elfman went up to each of his mates - lastly guitarist Steve Bartek and hugged them. The band members then went to the front of the stage and thanked the audience with their own applause.

From the Fan Supported Boingo Page