It's fitting that Danny Elfman composed the score for Rodney Dangerfield's film "Back to School." Both Dangerfield and Elfman's band Oingo Boingo have had trouble getting respect--in Boingo's case, respect from rock critics.
But the little ghouls understand. The largely teen-age crowd that packed Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre Friday for the L.A. band's Halloween extravaganza was on its feet the entire evening, dancing with joyous abandon. That's not surprising. Oingo Boingo has always been a solid dance band, but where it earlier operated at just two speeds--fast and faster--the group has broadened its approach considerably. In fact, one of the show's highlights was "Stay," a pretty, loping, slow tune.
But the octet continues to specialize in edgy, hyperactive pieces, roaring through old barnburners like "Only a Lad" and new ones from its forthcoming LP. It all made for a strong, feisty show.