It’s hard to quantify exactly what it is about Smash Mouth’s “All Star” that makes it such a resilient feature of pop culture discourse. While the band might like to assume it’s because they wrote a prestigious goddamn banger of a song and people like it accordingly, it’s probably more attributable to a certain work of early 2000s cinematic perfection called Shrek:
That association has become inextricable to the point that people are dressing up as the titular Scottish ogre at Smash Mouth gigs (strangely, the same association with Mystery Men hasn’t blown up the same way). A Craigslist user in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania put up a posting that called for people to dress as Shrek for Smash Mouth’s free show in the city on August 5. The instructions were pretty impassioned:
On Saturday, August 5th, Smash Mouth will be performing in Point State Park for the Three Rivers Regatta. This is a great honor for our city, and it is important that we give these great and famous music men the warm welcome they deserve. For these reasons, I am getting together as many people as possible to come to the concert dressed as Smash Mouth’s best friend, Shrek the messy green man. This will help to honor them and let them feel at home. Please bring your own costume. You don’t have to email me or anything; just show up dressed as Shrek and then look for the other people dressed as Shrek.
The listing went on to specify: “You can come dressed as Shrek’s assistant Donkey if you must, but DO NOT bring an actual donkey to the concert. It is probably illegal, city police will turn the animal away, and the loud party rock may agitate the donkey and cause a fuss.” Very considerate.
Since then, a Facebook event page has been made to spread the word, with nearly 4000 people slated as ‘interested.’ Be sure to RSVP if you can make it.