Gig Review and Photography by Kat Storey

The Offspring are the punk kings of Orange County USA. Bringing sunkissed sounds and teenage angst together in one beautiful package. Sure, these rockers are getting into their 50s now, but they’re not slowing down any time soon.

The Offspring

I’m a die-hard offspring fan and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’ve been to every UK show they’ve done since I was a teenager, so of course the opportunity to photograph and review never goes by without me pouncing on it! In a conversation with my husband before the show, I realised that, having attended pretty much every show, I’ve probably gone to the same shows with the exact same crowd of people for most of my life. I’ve grown up with this group of strangers screaming out the lyrics to their best songs and laughing along with their trademark stage banter.

But before the Californian kings took the stage, we were treated to not one but two support acts.

First up, Templeton Pek – a Birmingham based band that packed a real punch. I’ll admit I’d not heard of these guys before, but they were a real surprise. Huge amounts of energy and boatloads of talent greeted the crowd who reciprocated with a very warm welcome. Supports can often be a frustrating entree when all you want is the main meal – but these guys really whet our appetites for what was coming next.

Templeton Pek

Speaking of what was next, Bad Religion took to the stage with a bang. Like the offspring, these guys may be getting on a bit but they play with the energy, speed, discipline and quality that younger performers could never even dream of. I’d never seen these guys live before and they definitely didn’t disappoint!

Bad Religion

Soon it was time for the offspring. with anticipation in the air our headliners came on stage with a strong start. “You’re gonna go far, kid” opened up the hour and a half of solid punk perfection. The crowd kicked into high gear and we were off.

The Offspring

Following what was, in my opinion, the best track from “Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace” with another favourite from the often forgotten “Splinter”, “The Noose” was up next followed all too quickly by “Come out and Play”, a solid hit from the early years of “Smash”.

The Offspring

Then it was time to leave the photographers, bouncers and crowdsurfers in the photo pit behind and go enjoy the show with the punters. We rocked out to their new song “Coming for you” before shouting along with all their favourites. Each song is played with an indescribable energy and discipline that you really don’t see all that often. Note perfect, beat perfect, going to an Offspring show is like listening to the recordings – but louder, sweatier and 100% better. You’re never disappointed with these guys.

The Offspring

I was pleasantly surprised to hear a couple of songs that don’t often make it to their live set list. For the last few years, the Offspring have been celebrating 20 year anniversaries of their albums by treating true fans to entire shows dedicated to playing a classic album from start to finish. So some of the old favourites such as “Mota” and “Gotta Get Away” are making their mark in the live arena like never before. After all, there’s so much more to the Offspring than “Pretty Fly” (which, of course, they played) – I can only imagine the crowds that will get pulled if they do an “Americana” tour!

The Offspring

So, if you ever have chance to join the rest of us friendly strangers at an offspring show, you should. We’re a great bunch of people (if a little boisterous), and you will be left in awe of our favourite performers. Just make sure you know the words first!

Set List:
You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid
The Noose
Come Out and Play
Million Miles Away
Have you Ever
Staring at the Sun
Mota
Bad Habit
Gotta Get Away
Hit That
Why Don’t You Get a Job
All I Want
I Want You Bad
(Can’t Get My) Head Around You
Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)
The Kids Aren’t Alright
Encore:
Americana
Self Esteem

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