This summer I decided it was time to go and see The Offspring live for the first time. After all, it’s been 21 years since I first heard and fell for them. About time. Had I done it sooner I probably would have heard a band in better shape, but my main goal this evening was to have fun and finally get to see one of the bands from my youth live.
So when they played to a crowd of 17,000 people at the amusement park Gröna Lund in Stockholm, Sweden on August 10 I was there. Most people I saw were around my own age. We were teenagers or in our early 20s when The Offspring had their big mainstream breakthrough with Smash in 1994, and it was played over and over again on every radio station in Sweden. Same thing with Americana four years later. Some people in the crowd though were probably born in early or mid-1990s, and I’m glad to see a new generation of fans as well.
Let’s just say this: The Offspring have passed their best before date. I suspected it – counted on it actually – and they confirmed it. Dexter Holland’s voice has lost some of its sharpness, more than once he seems to have forgotten the lyrics and his timing is off. Noodles guitar solos lack some energy and feel a bit forced. Greg K and Pete Parada probably do what they are supposed to do in the background, but the band is by no means tight. But it doesn’t matter that much. I didn’t expect a high quality show, just a good time and that’s what I got.
They opened with ”You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” which was a clever move. It’s a well-known song, it’s easy to sing along to and it’s got energy. Excellent opening, lots of energy on stage and in the crowd right from the start.
A few songs into the set though, ”All I Want”, ”Come Out And Play” and the new single ”Coming For You”, I found myself thinking that it felt like I was watching a cover band doing Offspring songs. Like something was a bit off, something missing. There wasn’t the sharp, raw punky feeling they once had. It was a bit disappointing at this point, because I really like those songs.
Fortunately I got rid of that feeling as the show moved along, with uneven quality but total commitment from both band and audience. Like, we are in this together, let’s have a good time!
During a few songs, when they really nailed it, it was perfect. ”Want You Bad” and ”Americana” were highlights, just as powerful as they should be. Also, towards the end with ”Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” and ”The Kids Aren’t Alright” they proved they are still The Offspring, they haven’t given up and I don’t think they will in the foreseeable future either.
The very last song, ”Self Esteem” (of course) – I have no idea how that one sounded on stage. All I heard, saw and felt was the joy of 17,000 people jumping, sweating and singing along frantically. It made me leave with a huge smile and a warm feeling.
The word that keeps coming back to me when I think about the evening is ”fun”. I had fun, people around me had fun and the band had fun. So what if they don’t sound like they did 20 years ago, I can’t really hold that against them. They put on a great show and that’s what matters. Come out and play!
1. You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid
2. All I Want
3. Come Out and Play
4. Coming for You
6. Have You Ever
7. Staring at the Sun
8. Bad Habit
9. Want You Bad
10. Gotta Get Away
11. Hit That
12. Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?
13. Gone Away
14. Why Don’t You Get a Job?
16. Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)
17. The Kids Aren’t Alright
18. (Can’t Get My) Head Around You
19. Self Esteem
An anxious, shy typist that dreams of writing...
Grunge Music is Not Dead
We only die completely if the memory dies as well
Read/Listen/Discover new independent and major label rock bands.
Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
a badly drawn wolf howls