It’s been a busy week at The Vector, first Journey and Deep Purple, then The Stone Roses and now, The Offspring. The Audience got noticeably younger night by night, but the atmosphere at each one of the shows was all about re-living past glories.
This was the first time California punk-popper Offspring had played in New Zealand since the Nineties, so they had so catching up to do. Not much has changed. The group is still led by front man Dexter Holland along with guitarist Noodles and bass player Greg K. The only change in the line-up was in the drummer’s seat, which is now filled by Pete Parada. Additional guitarist Todd Morse was on hand for touring purposes.
The presence of two opening acts, Billy Talent and Villainy, caused the main show to begin a bit later than usual…Offspring took the stage just before 10pm. By then the floor of the Vector Arena was sticky with split beer and RTDs. It was general admission and the main floor was well-populated with and (many well and truly off their face), with the lower level of seats ringing the floor also open for use. I would estimate the crowd numbered at least 3000.
When they finally arrived, they started things off with You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid, from their 2008 album, Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace. Despite that album’s title, there was very little rage on display as the band’s sound is mostly good-time power-punk….catchy and anthemic.
The audience showed plenty of enthusiasm, fist-pumping and pogoing to hits like Come Out And Play, Hit That and Why Don’t You Get A Job.
Musically, the band’s sound hasn’t really changed over the years, although they did veer slightly from their formula for Days Gone By, the title track to their latest album, which had a more mainstream pop-rock sound to it thanks to Noodles’ jangly guitar and the reggae-fied OC Guns, also from the new album, which Dexter tentatively announced, “We hope you like it”, before they played the new number.
But mainly the band stuck with what they knew best and concentrated on their 1998 album, Americana, playing seven tracks from it, closing the set (after barely an hour) with two of its most popular, Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) and The Kids Aren’t Alright, which sounded like the best tune of the night to me.
They returned for a twenty-minute encore that started with the title track to Americana, then it was crowd pleasers (Can’t Get My) Head Around You and Self Esteem, before calling it a night.
The band was good fun, the clearly enjoyed being back in New Zealand…Holland constantly wondered why they had been away for so long…But overall, I’m guessing that this is not going to be one of the most memorable shows of the season. And for many, the evening is going to be not much more than a blur when they wake up this morning.
Check out this photo gallery of Offspring concert shots, taken by Michael Flynn, here:
The Offspring set list:
- You’re Gonna Go Far Kid
- All I Want
- Come Out And Play
- Days Go By
- Have You Ever
- Staring In The Sun
- Gone Away
- Dividing By Zero
- Slim Pickens Does The Right Thing And Rides The Bomb To Hell
- Bad Habit
- OC Guns
- Hit That
- Why Don’t You Get A Job
- Spare Me The Details
- Walla Walla
- Want You Bad
- Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)
- The Kids Aren’t Alright
- (Can’t Get My) Head Around You
- Self Esteem