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The Offspring, SSE Arena / London comes out and plays in full force

Thank goodness for Californian punk rock. Thank goodness for The Offspring. After the hardship of the last 18 months, The Offspring brought some much-needed release for the capital and its live music scene with an explosive show.

The Offspring – SSE Arena, Wembley

Words: Aggie Anthimidou

Photography: Tijs van Leur

No time to brood, the band delivered a set that reinvigorated everyone’s teen spirit and brightened our night, proving that the band is still as iconic as ever with no signs of slowing down or bowing to convention.

Let the “good” times roll London.

The Offspring. SSE Arena, Wembley
The Offspring. Photo: Tijs van Leur

Dexter Holland, Kevin ‘Noodles’ Wasserman, Todd Morse, Josh Freese and Jonah Nimoy brought a night of punk rock indulgence to their fans at London’s Wembley Arena. The crowd’s energy was already built up with The Hives’ hugely energetic opening performance. The Hives are a truly great band to see live, rock ‘n’ roll attitude at its finest. But judging from the long queues and buzz outside the arena is fair to say that people have been warming up for this night for quite a while.

Tonight feels special. It has been a few years since the Californian rockers have been on the UK shores. This is a tour to support the band’s tenth album, the long-anticipated Let The Bad Times Roll, but the night is designed to please pretty much all fans from any of the band’s life stages.

The Offspring. SSE Arena, Wembley
The Offspring. Photo: Tijs van Leur

With Daveed Benito’s artwork projecting on the stage screen, the band slowly emerges and opens the set with Staring At The Sun. The setlist is balanced with big hitters from the band’s full catalogue, but fans are engaged and thrilled to hear songs from the latest album as much as from past work.

Popular hits like Pretty Fly (For a White Guy), Why Don’t You Get a Job from Americana, Want You Bad from Conspiracy Of One and Come Out and Play from their 1994 platinum-selling album, Smash cause massive surges in the pit.

Dexter’s vocals are as powerful as ever. His instantly recognisable voice is taking us back in time, with each song back to a different era. He delivers a flawless performance throughout, while his acoustic, soulful piano rendition of Gone Away (the only time the arena slowed down) resulted in a chilling moment of retrospection.

“Tonight, I wanted to play this song for you on the piano, ’cause I wanted you to be able to hear the lyrics,” Dexter says. “I felt by doing this song tonight we can all shine a light on those who are important to us.”

The Offspring. SSE Arena, Wembley
The Offspring. Photo: Tijs van Leur

This show is, however, all about the future. Songs from the new album Let The Bad Times Roll shined through. With The Opioid Diaries, a song about the US opioid crisis, the band addresses addiction created and driven by the Big Pharma while namesake single Let The Bad Times Roll encapsulates The Offsprings’ essence we know and love.

Bad Habit offered one of the show’s highlights; it generated such a loud reaction from the crowd the band stopped the song in astonishment to celebrate the fans in a type of standing ovation.

The Offspring. SSE Arena, Wembley
The Offspring. Photo: Tijs van Leur

Self Esteem from the 1994 golden era closed the show, and the band basked in appreciation. It was evident they had as much fun as the fans.

“You have been amazing,” Noodles said. “You came, you brought your heart, you brought your spirit.”

So have you Offspring, so have you. It has been a blast. The world is definitely a sunnier place with you in it.

The Offspring. SSE Arena, Wembley
The Offspring. Photo: Tijs van Leur

Setlist

1. Staring At The Sun
2. Come Out and Play
3. Want You Bad
4. The Opioid Diaries
5. Let The Bad Times Roll
6. Hit That
7. Hammerhead
8. Bad Habit
9. Blitzkrieg Bop/Paranoid/The Trooper/Panama/Smoke On The Water/Highway To Hell
10. In The Hall Of The Mountain King
11. Gotta Get Away
12. Gone Away (acoustic)
13. Why Don’t You Get A Job
14. Original Prankster
15. (Can’t Get My) Head Around You
16. Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)
17. The Kids Aren’t Alright

Encore
18. You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid
19. Self Esteem

The Offspring. SSE Arena, Wembley
The Offspring. Photo: Tijs van Leur
The Offspring. SSE Arena, Wembley
The Offspring. Photo: Tijs van Leur

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