Review : Dan Maynard
Photography : JD Garrahy
It’s one of the biggest tours to be announced pre covid with huge success, but alas, corona hit us and it was placed in the back burner. The Offspring and Sum 41 are finally here, with their epic tour hitting all the major cities in Australia and tonight is the final night of the tour. Last night was the first of two sold out shows in Brisbane and from what I’ve heard, it was massive and judging by the turnout at Brisbanes open air Riverstage tonight, it’s going to be just as massive.
Sum 41, what an epic support act for the monolith that is The Offspring. Sum 41 are gigantic in their own right, having hit our ears in the year of Y2K, it was the following year that saw their huge success with Fat Lip and In Too Deep. Since then, they have grown as a band and evolved significantly. The last time the band stepped foot on our shores was in 2019 at the Download festival run in Sydney and Melbourne. Tonight they aren’t holding back, showing that their energy is yet to fade and their passion is still as evident on stage.
Drummer Frank Zummo blasts into fan favourite Motivation from 2001s breakthrough album All Killer, No Filler, with that big hitting drum that kicks it off, the whole band is on game straight away. Showing no mercy, they throw The Hell Song followed directly by Over My Head, two unrelenting tracks from 2002s Does This Look Infected.
We get an onslaught of hits like Underclass Hero, In Too Deep and We’re All To Blame. It’s pyro galore as flames take over the stage through several songs over the night, lighting up the venue red. Vocalist and frontman Deryck Whibley is in full swing, energy out the whazoo and as entertaining as ever, it’s hard to believe he’s as energetic, if not more so than he was 22 years ago. We come to the end of the epic hit loaded set as Sum 41 close with the song that brought them into the limelight, 2001s Fat Lip and Still Waiting.
The time has arrived, we’ve waited too long for this. Word has made its way around in the last 24 hours from last nights punters that the show is next level and has been worth the wait. So the atmosphere is proving ecstatic. We get a half hour countdown with the back wall of the stage becoming a mixture of videos, animations and crowd cams. The crowd is at a roar as the band make their way to the stage and drummer Josh Freese plays the infamous drum intro to Come Out and Play and the crowd hits full throttle as guitarist Noodles says that line everyone was waiting for….”you gotta keep ‘em separated.” It’s an ocean on the floor as waves of bodies thrash about to one of the greatest rock songs to grace our ears.
Dexter makes his way off stage and it’s time for Noodles Plays with Himself….that is of course, the name of the part of the show where guitarist Noodles solos off with an animation of himself on the back screen. As the rest of the band jump in with him, he cranks out punk rock anthem Blitzkrieg Pop by The Ramones and we’re also treated to a cover of Pub Feed by Aussie rockers The Chats. As the lights come to a dim, a piano is rolled onto the stage and Dexter takes a seat at the helm. Taking a moment to give a heart warmed talk to the crowd about the importance behind the lyrics of the song Gone Away, a song about that singer losing someone close to him. Dexter plays a stunning rendition of the track by himself on the piano to an emotional crowd who sing just as loud, if not louder than Dexter himself.
The mood is brought back up with the fun thumping Californian driven Why Don’t You Get a Job. The band tear through some of their biggest hits as they make their way through the last quarter of the set, with songs like Pretty Fly, Can’t Get My Head Around You and one of my own personal favourites, The Kids Aren’t Alright.
The night is nearing its end, the encore has arrived. The band has left the stage and Lullaby from 2021s Let The Bad Times Roll plays over the PA. The Offspring take to the stage for the last time as they slam into You’re Gonna Go Far Kid, ending the night with fan mega favourite Self Esteem. We say our final goodbyes to the band and the crowd bottleneck their way out of the venue. The energy is still noticeably high and pumping and it’s more than evident that we’ve just been to see The Offspring.
I hadn’t seen The Offspring since their headlining spot on Livids 1999 bill when Americana had just been released. I didn’t know what to expect from the band 23 years later, but boy am I walking away with a big ass grin on my face. That was everything and more than I could have wanted. The band still have their fun antics about them, they’re funny as ever, energetic and high spirited. I won’t be waiting another 23 years to catch another show, that’s for sure