The Offspring – Gig Review 3rd December @ HBF Stadium, Perth WA

The Offspring
HBF Stadium, Perth WA
December 3, 2022
Supports: Sum 41

The Offspring and Sum 41. Two massive names in pop/punk. A gig almost two years in the making thanks to a global pandemic, and both bands having not played large scale shows in Australia (outside of a festival) in about 10 years. This was going to be epic. 

The crowd was buzzing in anticipation while waiting for Canadian rockers Sum 41 to take the stage. Blood-soaked guitar cabs lined the stage, in front of a huge backdrop of a hellish scene of scorched earth. The lights went down and ACDC’s ‘TNT’ started blasting out of the speakers to amp up the already excitable crowd. The lads ran out on stage, clad in black skinny jeans, transporting the audience back to the early 2000s. They dove straight into ‘Motivation’ from their bestselling album All Killer No Filler. The pyrotechnics fired up the crowd, sending heat throughout the stadium as they blasted in time with Dave ‘Davey B’ Baksh and Tom Thacker’s shredding.

Lead vocalist Deryck Whibley, shouted to the crowd ‘Let’s get crazy’ before launching into ‘The Hell Song’. This was followed in quick succession by another number off the 2002 album Does This Look Infected? – ‘Over My Head (Better Off Dead)’. Dave Baksh and Tom Thacker’s backing vocals were on point, perfectly harmonising with Deryck.

Deryck then got the punters into a cheering competition, pitting the mosh pit, and the left and right sides and back of the stadium against each other, to see who could yell the loudest before getting the whole crowd to go at once, resulting in an almighty roar taking over the stadium. Deryck demanded the crowd, “Keep it moving, keep it heavy” before jumping into ‘We’re All To Blame’. With the song being a mix of equal parts heavy and soft the audience was taken on a journey as they waved hands from left to right during the slow parts and opened up into a circle pit as Deryck screamed “SACRIFICEEEEEE” while Frank Zummo hammered away on the drums.

Underclass Hero’ was up next and was a great opportunity for the crowd to get involved as giant black balloons were released out. The whole crowd was jumping for this one and Deryck kept punters entertained as he popped the massive balloons with his microphone. Bringing the tempo down just a little with ‘Walking Disaster’ inspired fans to crack out their phone lights and sway their arms side to side throughout the track. Continuing with the slower vibe, Deryck got out an acoustic guitar to serenade the crowd by playing ‘With Me’. At the end of the song, all three guitarists threw picks to excited fans in the crowd.

Deryck then expressed the band’s love of getting to play songs they wrote when they were teenagers and having their fans singing so loudly to them. He then enthusiastically yelled, “Let’s keep that going” and the band cranked out ‘In Too Deep’, inspiring the whole stadium to sing along, like their lives depended on it.

All throughout the set, it was clear to see how grateful Sum 41 were to be finally playing this show and to be back in Australia. Deryck was humble throughout and on more than one occasion stopped to say “thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you”, with his hand on his heart before blowing kisses to every section of the audience. Long-term fans were then rewarded with a throwback to their debut single from 2000, ‘Makes No Difference’.

Deryck Whibley kept up his crowd interactions, asking who had seen Sum 41 before, followed by who was seeing them for the first time. With an overwhelming number of audience members being first timers, Deryck proclaimed: “For the first timers – welcome to the family”, as they launched into another crowd vs crowd singing competition before bringing everyone together all at once. A shift into a slower song, ‘Pieces’, saw the whole crowd singing as Deryck pulled out the guitar for this one. In the stripped-back section of the song, you could hear the lyrics “That I’m better off on my own” filling the stadium.

You could feel the energy in the air as you knew the fans could tell their set was coming to an end, which could only mean one thing…it was time for ‘Fat Lip’. This song went off, no doubt transporting many audience members back to their youth. It was clear that this number was the fan favourite of the night with the moshpit going off and many in the reserved seating unable to stay in their seats any longer. The band gave the audience plenty of opportunities to sing back to them, with Frank Zummo and Deryck Whibley taking a backseat in order to hear the deafening chant of the bridge, before finishing off in a perfectly timed fiery, smoke, and strobe-filled ending.

Deryck shouted “now I really wanna hear you sing” before heading straight into the final song of the set; ‘Still Waiting’. The crowd happily obliged, singing to the end where drummer Frank Zummo stood up on his seat to salute the crowd before dropping back for one final smash on the drums.

The atmosphere continued to bubble within HBF Stadium as the stage crew rapidly dismantled Sum 41’s setup and removed the big backdrop to reveal dual drum stands and a massive screen that would play historic footage of previous The Offspring tours and the SoCal lad’s old surf trips. As the crowd were revelling, a mini drone blimp with The Offsprings unmistakable skull logo appeared and started cruising around the venue. Fully equipped with a camera, shots of the crowd started appearing on the huge screen on stage. Hype-men appeared on stage and began shooting The Offspring merch into the crowd. Then Sir Mix-A-Lot’s ‘Baby Got Back’ started to blare from the speakers and the screen displayed a ‘twerk cam’, with many punters happy to oblige! Suddenly, the question “ARE YOU READY FOR THE OFFSPING?” bellowed from the speakers and a countdown appeared on the screen. The tension was palpable as the whole stadium joined in to scream “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1….”

…and just like that The Offspring burst on the stage, opening with none other than cult classic ‘Come Out and Play’ sending the crowd into a frenzy. Crunchy guitar tones, surf-inspired drumbeats, and Dexter Holland’s chainsaw-like voice filled the venue, building into every punter yelling “HEEYYY, MAN YOU TALKING BACK TO ME?” This is what Perth fans had been waiting two years for. The band shredded through the track, as well as two more of their hit singles ‘All I Want’ and ‘Want You Bad’.

The Offspring then stopped for their first breather of the night to address the crowd, with both Dexter and Noodles expressing their amazement at the sold-out crowd, gushing things like “Looook at this beautiful crowd” and “This is absolutely deafening from up here, we hear you singing all the words”. They then went on to talk about how it had been almost 10 years since they had been to Australia, their favourite country, and how wild their West Australian fans were.

The band then dropped into one of their latest singles and tour title ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’, a song about the COVID pandemic – the cause of the two year delay of the tour. Returning to their historic hit list, ‘Staring At The Sun’ followed, the crowd reciting the lyrics word for word while moving to the pulse of the song. The uplifting beat of ‘Spare Me The Details’ began and every single punter began clapping along and singing to this tune about being cheated on, which is quite the contrast to the vibe of the music!

Speeding things up into a bit more of a hectic punk vibe by playing one of their latest tracks ‘The Opioid Diaries’ didn’t quite go down as well as the band would have hoped, with half of the mostly 30+ crowd seeming to not really know the song. Nevertheless, The Offspring shifted back into gear, sinking into the very groovy intro to one of their bigger tracks ‘Hit That’, the whole venue once again singing along. ‘Hammerhead’ was cranked out next, the faster pace inspiring punters in the mosh to open up a circle pit.

Judging by the crowd erupting as soon as the opening guitar notes blared through the PA, The Offspring throwing it back to the Smash album and treating the old school fans to ‘Bad Habit’ was going to go down splendidly. The band stopped just before the spoken word interlude to assess just how eager the crowd was to yell some curse words at the top of their lungs – the deafening cheers confirming The Offspring’s suspicions. Moments later the whole of Perth was probably wondering why they were being called a “STUPID DUMBSH*T GODDAMN MOTHERF*CKER!!” 

Punters were then treated to some one-on-one time with guitarist Noodles, or as he called it “Noodles plays with himself” as he jammed out some of his favourite riffs with an AI version of himself on the big screen. The back and forth jamfest between real Noodles and AI Noodles included the likes of AC/DC, Iron Maiden and The Offspring’s cover of ‘In The Hall Of The Mountain King’, finishing up with the whole band returning and covering ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ by The Ramones.

Another Smash-era banger ‘Gotta Get Away’ followed, the band tearing through it like it was yesterday that they wrote it. The Offspring closed out the song with a bit of a jam, culminating with Josh Freese pounding out a gigantic drum fill, before the lights cut out, the stadium descending into darkness.

A singular spotlight flooded the stage, illuminating Dexter, now sitting at a piano. He engaged the crowd, highlighting that the next song was going to be ‘Gone Away’, before detailing the song’s topic of losing someone close to you. Reaching out to the crowd, he requested everyone “show me the lights on your phone and light this venue up”. Moments later, a sea of lights appeared around the stadium, lighting it up like stars in the night. 

A lo-fi drumbeat notified punters that ‘Why Don’t You Get A Job’, another hit from the band’s stellar career was next. As the full band kicked in, about 20 beach balls launched into the air, the crowd slapping them back and forth across the venue, all while singing every word. The pit exploded as ‘(Can’t Get My) Head Around You’ began, every punter bouncing in unison to the banger’s driving beat, not stopping throughout the track’s blistering two minutes. 

Between tracks, Noodles took a leaf out of the Freddie Mercury book, inciting the crowd into numerous vocalisations of “FUUCKKK YEEEAAAAHHHHH”, before the band slid into ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy), as giant wacky inflatable arm men themed as the main protagonist from the song’s video clip appeared on either side of the stage. As the song reached that iconic bridge, Dexter and Noodles engaged the stadium in a good old left vs right cheer off, before getting the whole venue to chant the interlude together. 

The Kids Aren’t Alright’ another belter from the phenomenal Americana album followed, inspiring those in the mosh pit to fire into a circle pit as everyone else yelled the lyrics with all their energy. Noodles ripped the guitar solo, and the crowd erupted into an earth-shaking cheer as the song closed out, with Josh Freese unleashing some furious double kicks, threatening to bring HBF stadium’s walls down.

The Offspring then left the stage, the lights cutting to darkness, leaving the crowd wanting more, and chanting “One more song, one more song!”. The Offspring blimp re-appeared with an addition of a sign emblazoned with ‘DANCE F*CKER DANCE’, whetting the crowd’s appetite for what was to come. As anticipation came to boiling point, the band re-emerged, unleashing ‘You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid’ as confetti exploded from all corners of the stadium, filling the air with a kaleidoscope of colours. This was apparently the first time the band had ever used confetti cannons and they seemed just as thrilled by it as the audience, exclaiming how cool it looked from the stage and asking if the fans had liked it. The unruly roar from the crowd will probably ensure it remains in The Offspring’s bag of tricks for all future shows.

Dexter and Noodles once again expressed their sincere gratitude to the crowd and ensured Perth that they would be back a hell of a lot sooner this time. At this point, there was only one song left, and fans were on the edge of their seats. “LAA LAA LALALA LAA LAA LALALA”. The entire venue was then on their feet, absolutely giving it their all as they recited the lyrics of ‘Self Esteem’ back to the band.

Huge setlists full of hits – check.

On-point musicianship – check.

Pyrotechnics, confetti, and big stage theatrics – check.

Both bands absolutely slayed it and the rest of Australia is in for a treat. 

Gig Review by Anthony Santoro

Photos supplied by Jarrad Seng. IG: @jarradseng

Setlists (Spoilers)

The Offspring

Come Out and Play
All I Want
Want You Bad
Let The Bad Times Roll
Staring At The Sun
Spare Me The Details
The Opioid Diaries
Hit That
Hammerhead
Bad Habit
Noodles Plays With Himself
Gotta Get Away
Gone Away
Why Don’t You Get A Job
(Can’t Get My) Head Around You
Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)
The Kids Aren’t Alright
You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid
Self Esteem

Sum41

Introduction To Destruction
Motivation
The Hell Song
Over My Head (Better Off Dead)
We’re All To Blame
Underclass Hero
Walking Disaster
With Me
In Too Deep
Makes No Difference
Pieces
Fat Lip
Still Waiting

The Offspring

theoffspring-2022

THE OFFSPRING AUSTRALIAN TOUR
WITH SUM 41

WEDNESDAY 7 DECEMBER – JOHN CAIN ARENA, MELBOURNE
NEW SHOW – UPGRADED VENUE

FRIDAY 9 DECEMBER – WIN ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, WOLLONGONG

SUNDAY 11 DECEMBER – HORDERN PAVILION, SYDNEY – SOLD OUT

MONDAY 12 DECEMBER – HORDERN PAVILION, SYDNEY
SECOND & FINAL SHOW

WEDNESDAY 14 DECEMBER – RIVERSTAGE, BRISBANE – SOLD OUT

THURSDAY 15 DECEMBER – RIVERSTAGE, BRISBANE
SECOND & FINAL SHOW

Tickets Here

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