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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Gig Review: The Offspring and Sum 41 Brisbane, Australia

After what has felt like an eternity for the co-headline show of The Offspring and Sum 41, it finally happened here in Brisbane, Australia! Even before the first note was played the atmosphere was electric. You could feel the excitement and anticipation hanging in the air. It was a sold out show, and the venue was packed from front to back with an audience that reflected the eclectic following of both bands. 

Sum 41 was first up for the night with their set starting at 7pm. The walk out song was AC/DC‘s TNT which led right into their first song for the night ‘Motivation‘. The crowd went wild, the noise was intense. Frank Zummo was extraordinary on drums and we knew from the start that we were in for something special.

During the second song, which was one of their greatest hits, ‘The Hell Song‘, Whibley got the crowd going getting them to create a circle pit which sustained itself through the entire set. During the third song ‘Over My Head [Better Off Dead]’ thencrowd surfing started across the mosh pit.

In true Sum 41 spirit, the set was about crowd engagement and the crowd responded in spades. The noise was deafening as the crowd shouted, chanted, sang and cheered in response to the band’s antics. 

Walking Disaster’ brought a feeling of solidarity to the crowd as they turned on their flashlights to create a sea of light that lit up the the Brisbane Riverstage.

(Photo by Roberto Ricciuti/Redferns)

The crowd erupted to the first bar of ‘In too deep,’ – one of their biggest hits. It was played with a spirited passion and the crowd responded with an equal energy.

Whibley called for the Sum 41 salute which entails one hand holding up 4 fingers and the other hand giving the middle finger. The whole crowd responded with an enthusiasm that could be heard across the other side of the river.

They performed an extraordinary pop-punk cover of ‘We Will Rock You’ and closed with ‘Still Waiting‘. 

Overall, the set was brilliant, the pyrotechnics were outstanding with laser lights and flames and the crowd were left wanting more. The energy the band put out was extraordinary and the crowd lapped it up and had them well and truly warmed up for The Offspring.

The Offspring

Between the two bands the screen showed crowd shots that resembled those of an american hockey game with kiss cam, mullet cam, booty cam and head banging cam. It had everyone entertained. Then the countdown started and The Offspring journey began. 

The animated video screens made it feel like a film clip. The combination of live footage melded with animation and crowd shots and inflatable waving armed tube man was a unique display that truly reflected the quirkiness of the band and reflected many of their album covers and video clips.

They opened with ‘Come Out and Play‘, and the eager crowd roared with the crowd singing every word and the band not missing a beat. 

It was clear that the crowd were long time fans and that this night had been a long time in the making. With tour delays due to Covid, fans were long overdue for a night full of the music that only The Offspring could deliver.

From their ’90s radio releases to their new album ‘Let the Bad Times Roll’, their music has a distinctive sound that separates them from other bands of that era. Their dedicated fan base brings people of all ages together. One father introduced the next generation to the band when he brought his children to the gig and experienced the circle pit. 

Noodle did his research referring to the crowd as “Queensland Crazy”. The crowd responded by showing them just how crazy they could be. He had them singing lyrics and described them as “a choir of angels”.

The band moved away from some of their classics to introduce the single off their new albumThey played this with the perfection of the studio version.

The lightshow and animation continued as Noodles moved into his own segment called “Noodles playing with himself”…. A combination of ‘Sweet Child of Mine‘, ‘Thunderstruck‘ and ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King‘, firstly playing live, followed by an animation of himself playing on screen. A brilliant use of animation coupled with incredible guitar skills that rocked the venue.

In a throwback to The Ramones, they moved into a cover of ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ that had the crowd go crazy.

Dexter handed over the singing to the crowd for ‘Pretty Fly for a White Guy’ and they didn’t let him down. They responded with booming voices to sing the chorus. The stage antics were in full swing, including the recognisable inflatable tube man taking the stage. 

The show slowed as the piano was brought to the stage and Dexter played a moving version of ‘Gone Away’. The crowd went silent as they again raised their flashlights in a dedication to those they had lost. To stand in a venue that went from thunderous noise to being able to hear a pin drop shows the versatility of this band to not only play the music they are renowned for, but to also play something so beautiful and moving.

Crowd favourites, ‘Why Don’t You Get a Job and ‘Spare Me The Details’ saw the venue erupt with the crowd singing every word with the lyrics echoing right to the top of the hill and beach balls flying around the moshpit. 

The set ended with the same energy level that it started with, playing ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright.’ The crowd roared as it came to a close and the chant started immediately for them to return. Resonating through the venue the crowd called for “One more song”.

The Offspring returned to play their encore with ‘You’re Gonna Go FarKid and ‘Self Esteem‘, two songs that the crowd had longed to hear. The crowd sang loudly and the band responded by playing hard. The moshpit was worked up into a frenzy as the set came to a close.

Having seen The Offspring three times before, I went in with high expectations knowing how much they give to their audience and I wasn’t disappointed. This was the first time I had seen Sum 41 and I was totally blown away by them. This concert delivered in every way and the combination of Sum 41 and The Offspring took it to another level. 


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