25th August 2009, Review by Fatima Meah
The Offspring rock. Period. No ifs, no buts and definitely no maybes. They quite simply rock. Their recent gig at Londons Brixton Academy was proof of their triumphant return. It may have been 25 years later since they first formed, but they are still going strong with anthemic, fist in the air thumping pop-punk. Yes, they are ageing somewhat, but that didnt deter them in the quest for putting on an awesome show as they did at the Brixton Academy.
The Offspring are a fantastic live band. With hardly any need for on stage theatricals, (which one perhaps might have expected in the bands earlier days) the focus was solely on the music. They stormed through a fast paced set of their greatest hits, including The Kids Arent Alright, Why Dont You Get a Job, Pretty Fly (For A White Guy), Hit That amongst many many more. Seriously, they did not disappoint playing pretty much EVERY greatest hit. The Offspring were on fine form the decades have not changed the energy and passion with which they perform. The audience was a varied mish mash of teenage emos, punks, scenesters (notable because of their self assured strutting round the venue) and devoted Offspring fans all united in what was truly a spectacular night.
The highlight would have to be Dexter Hollands stripped down solo version of Gone Away sung lonesome on a piano. It showed how an already established band can take on new directions and evolve. That said, I was personally slightly disappointed they didnt perform this with the whole band (it being one of my favourite Offspring songs). As heartfelt as it sounded, it lacked the layered intensity of all the instruments playing together pounding with desperation. Still, it was a great version.
With almost 5,000 people crammed together in the Academy, the atmosphere in the crowd was electric, with sporadic mosh pits appearing in different areas and lots of singing along, jumping and air fisting at any available opportunity. The music was fantastic made even better by the jovial and carnival-like atmosphere in the audience resulting in one of the most fun and memorable gigs Ive ever been to. By the time they reached the encore, the entire venue was jumping whilst screaming la la la la la to final song Self Esteem. Do The Offspring still have it? Give it to me baby! Of course they do!!