Thousands of music fans braced the cold to see punk rock legends The Offspring as part of their latest headline tour at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena.
Queues of excitable fans snaked around the National Exhibition Centre venue - gigs are back post-lockdown, and the anticipation for a night of live music was palpable despite the gloomy weather. After a rousing set from London duo Bob Vylan that suitably warmed the dithering crowd by testing their dancing shoes, Swedish rockers The Hives barrelled onto the stage for a rip-roaring set like no other. Despite entering the room in matching monochromatic ensembles, there was nothing black and white about The Hives as they delivered a technicolour storm of gruff vocals, face-melting guitar riffs, booming bass lines and savage drum sections through hit tracks Walk Idiot Walk, Main Offender, Go Right Ahead and more.
“After the pandemic, punk rock shows are back,” vocalist Per ‘Pelle’ Almqvist bellowed.
“Take a second to pinch your arm, it's really happening.” The Swedish quintet wrapped the audience around their fingers thanks to their effortless charisma and electric stage presence that transformed the room from a steadily nodding bunch to a rabble of singing, dancing and pint-throwing. Ending on smash hits Hate To Say I Told You So and Tick Tick Boom, The Hives delivered a stellar live performance that successfully cleared the cobwebs in a room of music fans starved of live music since 2020.
Since their formation in 1984, California punks The Offspring have continually brought alternative music to the mainstream with an impressive catalogue of hit singles, multi-platinum albums, TV and video game soundtracks, and much more that has cemented their legendary status.
And they left no doubt in anyone’s mind that this reputation is well-deserved following an explosive show that blew the roof off the Resorts World Arena.
Kicking off their set with renditions of Staring at The Sun, Come Out and Play and hit single Want You Bad, The Offspring set the room alight from the get-go as the crowd turned into a wave of bouncing bodies. “We always have a great time in Birmingham, in fact the whole Midlands,” guitarist Kevin ‘Noodles’ Wasserman told the venue to adoring screams, before diving into a guitar solo frenzy featuring well known riffs from GBH, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden.
Vocalist Bryan ‘Dexter’ Holland showcased his instantly recognisable and powerful vocal style through flawless performances of Let the Bad Times Roll, Hit That, Why Don’t You Get A Job?, Pretty Fly For A White Guy, and a spine-tingling piano rendition of heartfelt fan favourite Gone Away.
The Offspring are a band that are clearly most at home when on stage. Their instant comfortability with a crowd and the ability to control the reactions of a room of thousands through the most simple of stage choices is a true testament to their legacy. Ending the night with unbelievably loud performances of The Kids Aren’t Alright, You’re Gonna Go Far Kid and Self Esteem, The Offspring showed their best performing years are far from behind them. Live music is back, and if this show is anything to go by, it's bigger and better than ever.