Gig Review – The Offspring – Channel [V] Online

Originally posted at Channel [V]

Venue: Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Date: 8 March 2013

Guys, 1992 was like heaps long ago. Like, 21 years if I’m not mistaken. Did you know that back then our Prime Minister was *GOOGLE DUDES NAME AND INSERT HERE*? Back then a loaf of bread cost *MAKE-UP PRICE AND PUT HERE*. Since 1992 *LOOK UP HISTORICAL EVENTS ON WIKIPEDIA AND LIST HERE*! I know, right? Crazy to think about isn’t it… Anyway I mention all this thoroughly researched information because 1992 is the year immortal punk gods The Offspring released their album Ignition which for some reason they decided to play in full at their Soundwave sideshow at The Enmore Theatre.

Support band Far Away Stables seem to have the whole Aussie alternative-rock thing fairly down-pat for a pack of fresh-faced locals. They belted out some catchy punk-edged tunes with a performance as tight as their matching black skinny jeans. Although their cover of Benny Benassi tune ‘Cinema’ didn’t really hit the mark (nor the board, wall or general vicinity of whatever target metaphor I’m butchering here) their own material had a professional sound to it that attests to their recent high-profile support slots. And hey only one dude told them to “Get the fuck off the stage” so that’s not bad!

Like I mentioned to death above, two decades isn’t a short period of time and The Offspring aren’t (Off)spring chickens anymore. That being said, although both leading men Dexter and Noodles are in or nearing their 50s, the sound of their live performance is as spritely and youthful as I’m sure it was in 1992 (I couldn’t say for sure though, I was too busy shitting my daks and sucking boob to make it to a gig back then). The vocals of Dexter, especially, were surprisingly immaculate and belie the age and appearance of the now 47-year-old punk legend, and Noodles’ backing vocals and guitar-work fared no worse. Take that, mid-life crisis!

Beginning with a verbatim run-through of Ignition seemed like a bit of an odd choice, however. I understand the whole “anniversary yaaaaay!” thing but their second album is void of any stand-out tracks and lacks the vigour and full-throttle mischievousness of their later work. The first half of the night therefore felt a bit flat and although they sounded solid enough, the guys’ inability to throw themselves around the stage like they used to made for an unenergetic run of songs that only old school fans would’ve really been thrilled by.

Leaving the stage for a quick break and apparently a beer (more likely a peptide or two), The Offspring returned and started the show right and proper with the famous flaming skull logo now ablaze and the previously bland lighting replaced with violent strobes. Blasting through more hits than a night out with Chris Brown, the guys completely made up for a lacklustre opening with ‘Spare Me the Details’, ‘Come Out and Play” and ‘You’re Gonna Go Far Kid’ all inspiring mayhem and mass sing-alongs from the varied sweaty horde.

Newer fans rocked out shirtless alongside die-hards wearing tour shirts definitely twice as old as some of the crowd members, with oddly more than a few confused pre-pubescents in attendance. Speaking of, massive shout-out to the cool mum who brought her 12-year-old son and committed to taking around 30 flash-photos of her pride and joy during the gig. I’m sure you nailed that new profile pic of his, Mum. And don’t worry, the entire Enmore weren’t baying for your blood or anything. ROCK ON!

After another quick break (and no doubt a quick injection of some calf blood) the band brought out their signature “woah-ohs” in full, finishing off the crowd with set-closer ‘Self Esteem’. Showing The Enmore a sound that has maintained its brilliance over 20 years, The Offspring proved that age is but a number and definitely earned themselves a good night’s sleep. I’m sure they’ve got an early start in the morning for a big day of antiquing or visiting the markets or something.

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