LIVE REVIEW: The Offspring at Wembley Arena, London

THE OFFSPRING announce headline Dublin show at 3Arena on 21st November 2021

Before this “Let the Bad Times Roll” tour began, The Offspring was caught up with COVID issues. They decided not to invite drummer Pete Parada (who had toured with them since 2007) because he remained unvaccinated. Furthermore, a month before this tour began, lead guitarist Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman tested positive for COVID, encouraging people to get vaccinated.

With COVID aside, this latest tour, which consists of a free gig in Hull in support of NHS and frontline workers, has excited the British public. Judging by the bare fraction of space between people at the Wembley Arena, excitement for this band (now in their 37th year) remains tremendous.

Whilst it was not a single, something was reassuring when The Offspring opened the set with “Staring at the Sun”, the sophomore track from Americana. For many, Americana was one of the most poignant LP’s that year delivered the band some of their most commercially successful singles.  The Offspring adroitly waited until well into the second half of the set before playing three of these singles: “Why Don’t You Get A Job?”, The Kids Aren’t Alright” and not forgetting the number one single, “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)”.  Whether it was retrospective halcyon reminiscence, the joy of Wembley Arena from singing the words to these songs from memory was undeniable. Similar euphoria was also felt for post-Americana hits “Original prankster”, “Want You Bad”, and “Hit That”.

The fans were happy that The Offspring were generously offering a range of hits from their back catalogue. The three new songs from their latest LP, Let the Bad Times Roll, were received with passionate enthusiasm. Whether it was the captivating accompanying visuals or Let the Bad Times Roll is the first new LP in nine years, the fans were pleased that The Offspring’s creative clock did not stop in 2012 when they released Days Go By. Fans were not disappointed that no material from 2012 surfaced but was pleased that songs from its predecessor, Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace, were performed.

From the albums which brought the commercial hit singles, the 1994 LP, which first introduced the band to mainstream success, was paid homage to with four songs, including “Self Esteem”, “Come Out and play”, and “Gotta Get Away”.

With “Dexter” Holland being the only remaining founding member of the band and Keith John Wasserman (Noodles) joining a year later, the pair separately performed solo pieces. “Dexter”, with a grand piano performed “Gone Away” from Americana’s predecessor Ixnay on the Hombre, which resonated a sound that went on to influence Linkin Park’s material. Noodles stuck to the guitar in his solo session, which he entitled “Noodles plays with himself”. He covered Edvard Greig’s incidental “In the Hall of the Mountain King”, which bands from Marillion to The Who have also been covered.

Whilst The Offspring undoubtedly proved they could still deliver live, the contributions from supporting acts Bob Vylan and The Hives cannot be underestimated. These acts gave performances to the standard expected from the main act at a large venue like Wembley Arena.


Xsnoize Author
Michael Barron 314 Articles
Michael first began writing whilst studying at university; reviewing the latest releases and live gigs. He has since contributed to the Fortean Times as well as other publications. Michael’s musical tastes vary from Indie to psychedelic, folk and dubstep.

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