The Offspring is a band close to my heart that I try to go and see almost every year. This year, they came to Vorst Nationaal in Brussels, which was my first time seeing them indoors. Let’s see what they have up their sleeves this year. Will their show be roughly the same, or will they change it up? Let’s check it out.
Opening band Trash Boat is a punk rock band from England. Right from the start, the energy sparkled off them, encouraging everybody to jump up and down and move around. Lead singer Tobi Duncan brought both clean and raspy vocals to give more emphasis to certain parts of the song. They brought fast punk rock music with awesome riffs to bang your head on.
Because they wanted to play a song that everybody knew, they played a cover of Given Up by Linkin Park to bring a tribute to lead singer Chester Bennington. After that song, Tobi explained how their song Alpha Omega goes. Let’s just say that everybody knows how to swear. And let’s also say that it’s nice to scream swear words as loud as you can to release your energy.
Trash Boat has released three albums so far. The latest one was released in 2021 and is called: Don’t you Feel Amazing? They did play some songs of that one tonight like Alpha Omega, Bad Entertainment, and He’s So Good. We also got to hear a brand-new song called Delusions Of Grandeur. Keep an eye out for their new music!
Delusions of Grandeur
Given Up (Linkin Park cover)
He’s So Good
Four Year Strong
Four Year Strong was another first for me. The band came on stage and immediately had a “down to earth” expression. It didn’t matter if you knew them or not, Four Year Strong was there to give everybody a good time. And they did. Even though I’m not familiar with their songs, I had a great time dancing to their music. They brought really nice melodic punk as I like to call it. Not harsh or hard punk, but danceable melodic tunes that made your body move.
Four Year Strong played two Green Day covers; Brain Stew and Jaded. They also were the first band of the night to create a circle pit in the center of the crowd. An excellent warm-up for what was to come, but also a band that I would check out again if they came to Belgium again. The last song was one that they always end their shows on. Not that I know that, but it was clearly noticeable by the volume of the crowd around me. The song is called Wasting Time (Eternal Summer) that was released on their Enemy of the World record in 2009. The album was also re-recorded in 2020.
Brain Stew (Green Day Cover)
Jaded (Green Day Cover)
Find My Way Back
Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)
Just when I thought I was going to see the same show again and again, The Offspring took out everything they had to make this show amazing. It started already while the crew was getting the stage ready for the band to perform. They took their tiny drone blimp with them, that flew around getting footage of the crew and releasing guitar picks to the crowd now and then. On stage, a bigger camera was pointed to the crowd as well. On the screen behind would appear different assignments for the crowd such as ‘Kiss cam’, ‘Headbang’, and there was a quiz as well. A guy in a monkey suit walked around the whole arena, entertaining people. It’s such an American thing, but it was a very fun experience. I don’t think I stopped smiling throughout the show.
After 40 minutes of fun with the crowd, it was time for the band to take over the stage. The Offspring started by playing one of their hits; Come Out and Play followed by All I Want. Lead singer Dexter Holland doesn’t always hit his high notes exactly right, but tonight he did. As soon as the first note was played, the crowd went wild and everybody was moving around. The Offspring really have something magical to them. When they play, you move.
The show contained their greatest hits, like Pretty Fly, The Kids Aren’t Alright and Self Esteem. Those are always there. But for someone who sees the band almost every year, it was very nice that they changed the order of the setlist for once. There was not a lot from their latest album, Let the Bad Times Roll. Which is a bit strange to me since the tour carries the name of that album. But we did get the title track and lead guitarist Noodles did this thing where he played with himself, AKA where there’s a video of him on the screen while he also plays guitar. He played In the Hall of the Mountain King then.
Original Prankster is one of the songs that I haven’t heard them play live yet. Tonight it made the cut to the setlist as well as Genocide; an older song from their 1994 album Smash. The rest of the setlist were classics that they usually play, but in a different order, so I for once didn’t know what was going to come next. They also added these little intro’s to the songs to give a different sound to it. They did that for example with Want You Bad and Hit That.
Besides the great songs, we had some small talk by Noodles and Dexter. Noodles said that there were one million sixty-nine thousand and five people in the room. He was joking, but he did manage to repeat the same number throughout the show. Later in the show there was a “glow in the dark” drone blimp, one that didn’t drop stuff but looked very cool. Dexter did a very beautiful piano version of Gone Away, but got beer thrown at him at the end, which wasn’t the nicest thing. Throughout the show, the sound of the instruments was good, but the vocals could be a bit louder. I heard the people next to me singing louder than that I heard Dexter sing.
As the encore, they played You’re Gonna Go Far Kid and you guessed it, Self Esteem. That’s the song they always close on, and it’s the best one to close on. It’s one last time to release the energy that you have left and give it your all. Really one of the best Offspring shows I’ve been to, with lots of interaction from the band with the crowd.
Come Out and Play
All I Want
Want You Bad
Let the Bad Times Roll
Staring at the Sun
In the Hall of the Mountain King
Gotta Get Away
Gone Away (piano version)
Why Don’t You Get a Job?
(Can’t Get My) Head Around You
Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)
The Kids Aren’t Alright
You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid
My first experience of an indoor show of The Offspring was truly amazing. The band gave it their all, as well as the opening bands Trash Boat and Four Year Strong. The most amazing thing was the echo that the venue creates. The music as well as the crowd get this extra dimension to it, and I absolutely loved it.