September 23, 2021 | Concert Review by Traci Turner
The city of Nashville was incredibly loud this weekend because The Offspring brought a real rock show to town. Of course, OC Music News readers should not be surprised to hear the CA boys blew the doors off the Brooklyn Bowl.
After a decade in the making, The Offspring delivered their 10th album, “Let the Bad Times Roll,” this year, and they took to the road as soon as it was safe to promote it. With a nice mix of old and new tracks, they performed for a sold-out crowd at one of Nashville’s newest venues.
When the lights went out, the crowd – who were already pretty pumped – started hollering. Bad Religion’s drummer Jamie Miller (who is filling in for Josh Freese’s fill-in duties) began a drumbeat as band members Noodles and Todd Morse walked out with Jonah Nimoy to cheers. As expected, another loud yell went up when front-man Dexter Holland made his appearance.
Jumping into “Americana,” the band – sharply dressed, I must say – reminded everyone how damn good they are. When they jumped into “Come Out and Play,” fans started video recording and singing along.
Holland welcomed the crowd with an enthusiastic “Hell yes! Hello Music City!” Noodles added, “I fucking love Nashville!” They praised the sold-out show and shared the camaraderie Offspring fans know them for. They then removed their jackets and got serious about rocking even harder.
After “Staring at the Sun” had the crowd clapping and singing in unison, an organ instrumental kicked off “Want You Bad,” which proved to be a crowd (and reviewer) favorite.
Noodles announced “I’m having a spectacular evening!” and reminded the audience that these songs were all courtesy of the songwriting skills of one Dr. Dexter Holland. He suggested Holland teach some classes on the subject and they continued to joke around. Holland said it was time for “some new shit” and they launched into “The Opioid Diaries” from the latest album (although fans know it as a previous show track). They went right into the title track “Let the Bad Times Roll,” and the fans proved they knew the new music by singing and jumping along. But we all know the “oldies” get a huge response at shows and that’s what happened when the first notes of “Original Prankster” began.
All the singing and jumping continued for “Bad Habit” and Holland was jumping along with everyone. They stopped playing towards the end of “Bad Habit” and ramped up the crowd, getting them to cheer. Holland announced, “We’re just playing our little hearts out!” Noodles suggested the crowd “has the singing voice of angels, but the vocabulary of sailors” which led to the popular line being sung by the crowd: “You stupid dumb shit goddamn motherfucker!”
Holland and Noodles bantered a bit more with Holland calling Noodles “the greatest guitar player” and there was a mini jam session of heavy metal bits which included a version of Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King.”
The lights were dimmed and a piano was rolled onto the stage. Fans know the track “Gone Away,” but the band has been doing a slower version at shows (plus added it to the new album), and that’s exactly what Holland did. Alone on the stage, he talked about the song being special to him and with so much loss in our world, he wanted to share the song with us. It was indeed a beautiful moment.
The piano was rolled away and the band returned with popular songs “Why Don’t You Get a Job?” and “(Can’t Get My) Head Around You.” The festive vibe returned and things were loud again. After Noodles told the crowd “You look so damn hot and sexy!,” “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” made the crowd flip out yet again.
The band thanked the crowd and briefly left the stage before returning for an encore with “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” – which of course includes the lyrics featured on many of the shirts worn by fans: “Now dance, fucker, dance!” At the end, Noodles said, “I knew they were going to like that song!” before jokingly reminding fans to look for “Dr. Dexter Holland’s songwriting class.”
With many thanks to the crowd, and Noodles’ declaration of “We felt the love tonight,” they kicked into “Self Esteem” to end the evening.
Between the Dexter and Noodles repartee, the animated drumming of Miller, Holland’s unmistakable voice, and the excellent musical skills of the entire band, it was definitely a show worthy of its sold out status.
The Offspring has more tour dates in the US, so check them out if you can!
The Offspring Set List:
2. This Is Not Utopia
3. Come Out and Play
4. Staring at the Sun
5. Want You Bad
6. The Opioid Diaries
7. Let the Bad Times Roll
8. Original Prankster
9. Bad Habit
10. In the Hall of the Mountain King (Edvard Grieg cover)