The Offspring have been a band for nearly four decades. It’s taken nearly that long for the band to perform in Victoria. They made their island debut Sunday night with a crowd pleasing 21-song that was packed with their singles and hits.
During the intermission prior to their performance, the tone was set with a playlist of classic hit songs that the sold out Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre sang along to while animations showed on the video screen and an Offspring blimp drown flew around the arena. Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got back was one of those songs and audience members were shown on camera dancing and twerking. The Offspring lead singer Dexter Holland was seen watching from the soundboard before heading backstage while the audience was sing the chorus to A-Ha’s ‘Take On Me’
The Offspring kicked off their show with their first big hit single Come Out and Play right out of the gate. One thing that was noticeable during the show was that the higher register of Holland’s vocals aren’t what they once were. That could be because of age or just the fact that it was the final show of an 18-city Canadian tour. A toned down rendition of ‘Gone Away’ performed solo at a grand piano saw Dexter singing the chorus at a lower octave than the record.
The banter on stage was a bit hit or miss with some moments sounding overly scripted while other moments showed the band just having fun. During a break between songs early on, Holland and lead guitarist Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman joked around about why they’ve never been to Victoria with Holland proclaiming, “How can that be? Our managers are a**h***s.”
Another part that didn’t quite work was Noodles and the band performed some riffs of famous songs like ‘Tom Sawyer’ and ‘Panama’ and performed a couple covers. It didn’t seem necessary with the vast library of songs The Offspring have. The Foo Fighters do a jam sessions section more effectively.
After that it was a wall of fan favourites to the end that had the arena of mostly 30 to 50 somethings on their feet and rocking out.
The show also was full of theatrics from various sized balls being dropped into the GA crowd to a wacky waving inflatable tube white guys on stage for ‘Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)’ that added to the fun.
Opening the show was Montreal’s Simple Plan performing at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre for the first time since their headlining show in 2005. Before performing their first hit ‘I’m Just a Kid’ Pierre Bouvier told the crowd that the song was 20 years old. After the concert I overheard a few people talking about how hearing that made them feel old and reminded them that they’re now “elder millenials”. Simple Plan unfortunately performed to a maybe two-thirds full arena to start because entry was extremely slow with long lines as security had to check every person with metal detector wands. Many were also stuck in long lines for beer and concession. During their performance, the band also had white balls bounce around the crowd and Bouvier even signed one on stage before tossing the autographed ball back into the crowd for a lucky fan.