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Hamburg OS 86 byJoshKimSporthalle, Hamburg, Germany
17th May 2023
The Offspring - “Let The Bad Times Roll” Tour - Special guests: Trash Boat, Four Year Strong

“Let The Bad Times Roll” - under this motto and with the album of the same name in their luggage, THE OFFSPRING visited Hamburg on 17th May 2023 and turned the Sporthalle into a Punk Rock party. The current long-player ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’ was released in spring 2021. Thanks to the efforts of Livenation, four concerts in Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, and Düsseldorf were on the tour schedule from 14 to 22 May 2023.

Two support bands on the night are TRASH BOAT and FOUR YEARS STRONG. TRASH BOAT is a British Punk Rock band formed in St Albans in 2014. The energetic, young Brits played their best Punk Rock, which, compared to the somewhat shallow and overly monotonous American Pop-Punk band from Massachusetts, FOUR YEARS STRONG performance that followed, really engages you. In between the support bands, a ‘Best of the 90s’ soundtrack was played with songs from LOU BEGA, THE SPICE GIRLS, A-HA’s ‘Take On Me’, etc… and the audience sang along enthusiastically.

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During the change-over after the support bands’ performances, THE OFFSPRING came up with something special: one of the Crew members came on stage dressed as an orangutan, he catapulted oranges and various extra projectiles at the fans, danced, took pictures with the front rows, and entertained the audience in every way while drones flew around the hall and caught everyone on “Kiss Cam”. The point of the game is that whoever gets on the “Kiss Cam” and is shown close-up on the big screen on the stage has to kiss the person next to them. In between, there is a countdown showing the remaining time until the main action starts. It was a bit like an American football match. However, it really was a lot of fun.

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The Offspring

THE OFFSPRING, considered by many to be one of the best Punk Rock bands of all time, are known for their distinctive sound and biting comments on the state of society. The multi-platinum band achieved their global breakthrough with their 1994 album ‘Smash’, which has since sold more than 11 million copies. One hit after another followed and THE OFFSPRING made Punk Rock socially acceptable in the mainstream. For the band, this means more than 40 million records sold, numerous shows in full stadiums, and a huge fan base worldwide.

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Music & Performance
Shortly after 9 pm, THE OFFSPRING show up, the first bars are played and the Sporthalle literally explodes to the sample ‘You Gotta Keep ‘em Separated’. The crowd starts to move, it is the 90s again, early 2000s and we are back at the school disco! The setlist delighted ‘Original Prankster’, ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’. During ‘Bad Habit’, THE OFFSPRING interrupt their set and reflect - charmingly rehearsed - on how it must all just be high school dreams. Also, guitarist Noodles really rocked the stage, getting the crowd going as best he could, as the Germans had the next day off officially, so everyone had a great yell - “Fuck you Hamburg” in different tones, repeating after Noodles.

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Some interesting covers were played on the night, such as ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ by THE RAMONES, which the band played in its entirety. ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ by Edward Griggs, announced as “Noodle plays itself”, works very well again. Not to be missed is the piano solo ‘Gone Away’ that vocalist Dexter performed alone, playing a beautiful white grand piano. According to Dexter, when he first played this solo, he felt very lonely for he had lost someone close to him. It was indeed very moving and beautiful with the whole hall lighting up their mobile phones. Everything sparkled during this sensitive performance.

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After these amusing interludes, THE OFFSPRING return to their core competence: hits, hits, hits! Even if ‘Gotta Get Away’ seems a little weak, the sound is pleasantly reminiscent of the 90s. With few backing tracks, sometimes Dexter’s voice gets a little lost, but it does not matter because the audience knows all the lyrics and cheers loudly. New drummer Brandon Pertzborn has also brought a breath of fresh air and a lot of energy to the scene. The young man, still recently active in SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, really acts as if it is his life’s work. Beer glasses fly, the audience is cheering, and no one is sitting in the stands. The Sporthalle turns into a big pool of balls with ‘Why Don’t You Get a Job?’, ‘Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)’, and ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’ and the hall just goes crazy, at the same time it’s like a time machine again that takes you back to your childhood.

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After two encores and about 90 minutes, the show ends: As expected, THE OFFSPRING finish their first concert in Hamburg in 15 years with ‘Self Esteem’, the anthem of all 90s outsiders. Moreover, it has lost none of its power to this day. One last “Lalala”, one last “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”, and now this fabulously interesting concert is over. Hopefully, neither the fans nor the band will have to wait so long to have fun together again.

01. Come Out and Play
02. All I Want
03. Want You Bad
04. Let the Bad Times Roll
05. Staring at the Sun
06. Original Prankster
07. Genocide
08. Hit That
09. Hammerhead
10. Bad Habit
11. In the Hall of the Mountain King (Edvard Grieg cover)
12. Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones cover)
13. Gotta Get Away
14. Gone Away (Piano Solo)
15. Why Don’t You Get a Job?
16. (Can’t Get My) Head Around You
17. Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)
18. The Kids Aren’t Alright
19. You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid
20. Self Esteem

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Sound: 8
Light: 9
Total: 9.3 / 10

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All Pictures by Josh Kim

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