The Offspring @Manchester Apollo, 25th August 2015

Live reviews by Rachel McMurdo

Live Photography by Fiona Harold

The Offspring, The Menzingers & Bright Young People

Legendary punk rock band The Offspring first formed in 1984 in California. They have recorded a total of 9 studio albums and 4 EPs as well as various compilation and video albums. They have been touring ever since they formed with barely a year off to rest in-between. Tonight’s gig at the Manchester Apollo was one of only 2 UK dates on this latest tour and had sold out, as had the Brixton Academy gig the following night- which was to be expected!

Bright Young People

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Bright Young People had the pleasure of opening for The Offspring on their two UK dates. The trio who are based in Rhyl, Wales have been described as a modern-day Stooges and there were certainly elements of the American punk rockers as the three guys brought their brand of garage/punk/rock ‘n’ roll to the Apollo tonight and added their own twists and turns, ranging from grungy to heavy with elements of Brit Pop also thrown in.

Bright Young People combined a great beat with a well refined sound and got heads nodding and feet tapping throughout the audience. The closing number was single ‘Liberties’ taken from the debut EP Sunshine Town which is well worth a listen!

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Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/brightyoungpeopleband

The Menzingers

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Next up were punk rockers The Menzingers from Scranton, Pennsylvania. They have only been around since 2006 but released 4 albums between 2007-2014 and are certainly making their mark on the music scene worldwide, having toured with such bands as Anti Flag and Against Me! Guitarists/vocalists Greg Barnett and Tom May took turns to sing lead vocals and the 9-song set managed to comprise a really good mix of songs from all four studio albums.

The punchy, rocky ‘I Was Born’ was followed by the more fun and bouncy ‘Nice Things’ after Tom got everyone in the crowd clapping along. The Menzingers are a band who know how to do proper pop punk numbers with great energy and there were some elements of other US bands of the same genre, but they also had an originality that really shone through. Penultimate song was a cover of ‘Kate is Great’ by The Bouncing Souls and the set closed on ‘In Remission’ from their 2014 album, Rented World.

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Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/themenzingers

The Offspring

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The Apollo was packed out by the time The Offspring came on to a brilliantly loud reception and went straight into ‘You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid’ followed by ‘All I Want’ with no messing about. These guys have so much energy and belted out tune after tune. The crowd were loving it; pogoing and singing along to every song with loud enthusiasm, prompting Dexter at one point to exclaim: “You guys are on fire tonight!” During ‘Bad Habit’ frontman Dexter Holland & lead guitarist/vocalist Noodles stood near front of stage and said they wanted to hear everyone singing along. They seemed genuinely happy with the reaction of the crowd throughout the gig and whatever they played was received with the same enthusiasm, from the old to the new.

The Offspring played an awesome 19 songs in total and the atmosphere was brilliant from start to finish. The songs never get old and the audience itself was a real mixture of age groups which is always good to see. Things seemed to go up a notch when ‘Want You Bad’ was played towards the end of the set (not that I thought it was possible to get any more crazy!) and this was carried through ‘Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)’ and ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’ which brought the main set to a close.

The Offspring of course then came back on to play a couple more- ‘(Can’t Get My) Head Around You’ and the amazing ‘Self Esteem’, from 1994 album Smash. These guys could have easily played a bigger venue such as The Arena but I personally was glad they decided to play The Apollo as it was great to see them in a slightly more intimate venue. I came away covered in beer, with my voice almost non-existent and a massive smile on my face-that’s the measure of a great gig in my opinion!

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Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Offspring

Setlist:

You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid
All I Want
Come Out and Play
Coming for You
Hammerhead
Have You Ever
Staring at the Sun
Bad Habit
Million Miles Away
Gotta Get Away
Hit That
Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?
Why Don’t You Get a Job?
Americana
Want You Bad
Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)
The Kids Aren’t Alright

Encore:

(Can’t Get My) Head Around You
Self Esteem


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