A nine-hour round trip, just to see one band? On a school night? Well, it was The Offspring.
The evening started with a battle through rush-hour traffic to the Academy 1 in Manchester, and was swiftly followed by an hour sitting outside the venue whilst waiting for confirmation of my press pass to be ‘phoned through from the US. I missed Broadway Calls entirely, and was getting pretty pessimistic by the time I could hear Rival Schools’ set drifting out of the venue to where I was sat.
However, shortly after that my pass was confirmed and I caught the tail end of the set. I was gutted I didn’t see Rival Schools prior to them splitting up, and had high hopes for last night’s performance, given the energy and emotion evident in their two albums. I was therefore a bit disappointed when they turned out to be a bit dull. That said, it was certainly a competent performance, so I can’t really complain too much.
The Offspring’s set was pretty much a “Greatest Hits”. I’m normally so absorbed in shooting the first three songs that I can’t actually tell you what tracks were played, but Bad Habit was blasted out with enough vigour to force it’s way into my brain with very little effort. There was a good mix of stuff from right across their spread of albums, presumably in preparation for the forthcoming festival season. They carried on delivering standout tracks right through to the end, with Want You Bad in the encore being the highlight of the evening for me. I’ve wanted to see The Offspring for a long time now, and thankfully last night’s performance was totally worth the trip.