The Offspring at Download Festival 2014 review

'Rip roaring retake of their third album, Smash'

Photographer: Sara BowreyAnna Hyams on 17 June 2020

Stage two headliner is the kind of backhanded compliment we've seen paid to many other legends of the rock metal genre over the years at Download, and although The Offspring are proper punk rock, rather than metal, the packed Zippo Encore arena says they're a huge part of the musical history of so many metalheads here.

As the band get settled into a rip roaring retake of third album 'Smash'‎, an influx of skanking masses join the party from the A7X side. 'Nitro (Youth Energy)' suffers a bit of patchy sound and Dexter's vocals can hardly be heard, but all is well with the run of 'Smash' hits (terrible pun) 'Self Esteem' sparking an enormous singalong from the crowd, 'Killboy Powerhead' and 'What Happened To You'. Even the ten minute rainshower couldn't dampen spirits, with band members joking "This is my favourite song on this fucking album" for almost every song.

"I don't ever want to leave. Let's camp the whole fucking weekend. Can we sleep with you? We want to sleep with each and every one of you. Well, okay. Some of you"‎, Noodles yells out, inviting everyone to share a beer with him, and it's time for some Ixnay style intermission.

As the band return to stage and drop the banner to reveal the giant flaming skull logo and a raft of seizure-inducing light boards for the encore, we are treated to a quick checklist of hits including 'All I want', 'Staring at the Sun', 'Self Esteem', 'Pretty Fly for a White Guy' and to close, an eardrum shuddering rendition of 'The Kids Aren't Alright'. It's safe to say The Offspring are as solid as ever and a definite punk highlight in a weekend of metal bands.


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