The Offspring in Tampa: Powerful, energetic set for a raucous crowd

Live Review

The Offspring. Photo by Chyrisse.

By “Tampa” Earl Burton, Journalist, and Chyrisse Tabone, Photographer – Rock At Night Tampa

Live review: The Offspring with Artikal Sound System – Seminole Hard Rock-Tampa, FL – May 5, 2024

When you attend a concert on a Sunday night, you can run the gamut of experiences. A Sunday show can be affected by those coming off the Saturday night binger trying to get one last gasp in before heading back to work on Monday, or it can be a bit of a downer as people sometimes don’t show because of that Monday job thing. Fortunately for the packed house at the Seminole Hard Rock Event Center in Tampa on May 5, the former was the case as The Offspring brought their powerful Nineties pop-punk stylings to a thoroughly entertained crowd.

Come Out and…

Todd Morse, Jonah Nimoy, Dexter Holland, & Noodles Wasserman of The Offspring. Photo by Chyrisse.

If you are going to do a show, and you have a song in your repertoire called “Come Out and Play,” what ELSE are you going to start a concert with? The floor was packed with the General Admission crowd (yes, that meant standing for the roughly eighty-minute show) and they were there to throw back to the music and their libations. As such, vocalist/guitarist Bryan “Dexter” Holland pitched himself into the celebration of the tune as the band hammered out the punk classic.

Todd Morse, Jonah Nimoy & Dexter Holland of The Offspring. Photo by Chyrisse.

Yes, this is true. The current tour for The Offspring is a bit of a celebration, the 30th anniversary of their monstrously successful Smash album, and the rowdy crowd that was in attendance could remember that day very well. Five songs of the sixteen-song set performed were from Smash, the most of any album in The Offspring’s discography. Material from this album seemed to draw the best out of the band also, as Holland and lead guitarist Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman played with a fervor that you don’t expect from bands with this lengthy a time in the business.

Holland and Wasserman also enjoyed the closeness of the Event Center crowd (which was right up against the stage). “It’s so nice to have everyone so CLOOOOOSE!” Wasserman excitedly said after Holland mentioned that it was a “nice, intimate show.” Holland also took time to note the significance of the 30th anniversary of Smash, joking with the Tampanians, “Oh, you’ve heard of it?”

Todd Morse of The Offspring. Photo by Chyrisse.

The band itself was in rare form, with Holland’s voice standing out above the din of the band. Punk isn’t the most musically diverse genre out there, but “Noodles” demonstrated why that became his nickname by expertly guiding the band through a punked-up version of Edvard Grieg’s “Hall of the Mountain King,” which was blazing and flawless. With veteran musicians such as multi-instrumentalist (he had timbales and bongos on stage!) Jonah Nimoy (yes, the grandson of legendary actor Leonard Nimoy), bassist Todd Morse, and Brandon Pertzborn on the drums, by the time The Offspring reached their climactic close with the venerable “Self Esteem,” the crowd was thoroughly entertained – and exhausted – from the power and strength of the performance.

Artikal Sound System an Excellent Complement as Opening Act

Artikal Sound System. Photo by Chyrisse.

Opening the show for The Offspring was the Florida-based reggae-rock band Artikal Sound System, who were more than up for the challenge of revving the crowd up. A. S. S. (hey, that is what their shirts said at the merch stand – “I ♥ A. S. S.”) has been a part of the music scene around Florida since 2012 with their particular brand of No Doubt-esque sounds. Before this, what might be their claim to fame (or infamy, depending on your stance) was their lawsuit against pop sensation and Best New Grammy recipient Dua Lipa, claiming her song “Levitating” was a rip of the band’s “Live Your Life,” which was dismissed last year.

That was not on the crowd’s mind (or the band, for that matter) as A. S. S. came on for a brisk 35-minute set that featured their vocalist Logan Rex (whom Gwen Stefani had an obvious impact on). If there was one thing to suggest to the band, you might want to mention the titles of the songs you are playing if people aren’t familiar with your ditties. Rex did admit that many of the tunes were new material, saying, “We did thirty minutes the other night, but they didn’t let the crowd in for about 25 (minutes)…that doesn’t count as “playing” new material, so you’re the first to hear these songs!”

Fabian Acuña of Artikal Sound System. Photo by Chyrisse.

The band itself – Rex, bassist and band founder Fabian Acuna, guitarist and founder Chris Montague, Adam Kampf on the drums, and Chris Cope handling the keyboards – was remarkably tight, as reggae is a difficult style to play with its offbeat tempos. The songs were very well done, Rex was a dynamo on the stage, and it certainly opened the night’s festivities well by getting the crowd prepped for The Offspring’s efforts.

Overall, The Offspring/Artikal Sound System show was very well done, highly energetic, and entertained a very exuberant audience on what otherwise would have been a sleepy Sunday night. If you get the chance around Florida, check out A. S. S., and celebrate the 30th anniversary of Smash with The Offspring should they journey to your town.



Tampa Earl

Forest Live Festival – UK

Forest Live Festival – UK

Manchester Psych Fest – UK

Manchester Psych Fest – UK

Totally Tubular Festival

Totally Tubular Festival