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Show Review: The Offspring lets the good times roll on energetic headlining tour

Generations of fans braved another scorching Arizona evening to party with The Offspring and friends on their Let the Bad Times Roll Tour. The band was joined by Simple Plan and Sum 41 for a show that had good times rolling with killer tunes and plenty of nostalgia.

Sum 41 announced their final days as a band a while back and they took this opening slot opportunity to celebrate over 20 years of genre-defining music. Their brief sprint of a set included all the hits and the Talking Stick Resort Pavilion crowd turned out in full force to catch their favorites. The band gave their audience the proper “Motivation” to sing all the words, as fans on the barricade decked out in old tour shirts headbanged in solidarity to “Over My Head” and the classic “Fat Lip”. Singer Deryck Whibley had every voice involved for a cover of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” before closing the set with a promise of one last headlining tour- an announcement we’re “Still Waiting” for.

Pop punk powerhouse Simple Plan had the middle slot for this tour and, like their counterparts in Sum 41, filled their set time with impossibly catchy throwbacks. Fans that grew up with this band made sure to “Jump” to all their favorites- even if our collective joints won’t let us bounce as much as we used to. Kicking off a set with “I’d Do Anything” is nothing short of a power move in a discography of timeless hits. Even the anthem of a generation of misunderstood kids had some pep to it, as the fans waved their arms in tandem with Pierre Bouvier. 

They also gave us a medley of classic emo covers before jamming through “What’s New Scooby Doo”, another vintage track. In true Simple Plan fashion, drummer Chuck Comeau emerged from behind his kit to crowdsurf and high five every fan in the pit while Bouvier took over the drums on “I’m Just a Kid”. We’re not saying their set was “Perfect” (yes we are), but you’d be hard-pressed to pick a better selection of songs to warm everyone up for The Offspring.

As the setup for the headliner began, the audience was encouraged to get involved in the changeover with the band’s interactive camera scanning crowd. Fans showed off their best attire, headbanged to the pre-show playlist and let The Offspring know that Phoenix was ready for them. When it was time for them to “Come Out and Play”, the roar of the crowd spread all the way to the lawn.

The Offspring puts on a consistently fun show and their extensive setlist had something for every fan across the age spectrum. Like the previous bands on the lineup, we were treated to a medley of upbeat covers in the middle of the set, including a rousing rendition of The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop”. After this intermission, it was back to the hits and the main set concluded with “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” and “The Kids Aren’t Alright”. 

After a two song encore, the band was played off to the dulcet sounds of “Sweet Caroline” and a thoroughly satisfied crowd left the amphitheater rolling on nothing but good times.

Check out all the photos!
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel