jakub | August 19, 2023

The Offspring, with Sum 41 and Simple Plan, Obliterated Eardrums at Lakewood Amphitheatre in Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday August 15, 2023


 

 

Legendary punk rockers The Offspring, with special guests Sum 41 and Simple Plan, trekked through a soggy Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday night to the Lakewood Amphitheatre for the latest stop on their Let The Bad Times Roll Tour. Located just a few miles south of downtown, this venue opened back in 1989 and has a posted capacity of nearly 19,000 (7,000 seated). Following a string of afternoon thunderstorms that rumbled through town earlier in the day, the amphitheatre lawn seating still remained a popular attendee choice on Tuesday night, as did the unexpected availability of a general admission audience pit directly in front of the stage.

Shortly before 7:30pm and with AC/DC‘s “T.N.T” blaring over the house speakers, Canadian rock band Sum 41 burst onto the stage to “Motivation,” a track from their debut studio album, All Killer No Filler (2001). The energy in the venue was immediately elevated, especially in the pit area where fans started to dance and mosh around. Donning a sleeveless Guns N’ Roses Lies t-shirt, spirited frontman Deryck Whibley powered the band through a 9-song set that was so much fun, it seemed to end in a blink of an eye. With Whibley flanked by the charismatic crew of Dave Baksh (guitar), “Cone” McCaslin (bass), Tom Thacker (guitar), and Frank Zummo (drums), Sum 41 primary focused their set on delivering fan-favorite radio anthems, including “In Too Deep,” “Fat Lip,” and “Still Waiting.”

For those unaware, Sum 41 announced back in May their plans to officially break up following the release of their forthcoming final album, Heaven x Hell, which should be followed by one last accompanying world tour. Hopefully that tour comes back through Atlanta to a smaller venue, where I am sure they would crush it as a headliner. Either way, they are worth catching before they hang up their instruments.

 

Sum 41

Deryck Whibley – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards
Dave Baksh – lead guitar, backing vocals, occasional co-lead vocals
Jason “Cone” McCaslin – bass, backing vocals
Tom Thacker – rhythm guitar, lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Frank Zummo – drums, percussion, occasional backing vocals

 

 

Setlist

1.) Motivation
2.) The Hell Song
3.) Over My Head (Better Off Dead)
4.) We’re All to Blame
5.) Walking Disaster
6.) We Will Rock You (Queen cover)
7.) In Too Deep
8.) Fat Lip
9.) Still Waiting

 

After a fairly quick equipment change, fellow Canadian rockers Simple Plan stormed to the stage with red strobes and to the theme music from Star Wars at roughly 8:15pm. With the crowd already amped up by Sum 41, Simple Plan busted out “I’d Do Anything” from their 2002 debut studio album, No Pads, No Helmets … Just Balls. Like Sum 41, Simple Plan was full-throttle from their first note. Surrounded by Chuck Comeau (drums), Sebastian Lefebvre (guitar), and Jeff Stinco (guitar), vocalist Pierre Bouvier never stopped moving, guiding the band through an active 11-song set. In fact, it wasn’t until their set was over that I realized they didn’t even have a touring bass player.

As a staple of the Vans Warped Tour for many years, Simple Plan has an established and dedicated pop-punk following that has supported them now for over two decades, and they did not leave their Atlanta fans disappointed. Bouvier and team delivered blistering and fun performances of not only expected tunes like “Welcome to My Life,” “I’m Just a Kid,” and “Perfect,” but they also layered in a treat with “What’s New, Scooby Doo?” This was my first opportunity to catch Simple Plan live, and I certainly hope it isn’t my last.

 

Simple Plan

Pierre Bouvier – lead vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, percussion
Chuck Comeau – drums, percussion
Sébastien Lefebvre – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Jeff Stinco – lead guitar

 

 

Setlist

1.) I’d Do Anything
2.) Shut Up!
3.) Jump
4.) Addicted
5.) Welcome to My Life
6.) Iconic
7.) “Party Song” on setlist (All Star / Sk8er Boi / Mr. Brightside)
8.) What’s New, Scooby Doo?
9.) Where I Belong
10.) I’m Just a Kid
11.) Perfect

 

Following the conclusion of Simple Plan’s set, I had anticipated that the audience would get a momentary breather to relax from the already-exhausting evening of music, but that was not to be. The Offspring smartly kills time between bands through a variety of engagement tactics while the house lights are on, including a kiss cam, a f*ck you cam, a crowd-surfing gorilla, and all-the-while encouraging the crowd to sing-along to blaring hits like A-ha’s “Take On Me.” This entertainment package filled the time until the house went dark again at 9:30pm, signaling the start of The Offspring’s set.

The Offspring kicked their night into high gear immediately, launching into arguably the breakthrough song that put them on the mainstream radio map, “Come Out and Play.” It is almost hard to believe that Smash (1994) is nearing its 30th anniversary, but the screams of the adoring, near sold-out crowd simply validated why The Offspring has had such staying power all these years. The band didn’t let up following “Come Out and Play,” busting out familiar catalog tunes in “All I Want” and “Want You Bad.”

Being an open-air amphitheatre, I took the opportunity to take in the show from a variety of vantage points, which really gave me a sense of the immense production. The Offspring have a huge lighting ensemble, anchored by a large circular screen with timed visuals behind the stage. They also carefully orchestrate their banter, which given how long Dexter Holland and Noodles have been band brothers, just comes naturally. I also noticed that The Offspring have become multi-generational, as there were plenty of teenagers in the audience with their parents.

While the night was filled with hit after hit, including the expected “Pretty Fly” and “The Kids Aren’t Alright” to close out the main set, perhaps the most poignant point was mid-set when Holland sat down at the piano to perform a ballad version of “Gone Away,” to which the audience responded to his request to light up the venue with their cellphone lights. It was an amazing moment.

For an encore, The Offspring teased out “Lullaby” from their latest release, Let the Bad Times Roll (2021), and then rolled into back-to-back chart-toppers in “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” and “Self Esteem.” After three and a half hours of expelling punk rock energy, I can only imagine that most fans went home and just crashed out of fatigue.

The Let The Bad Times Roll Tour continues on through Sunday, September 3, where it will wrap up at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts.

 

The Offspring

Bryan “Dexter” Holland – lead vocals, rhythm and occasional lead guitar, keyboards
Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman – lead and occasional rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Todd Morse – bass, backing vocals
Brandon Pertzborn – drums
Jonah Nimoy – rhythm guitar, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals (touring)

 

 

Setlist

1.) Come Out and Play
2.) All I Want
3.) Want You Bad
4.) Let the Bad Times Roll
5.) Staring at the Sun
6.) Hit That
7.) Hammerhead
8.) Bad Habit
9.) Iron Man / The Trooper / Sweet Child o’ Mine / In the Hall of the Mountain King
10.) Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones cover)
11.) Gotta Get Away
12.) Gone Away
13.) Why Don’t You Get a Job?
14.) (Can’t Get My) Head Around You
15.) Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)
16.) The Kids Aren’t Alright

Encore

17.) Lullaby
18.) You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid
19.) Self Esteem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Simple Plan Online

Follow Sum 41 Online

Follow The Offspring Online

 





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