Last night I returned to the 3Arena Dublin for the first time in what felt like an eternity. Like a lot of people I had booked tickets for gigs which had to be postponed and cancelled over the pandemic. Despite actually living in Scotland now I was not giving up the chance to see The Offspring live for the very first time. Having missed opportunities in the past, I boarded a plane with my comfy DMs and made the short journey to Dexter, Noodles and Co in one of my favourite venues in Ireland.

With my appropriate Covid documentation and after a very short but well executed queue, we entered the arena to an excited audience all determined to make the most of their Sunday night (who cares if it was a school night).

The Hives kicked off proceedings as tonight’s support act and I was pleasantly surprised at how charismatic and fun their frontman is. Having never seen the Swedish Rockband live before I would definitely book a ticket to see them headline a gig. With their cocky stage presence, ultra violet suits and banging tunes they went down a storm with the Dublin crowd.

Then it was time for the main act, the one we had all been waiting for. The Offspring last played in the 3Arena Dublin in 2004 and last night they were very vocal that because of a change in management and finally the reopening of venues they were very happy to be able to return to Irish shores.

And what a return it was, with thousands of eager fans ready to enjoy their night of Californian punk rock The Offspring perfectly hit that sweet point with a set of old hits peppered with new songs, audience interactions and arena singalong. This was the second date of the Let The Bad Times Roll tour and despite a few technical errors explained by Noodles “rocking to hard” and a few slow transitions the band had the audience (mostly 30s/40s) eating out of their hands.

Starting with Staring at the Sun from their 1998 album Americana and an impressive light show we were off and at a very quick pace. Next on the set list was Come out to Play, (fan favourite and my personal favourite) Want you Bad followed and we were eased into new hits The Opioid Diaries and the fantastic earworm which is their latest single and the title of the tour Let The Bad Times Roll.

Dexter reminded us of what a privilege it is to be back out at a live gig and what a crazy few years we have lived in with a beautiful solo piano rendition of Gone Away dedicated to those we have lost over the past couple of years. Then we were back on our feet dancing the night away to Why Don’t you Get a job?, Pretty Fly and The Kids Aren’t Alright!

With a sprinkling of Offspring fun, banter and epic guitar riffs as well as a Thin Lizzy cover the band had returned to Dublin with a bang and throughly looked like they were enjoying every moment on the stage. With six remaining UK dates go out and grab a ticket you won’t regret it, I think I may have to try and catch them again Glasgow!

Emer D xx