The Offspring, Simple Plan and Sum 41 Show Tampa What Pop-Punk is All About

Pop-punk legends The Offspring brought the Let The Bad Times Roll Tour to the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheater in Tampa, Florida on August 16th. Special guests on the tour include Canadian pop-punkers Sum 41 and Simple Plan. This is the second time the two Canadian bands have toured with each other. The previous one being last year’s Blame Canada tour.

Opening up the night was Ajax, Canada’s Sum 41. To steal the title from their 2001 debut album, their set was All Killer No Filler. As most know this is the band’s farewell tour. Sum 41 has been a band since 1996 with Deryck Whibley joining in 1996, followed by Dave Basch in 1997, Jason McCaslin in 1999 with Tom Thacker added in 2007 and Frank Zummo in 2015. Rather than performing songs spanning their nearly 25-year recording career, the band limited their set to the three-year period of 2001 – 2004 with songs from All Killer No Filler (2001), Does This Look Infected (2002), and Chuck (2004).

There were no Sum 41 ballads on this night. It was all high-energy fast-paced songs from the band. They started off with “Motivation” from All Killer No Filler. They rolled through other classics including “The Hell Song”, “Over My Head”, “In Too Deep”, and their breakthrough hit “Fat Lip”. In their earlier years, Sum 41 was a two-guitar band, with Whibley on rhythm guitar and Basch on lead guitar, which kept Whibley behind a mic stand. However, the addition of a rhythm guitarist Tom Thacker allows Whibley to set aside his guitar and just focus on the vocals. Right from the beginning he hit the stage with a purpose. It was all about connecting with the crowd, roaming the stage, and dishing out the punk attitude the band was known for in their early years.

The band squeezed in one cover song, a punk-style version of the Queen classic “We Will Rock You”. It was probably twice the tempo of the original without the Brian May solo. This one had the crowd fired up and had them singing along to the chorus. Sum 41 closed out their set with “Still Waiting” from Does This Look Infected. Fans were jumping with hands in the air with some trying to mosh.

Next up was Montreal’s Simple Plan. They have been alternating opening act duties with Sum 41 but this night had them as the second act. I was pretty excited to see them live for the first time. They hit the stage with the Star Wars Theme playing in the background before lead singer Pierre Bouvier launched into “I’d Do Anything”. Having watched several of their concerts on YouTube, it wasn’t surprising to see them opening with the song. There’s a reason they always open with this song because it’s perfect to get the audience on their feet and moving. It’s a good thing that the music was loud as it drowned out my horrible voice singing along with the rest of the crowd.

Simple Plan has been around for over 20 years and therefore has a large catalog of songs to choose from for their shows. It is hard to fault them for any of their selections for the night. Similar to Sum 41, Simple Plan’s set was stacked with songs from their first three albums. In addition to “I’d Do Anything”, they also performed “Addicted”, “I’m Just A Kid”, and “Perfect” from their debut album No Pads, No Helmets..Just Balls which I rank right up along with Green Day’s Dookie and Blink 182’s Enema of the State as the all-time greatest pop-punk albums.

Still Not Gettin’ Any is probably Simple Plan’s second-best pop-punk album behind No Pads, No Helmets..Just Balls. There are a lot of great songs to choose from the album but the band decided to go with “Shut Up”, “Jump”, and “Welcome to My Life”. Lead singer Pierre Bouvier had the crowd bouncing up and down to “Jump” and hands swaying back and forth over head to “Welcome to My Life”.

The funnest part of the set was when the band performed a sing-a-long medley of “All-Star”, “Sk8er Boi”, and “Mr Brightside” followed by “What’s New Scooby Doo”. Bouvier got the fun started during the medley by tossing a large beach ball into the crowd which was followed by several more tossed by security, Balls were flying everywhere as fans in the pit were hitting them up in the air. There was a special appearance by the brown Great Dane himself during Scooby Doo. He danced across the stage shooting t-shirts into the crowd with a shirt launcher.

Simple Plan did manage to fit in a couple of their newer songs, “Iconic” from their latest album Harder Than it Looks and “Where I Belong” sans State Champs and We The Kings. The next to last song was their 2002 debut single “I’m Just A Kid”. This is where other members got to shine. Lead guitarist Jeff Stinco opened the song with the classic guitar intro. Midway through the song Bouvier took over on drums while drummer Chuck Comeau came to the front of the stage to interact with the audience before taking the plunge and surfing the crowd. With Bouvier behind the drums rhythm guitarist Sébastien Lefebvre took over on vocals.

The two constants at every Simple Plan show are that they are going to open with “I’d Do Anything” and close with their biggest hit “Perfect”. During the beginning of “Perfect”, the rest of the band took a short break while Bouvier grabbed an acoustic guitar to sing the first verse and chorus. He had everyone get their phones out to light up the amphitheater. After singing the first part of the song Bouvier tossed his guitar to the roadie while the other band members came back to the stage to join in. After singing the first line in the second chorus Bouvier paused to let the audience sing the next two lines, ‘And nothin’ lasts forever, I’m sorry I can’t be perfect’. Everyone in attendance knew these lines to the classic anthem about disappointing your parents. One to which almost every teen and young adult can relate. The song was a “perfect” chose to close out the set.

When I put in a request to cover this concert, my main reason was that I am a huge Sum 41 and Simple Plan fan. I had obviously heard of The Offspring but had never made a concerted effort to listen to their music outside of a couple songs. However, as the night went on I realized that I recognized many of their songs never realizing it was The Offspring who who sang them. From the moment they hit the stage with their opening song, the #1 hit “Come Out and Play”, I was like Wow I know this song and everyone in the crowd did as well as they were singing along to the song.

The Offspring performing in Tampa
The Offspring

The night was a very visual one. In between the Simple Plan and Offspring sets, fans were entertained with different cams including a booty cam, f*ck you cam, blimp cam, and headbanging cam. Not to be outdone by Simple Plan’s Scooby Doo character there was also a crowd surfing gorilla. Throughout The Offspring’s performance there was a continuous flood of videos projected on the background screen including live shots of the band, animations, and a cartoon character of “Noodles” Wasserman.

Just like Sum 41 and Simple Plan, the Offspring threw in some cover songs. Midway through the set Wasserman showed his guitar chops by doing a medley of riffs from metal classics including “Iron Man”, “The Trooper”, “Sweet Child o’ Mine”, and “In the Hall of the Mountain King”. After this interlude, “Dexter” Holland took his position back at the center of the stage as the band performed the Ramones classic “Blitzkrieg Bop”. After the brief dabble into covers the band fired back with their own top-10 hit “Gotta Get Away”

The band continued to roll through their hits including “Why Don’t You Get a Job?”, “Can’t Get My) Head Around You”, and “Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)”. Holland did a mellow piano version of the #1 hit “Gone Away”. The set closed with “The Kids Aren’t Alright”. After a brief exit from the stage, the band returned for a two-song encore of “You’re Gonna Go Far”, and “Kid Self Esteem”.

The Let The Bad Times Roll Tour was well worth my 450-mile drive to attend the show. If you are a fan of pop-punk, then the tour would absolutely be worth catching. There are still are still a few dates left. Tickets can be purchased here.

Let The Bad Times Roll tour dates: 

Tue. August 01 — Auburn, WA — White River Amphitheatre
Thu. August 03 — Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Amphitheatre
Sat. August 05 — Mountain View, CA — Shoreline Amphitheatre
Sun. August 06 — Irvine, CA — FivePoint Amphitheatre
Tue. August 08 — Chula Vista, CA — North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre
Wed. August 09 — Phoenix, AZ — Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre
Fri. August 11 — Austin, TX — Germania Insurance Amphitheater
Sat. August 12 — North Little Rock, AR — Simmons Bank Arena 
Sun. August 13 — Dallas, TX — Dos Equis Pavilion
Tue. August 15 — Atlanta, GA — Lakewood Amphitheatre
Wed. August 16 — Tampa, FL — MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds
Fri. August 18 — Charlotte, NC — PNC Music Pavilion
Sat. August 19 — Bristow, VA — Jiffy Lube Live
Sun. August 20 — Darien Center, NY — Darien Lake Amphitheater
Tue. August 22 — Cuyahoga Falls, OH — Blossom Music Center
Wed. August 23 — Clarkston, MI — Pine Knob Music Theatre
Fri. August 25 — Noblesville, IN — Ruoff Music Center
Sat. August 26 — Tinley Park, IL — Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – Chicago, IL
Sun. August 27 — St. Louis, MO — Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – St. Louis, MO
Tue. August 29 — Milwaukee, WI — American Family Insurance Amphitheater – Summerfest Grounds
Wed. August 30 — Cincinnati, OH — Riverbend Music Center
Fri. September 01 — Burgettstown, PA — The Pavilion at Star Lake
Sat. September 02 — Wantagh, NY — Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
Sun. September 03 — Mansfield, MA — Xfinity Center

Sum 41 Set List

The Hell Song
Over My Head (Better Off Dead)
We’re All to Blame
Walking Disaster
We Will Rock You
In Too Deep
Fat Lip
Still Waiting

Simple Plan Setlist

I’d Do Anything
Shut Up!
Welcome to My Life
All Star / Sk8er Boi / Mr. Brightside
What’s New Scooby Doo
Where I Belong
I’m Just a Kid

The Offspring Setlist:

Come Out and Play
All I Want
Want You Bad
Let the Bad Times Roll
Staring at the Sun
Hit That
Iron Man / The Trooper / Sweet Child o’ Mine / In the Hall of the Mountain King
Blitzkrieg Bop
Gotta Get Away
Gone Away
Why Don’t You Get a Job?
Can’t Get My) Head Around You
Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)
The Kids Aren’t Alright

You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid
Self Esteem

Post by Scott Raymer (Website | Instagram | Facebook)

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