OFFSPRINGTel Aviv FairgroundsJuly 10
Even when the lights were on at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds on Monday night, and workers were starting to clean the confetti strewn throughout the floor, fans donning Offspring T-shirts would not leave the area.
“It was way too short,” said Yuvon Riton, a middle-aged Israeli huddled with a group of friends. “Why did it have to end?”
Long-time fans of the American punk pop veterans relished every moment of the Offspring’s first concert in Israel. Though many were older – some with children dangling on their shoulders – the crowd screamed and jumped as if the band were in its 1990s heyday.
The Offspring: US punk rock legends applauded by longtime fans in Israel
But that was near the end. At first, many of the 500 concertgoers swayed to tamer, more indie hits such as “Staring at the Sun,” and focused on nursing their drinks. During “Hit That,” the crowd gained more steam, with Dexter Holland’s high-pitched voice guiding them to a faster pulse.
However, it was the rift-heavy “Hammerhead” that woke up the crowd, as people began to push to get closer, and those who were already near the stage raised their hands and screeched.
After the song, Holland poked fun at the religious nature of the crowd, announcing that their energy was “from the greater glory” and that they had the voices of a “choir of angels.” Holland and guitarist Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman’s banter was well-timed, streamlined from decades of performing.
“This night will go down as the greatest night that has ever happened to rock & roll since the history of mankind,” Holland announced. In a way, the band seemed eager to prove that their hardcore ethos was alive and dirtying the Holy Land.
They delivered. During “Bad Habit,” an anthem from the hit Smash album on the feelings of road rage, the crowd threw up hand-horns and sang each lyric of the curse-laden song so loud that it was hard to hear anything else.
From then on, Wasserman had control over the room. During a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man,” he held onto the opening note, as the crowd cried out in anticipation. He flexed his range during the cover of the classic song “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” which he played in its entirety.
After the interlude of covers, the young new drummer Brandon Pertzborn gave his all during “Gotta Get Away,” as feet stomped and heads rocked back and forth to the beat. However, several fans said their favorite part was when the arena turned into a pool of balls for “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” and “The Kids Aren’t Alright.”
After the main set, the band returned with the opening notes of “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid,” it was is hard to hear anything but screams until the song ended. Streamers shot over the crowd for the last song of the night, “Self Esteem.”
Asaf Borger, a young musician, watched the end of the concert in a state of awe, his arms swaying back and forth.
“They have the ability to create songs that not only make you want to dance, but make you feel,” he said.