The holiday tradition of Southern California's KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas took to the Kia Forum in Inglewood over the weekend - though not without a bit of last minute dramatics.
Just days prior to the show, initial headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers announced they would be forced to cancel their appearance due to guitarist John Frusciante breaking his finger, leaving him unable to perform.
Making for a compelling caveat to the already sold out arena show, perennial hitmakers 311 answered the call to join the festivities and join The Offspring to share top billing for the holiday celebration - making good on the old adage of, the show must go on.
The result was a wallop of radio staples between both The Offspring and 311. Combined, the two bands performed a compilation of greatest hits that continue to be among the most enduring - the kind of songs that had the entire arena singing along in celebration.
For 311, the band kicked off their stage time with "Beautiful Disaster" only to wrap up with "Down" in a concise, albeit comprehensive showcase of nothing but hits. Adding in essentials like "Come Original", "Amber" and "Creatures (for a While) while satisfying their day ones with rendition of "Don't Stay Home" - 311 managed to save the day and turn the radio set into an arena-sized party.
The 2023 Almost Acoustic Christmas proved to be a bit of hometown celebration for punk trailblazers The Offspring. Having recently just announced their own arena headliner marking the 30th anniversary of the seminal 1994 release of Smash, Offspring dove right in, beginning their set with "Come Out and Play". The spectacle of seeing the entire Forum shout in unison, "You gotta keep 'em separated!" set the bar for the finale set of the night.
Offspring's ten song set was a masterclass in live energy, with each track suggesting the band was playing a game of 'Can You Top This?' as their set progressed. From "All I Want" to "The Kids Aren't Alright" to one of punk's most grungy anthems in "Self Esteem", every song underscored the lengthy resume of hits that Offspring has churned out throughout their career.
Check the gallery of images featuring 311, The Offspring and Garbage from the 2023 Almost Acoustic Christmas below. All photos by Maurice Nunez.