In a night filled with electric performances, unexpected twists, and a healthy dose of explicit language, the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas concert took the Kia Forum stage by storm. The lively event featured standout acts, including The Offspring, Garbage, Lovejoy, Portugal. The Man, and Bleachers, offering a dynamic showcase of rock and roll energy.
The SoCal punk rock band, The Offspring, took center stage as the unexpected headliner after the Red Hot Chili Peppers withdrew due to an injury. The band’s energetic performance, featuring hits like “Come Out and Play,” “Self Esteem,” and “The Kids Aren’t Alright,” proved to be a highlight of the night. The audience, initially reserved, came alive with mosh pits and beach balls, injecting much-needed energy into the Forum.
Garbage, led by the fierce Shirley Manson, delivered a memorable set that included a notable interruption. Manson, spotting a disruption in the crowd, unleashed a stream of expletives, bringing the show to an unexpected halt. Her eloquent yet furious outburst, laced with Scottish charm, turned a potential awkward moment into an entertaining highlight. The band continued with hits like “Stupid Girl” and “I’m Only Happy When It Rains,” showcasing Manson’s commanding stage presence.
The evening also saw the resurgence of saxophones in rock music, with Lovejoy, Portugal. The Man, and Bleachers incorporating horns into their sets. Bleachers, led by Jack Antonoff, brought a big band sound reminiscent of rock’s earlier eras, delivering a set that felt like a blend of Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and Paul Simon.
Despite a slow start with a reserved audience, the concert gained momentum as The Offspring and Garbage injected vigor into the atmosphere. The event raised $87,552 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, with ticket sales benefiting local nonprofits Para Los Niños and Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center.
The 32nd annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas proved to be a memorable night of rock and roll, reminding fans of the genre’s enduring spirit. As the concert concluded with a generous donation to charity, attendees left with the anticipation of KROQ’s return to the Kia Forum on March 2, featuring a healthier Red Hot Chili Peppers ready to rock the stage.