In some way, shape, or form, Blink 182 is embedded in the fabric of everybody’s punk rock experience. Whether it be watching MTV and seeing the “What’s My Age Again” video or 1997’s “Dammit” which is showcased in a plethora of movies and video games such as Can’t Hardly Wait or Guitar Hero: World Tour – there’s influence everywhere. Early 2015 saw a second exit from guitarist/vocalist Tom Delonge with Alkaline Trio‘s only Matt Skiba taking over. The trio previously endured an indefinite hiatus in 2005, but how would they sound with a new member? Would fans react with the same enthusiasm as they have with Blink’s recently released album, California? The answer was a resounding yes.
Throughout the night, there was a potpourri of vintage merchandise from Blink 182 ranging from the Enema of The State era to their self-titled release. It was a thorough mix of young and older fans who were slightly mid twenties to early thirties. The tour lineup itself is a good nod to the past, present, and future of modern-day pop-punk music. Not only was there the intrigue of seeing Skiba in all of Blink’s splendor, but there were great supporting acts as well. Starting off the show during sunset was All Time Low. It was a nine song set that kicked off with “Lost In Stereo”. Guitarist Jack Barakat went out into the pit area during “A Love Like War” where fans congregated around him giving high fives and singing along. The song that got the biggest response was of course “Dear Maria, Count Me In,” that had everyone singing along.
A Day To Remember took the stage bringing the most intensity out of all the three acts. The stage was full of huge screens that showed different band members play with an on-stage camera. Their set list had the familiar songs that fans had come to know and love such as “The Downfall of Us All”, All I Want”, and “2nd Sucks”. They did throw in their newest single “Paranoia” and an acoustic version of “If It Means A Lot To You”. There was a good mix of edgier post-hardcore style songs and ones that you can sing along to. By the time the confetti reigned at the end of “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle”, fans were satisfied and ready for the main act.
Blink 182 opened with a curtain drop to “Feeling This” and at first, it was a little weird to hear the band without Delonge. There’s that elongated enunciation that you remember during the vocals parts of Blink 182 songs that goes missing. You grow accustomed to one thing for so long, it takes a little bit to calibrate to something new. By the fourth song, the show was moving right along with old hits like “The Rock Show”, “Stay Together For The Kids” and “I Miss You”. One of the biggest reactions was from the lead single from the new album, “Bored To Death”. The whole amphitheater sung along as bassist/singer Mark Hoppus sang the chorus. Skiba definitely held his own and drummer Travis Barker held down the percussion with ferocity.
The one thing that can be said about pop-punk music is that there is this undying loyalty to good music. California, first new album in five years shows a mature take on Blink 182’s fun and upbeat style. While they are the elder statesmen of this genre, the concert showed that the trio still has a few tricks up their sleeve.