If you’re a mid to late twenty-something that refuses to grow out of their music taste from middle/high school, then you were probably bittersweet when Blink-182 announced that not only did they replace original singer, lead guitarist Tom DeLonge with former Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba, but also releasing a new album and going on a huge tour that can only be described as nostalgic. I myself am one of those fans that was a little bit weary of Skiba taking on DeLonge’s role and admit that it was very closed-minded of me to not give him a chance before any new music was released. Cue their first Tom-free single “Bored To Death”. Let’s just say I ate my words and accepted that maybe this new chapter could lead to great things in Blink history.
The announcement of their summer tour in support of their new album California with A Day To Remember, The All-American Rejects and All Time Low as supporting acts was the kicker on me getting me to pull out my credit card to buy tickets. I was pretty determined not to miss out on Blink-182 again so to be safe I sucked it up and bought two pairs of tickets, one for their first show of the tour and one for their last show of the tour. Their home town of San Diego, CA was the first stop and I just could not wait to feel old with bands that I grew up listening to.
The All-American Rejects:
The night started off on a purposely nostalgic note with AAR performing their biggest hits from the mid to late 2000s. “Dirty Little Secret” opened their set and got the crowd up out of their seats to sing along at the top of their lungs, which pretty much stayed that way for the remainder of their performance. Even frontman Tyson Ritter mentioned that he felt like they were going back through time with they way that they had their setlist (2004 to 2002 to 2009 and back to 2004 again). They broke the back-to-back-to-back old school feel to their set to introduce a snarky guilty pleasure track called “DGAF” (yes, you can imagine what it’s about). The trip down memory lane with AAR ended with “Gives You Hell” and the only thing that I wish they did was include “My Paper Heart” into their set. Luckily, a new song means a new album, and a new album means a new tour and I am absolutely willing to get tickets to it.
A Day To Remember:
I had never seen ADTR live so I was genuinely curious to how the winner of the Best Live Band award at the 2015 APMAs would be. Within the first minute of set opener “The Downfall Of Us All” there were beach balls flying into the crowd and I pretty much accepted that the band does everything in their power to give their fans a memorable experience. Other fun random things that occurred during the set were the revealing of their Pokemon Go team (Team Valor for the win!), toilet paper rolls flying through the air, crowdsurfers, and a guy (or girl) in a Shrek mask shooting t-shirts into the crowd. Mosh pits were a permanent yet entertaining factor with the floor audience, which got to the point where a huge group of people was literally being herded during “Paranoia.” An odd transition of “Low Rider” by War between “Paranoia” and “All I Want” took us into the last leg of the set before they got acoustic and emo on us with “If It Means A Lot To You”. ADTR ended their portion of the show with an older track that longtime fans knew called “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle” and the excited energy loomed around until Blink-182 finally hit the stage.
It was finally the main event and everyone (including myself) could hold themselves together when “Feeling This” started playing, a song that was fairly focused on Tom’s vocals that Matt immediately had to prove himself for. The audience gave off a great sense of community like all they wanted to do was support Blink no matter if Tom or Matt was singing. The band’s set list evenly gave recognition to their classic hits and newer tracks from California and the crowd pretty much kept their drunk singing up with every song they threw at us.
They made us dance to tracks like “First Date”, “The Rock Show”, and “Los Angeles” while still giving us the feels with “Stay Together For The Kids” and “I Miss You” (insert crying emoji here). They made us embrace their first Skiba single “Bored To Death” and made us sway along with the person beside us during “Down”. They even made us laugh our asses off to their super short fillers “Dumpweed”, “Built This Pool”, and “Brohemian Rhapsody”. They ended their show with a crap ton of confetti flying everywhere during their first big hit “Dammit” and made me so happy that in a few shorts months I get to relive that night for a second time.
Round one of the Blink-182 tour was an absolute success! I regained my appreciation for The All-American Rejects and realized that they get better with age. A Day To Remember can now count me as a fan that is willing to invest money into see them again in the future. And Matt Skiba seriously impressed the pants off me and put me at ease with spending money on a second set of tickets. I did notice that there wasn’t a whole lot of stereotypical pop-punk show banter, but I’ll just base that off of the fact that all of the band members are over 30 years old and don’t see the banter as necessary anymore. I think the clean set structure was necessary given the amount of drunk twenty-somethings in the crowd belting out all of the songs and made the show flow smoothly. I definitely can’t wait for round 2 in October with All Time Low! Hurry up October!