Some time after releasing their latest album “California” on July 1st, 2016 Blink-182 hit the road across the entire United States playing their hearts out for every fan willing to take time out of their busy lives to simply party and dance. The punk trio’s album knocked hip-hop giant Drake out of the number one spot on the Billboard charts who long stood at the top for a whopping 9 weeks.
Last night’s show was filled with quite a bit of firsts for me and what I mean by that is the first ever concert I traveled to Tampa from Orlando completely by myself for over an hour in another city to see a band I loved and the first time I’ve seen Blink-182 since 2004 when I graduated high school. I first heard of these guys while I was walking to choir class at my middle school and noticed some girls skipping down the hall singing “What’s My Age Again?” Since then I haven’t been the same.
Sure, it’s been a long time since the last time I saw these guys but I’m happy to say they didn’t disappoint. Even with all the ongoing drama surrounding the band and Matt Skiba replacing a core founding member Tom Delonge, the boys played their hearts out enjoying every second of being rockin andn roll legends. Just to be at there in the company of other hardcore Blink fans all sharing the same passion was entirely worth waiting a dreadful 12 years to see them again.
Blink-182 toured with openers All-American Rejects, who were actually hilarious with their playful antics. Lead singer Tyson Ritter’s on stage antics are so silly and so hilarious you couldn’t help but laugh along with him. Along with purposely falling down on stage, Ritter also went out into the crowd singing “we don’t give a fuck, we don’t, we don’t give a fuck.” I quite enjoyed the band’s energy. Despite not releasing any new music since 2011, the Rejects sang their greatest hits “Swing, Swing”, “Move Along” and other well known tracks.
After the Rejects were finished Central Florida natives A Day To Remember brought up the energy quite significantly with their hard rocking tunes. During the first two tracks or so the band brought out huge beach balls into the crowd so the audience could play with them as they watched the show. A huge mosh pit was induced after singer Jeremy McKinnon told the crowd to start one and they did not let him down. This actually reminded me of the time I saw Blink in 2004 where several huge mosh pits were started. It was a great segue into the final act of the evening.
Speaking of Blink...the guys put on a show that’s ridiculous, over the top, colorful and insanely fun to jump around and dance to. A huge thin black curtain collapsed as they performed “Feeling This” to get things started. Other highlights were “Stay Together For The Kids”, which provided an emotional and vulnerable moment - for me at least. I found myself getting choked up and having to push it all down just so I could keep rocking - along with another heartfelt song “San Diego”. Singer Mark Hoppus said they were nervous because this was the first time they’d sang that song in front of us.
To counteract the seriousness the guys also performed their usual joke songs, “Built This Pool”, “Happy Holidays, You Bastard”, “Brohemian Rhapsody” and “Family Reunion”. A few times Travis Barker did a few drum rolls to show off his mad musicianship skills, and even doing a few ‘ba dum tshs’ as Mark cracked a couple of jokes. I laughed my ass off - as per usual...of course, everything’s funny to me.
Additionally, Blink performed oldie “Carousel” from their debut album “Cheshire Cat”. Matt Skiba sang it beautifully and flawlessly; I found myself trying to sing his high notes in other songs as well. He has an incredibly good voice and it was lovely to hear it live; mad props to him.
“Dammit” from 1997’s “Dude Ranch” was another highlight of the night as colorful confetti shot out at the audience just as the last note was completed. Blink not only did a fantastic job singing their fucking awesome songs, but also really demonstrated the spirit of punk rock music resides in all of us regardless of age. I can’t wait to see them if and when they ever come back to Florida!
I took a few pics of Blink and you can see them here. Check them out, Nimrods!
The entire set-list is below:
What’s My Age Again?
I Miss You
Bored to Death
Built This Pool
Stay Together For The Kids
Happy Holidays, You Bastard
All The Small Things