August 25, 2009

Blink 182: Bringing it Back at Jones Beach

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About ten minutes into their set, guitarist Tom DeLonge shouted into his mike, “We are fucking awesome. We rock!” and oh, how absolutely true that is. Blink 182’s reunion tour stop at the amphitheater at Jones Beach on Aug 9 verifiably rocked. So much so that I’m convinced that the power of Mark, Tom and Travis playing on the same stage pushed the muggy, downpour of weather that was expected away until precisely after everyone from the venue had cleared out into their cars. So instead of a monsoon, we got clear skies, two full hours of the Blink classics and a glorious evening of feeling like we were in middle school again, minus the whole being awkward part.
From their hugest hits like “What’s My Age Again,” “Dammit” and “All The Small Things,” to the fan favorites like “The Rock Show,” “Stay Together For the Kids” and “First Date,” to basically anything you’ve ever wanted to hear Blink play live, the threesome tore through 20 plus tracks and made it a night that I wish could have lasted “forever and ever.”
They also really pumped up the nostalgia inducing pop-punk sing-a-longs by setting it to a light show built by the production company who normally creates designs for the likes of LCD Soundsystem and Kanye West. So even those in the nosebleeds didn’t feel so far away. But by far the most jaw dropping part of the stage was assembled during the encore for Travis Barker’s drum solo. Not a soul in the theater could stop their body from moving as he pounded away to a remix of “Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta” whilst his drum set swung and spun high above the stage like a slightly horrifying amusement park ride.
Needless to say, although Blink broke up for five years, their reunion tour was still marked by immature bantering and a non-stop fun vibe, which hasn’t changed a bit from when I saw them seven years ago on the same exact stage. Well, the only thing that may have changed was the hooked-up line-up of bands standing in as openers throughout the tour. At the August 9th stop, today’s pop-punk heroes Fall Out Boy took the stage, but it was clear barely anyone present wanted to see them. Even bassist Pete Wentz knew it when he said toward the end of their set, “You guys have been so respectful.” Earlier, as the crowd filled into the venue, they also paid their respects to a band reevaluating where they stand after two members quit, Panic! At The Disco, and up-and-comers, Chester French. But halfway through the tour, Fall Our Boy and Panic! were been swapped out for ’90s rock sensations, Weezer, and emo gods, Taking Back Sunday.
Mark, Tom and Travis were born to act like childish boys. Since they departed from the scene in the early 2000s, no band came along who could be as disgustingly hilarious as these three, so it feels good to have them back, touring the country, and taking a weight off of music fans shoulders one evening of balls-to-the-wall music at a time.