Blink 182 Virgin
Like for most people my age, pop punk heroes Blink-182 were a huge part of my childhood. I knew the lyrics to ‘All The Small Things’ before I could even wash my own hair! And because of some weird circumstances, I have never been able to see them live. Until now.
The O2 arena is buzzing as the crowd covered in Blink-182 merchandise and skinny jeans anticipate the pop punk trio. After what seems like an eternity, the lights go down and the Stranger Things theme song plays. Blink hit the stage and kick off their energetic set with the song that we all know and love, ‘Feeling This’. Despite Mark Hoppus having a virus for the last few days, he doesn’t miss a beat. (All hail King Hoppus.)
Playing some more gems from everyone’s angsty childhood, the band have everyone moving for ‘The Rock Show’ and the massive, sounds-even-better-live, pop punk anthem ‘What’s My Age Again’. The incredibly outrageous production is Blink all over, and highlights just how much effort the band put into making their shows the best they can be.
Being the Blink virgin that I am, it feels weird seeing the band for the first time with another vocalist. Matt Skiba holds his own, though—and there is no question about his talent. But hearing him sing Blink classics like ‘I Miss You’ and ‘First Date’ is quite strange, especially because we’re used to a much more nasally tone of voice.
The band have a bit of comical banter here and there—though not nearly as much as expected. But my beliefs that Mark Hoppus is the best human ever are once again confirmed. The band play songs from California, like the sing-a-long summer anthem ‘Sober’ and the punchy, and very typical-Blink, ‘She’s Out Of Her Mind’. The setlist is varied—with Travis Barker dominating every track with his unbelievable and captivating auditory attack. I don’t have many complaints about the setlist, but if I had my way, ‘Josie’ would definitely be on it, along with ‘San Diego’ and the dark, but rather dull, ‘Los Angeles’ wouldn’t.
‘All The Small Things’ is played at full volume and the crowd sing along to every word. I feel nothing but happiness as I scream “Say it ain’t so / I will not go / Turn the lights off / Cary me home…” at the top of my lungs. I feel like a child hearing pop punk for the first time again!
Blink always make me miss the 90s!
Playing their final track ‘Dammit’, the band close just as strong as they began. Blink-182 really are an amazing band. They are truly untouchable in the pop punk scene. And their live show is something incredible to behold. If I could, I would watch them play over and over for the rest of my life.
Sadan Brooke Mustafa
Blink 182 Veteran
The word veteran probably isn’t the best word to describe my history with Blink 182 but having seen the band five things prior to Tom Delonge’s departure it was a strange feeling I had walking into the O2 Arena knowing that I wouldn’t be met with his whiny vocals.
With festival headline slots, arena shows and two ‘smaller’ Brixton Academy shows there have always been a few constants with a Blink show and they bring all but one to their latest o2 Arena show and thankfully it’s for the best. The banter was always something Blink 182 were known for, silly dick jokes or mentions of sleeping with people’s mums, their humour was something which drew people to the band but in later year’s it’s felt old and at times sometimes awkward. With Blink 2.0 there’s nothing like that and the trio interact slightly less so there’s more room for killer tracks.
Of course, you don’t miss Tom’s distinctive vocals in newer tracks like ‘She’s Out Of Her Mind’ and ‘Los Angeles’ but how would Matt Skiba fair when it came to those classic songs which fans had probably sang out loud more times than he had?! In a nutshell, he faired amazingly, and in most parts, I couldn’t even notice the change in vocalist, although this was probably due to the screaming sing-a-longs of the crowd alongside me. There’s no denying that Matt is an incredibly talented musician and because he wasn’t trying to emulate Tom’s vocals it actually breathed a bit of fresh air into older songs.
‘Rock Show’ was just as bouncy, ‘All The Small Things’ still packed the same punch as it did a decade ago, and while we’ll never forget Tom’s vocals on ‘I Miss You’ there’s something nice about a new perspective. Blink 182 are still at the top of their game and proof that if you replace a key member of your band for the right person fans will love you no matter what.