Feelin This Rock Show: Blink 182

Our youngest readers and music lovers will not remember the insane rise of Blink 182, but I do (fondly). I was in middle school, and as soon as that last bell rang there was a collective scramble across America: Get home. Turn on the TV, and gobble up every second of TRL.

Back then Carson Daly was a VJ, waving down to fans in Times Square, and showing 13-year-olds around the world what music we should be watching. The debut of three pasty men (sorry, Blink) running naked through a city caught the attention (and hearts) of every insecure, awkward, lanky teen. Sure, there were grumbles and gasps from the parents at first– but pop punk was manipulating the mainstream charts and there was no escaping it.

“What’s My Age Again?” was released in 1999. The first time I heard it live was yesterday.

On Sunday night, Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker, and Matt Skiba wasted no time hurdling themselves into their most beloved songs over the past 20 years. Kicking us off with “Feelin This” and “Rock Show,” new and old fans quickly realized this was going to be the perfect setlist. It was the perfect sing-a-long.

Before Skiba strutted on stage, I was (admittedly) a little heartsick to miss Blink’s co-founder and guitarist Tom DeLonge. But that ache was quickly squashed by Skiba’s energy and raw enthusiasm. The Grammy-nominated musician of Alkaline Trio is so delightful to watch on stage. I felt like a cat with a laser pointer. Ears erect and senses on high alert, I had to make a conscious effort to break my gaze from Skiba, as he darted about the stage. I left thankful I had the honor of seeing such an accomplished musician lending his talents and passion to Blink.

Hoppus remains ageless. The lead singer and bassist does not appear to have gained one wrinkle since 1999. Science can confirm doing what you love every day keeps you young.

And Barker, well, he holds a special place in my heart. The death-defying vegan is one of the most talented drummers in the business. With every overhead drumstick reach, I felt my heart swell. So did the crowd.

Blink 182 performed against a blitz of candy-colored lights, with the occasional burst of cyro, and at the end– confetti.

We were treated to “What’s My Age Again?” very early in on the set, much to my delight, as well as “I Miss You,” “First Date,” and “Dumpweed.”

Just before launching into “Happy Holidays, You Bastard,” Hoppus told the crowd they were going to do something very special.

“Remember this moment,” he said. “Something you will tell your grandchildren about….Watch, in confused horror, as we perform a song entirely in the dark.”

The lights on the stage were cut, and the massive crowd of fans pulled out their cell phones to guide the band toward the universe before them.

After the hotel lobby music encore, the band returned to the Ford Stage to sing “All The Small Things,” “Brohemian Rhapsody,” and “Dammit.”

It was a remarkable performance to help us kiss our SunFest-ival season goodbye, at least for another 360 days. It might have taken me just under 20 years to see Blink 182 perform in person, but the wait and the hype was perfectly worth it.

Set List:

  • Feelin This
  • Rock Show
  • Cynical
  • Anthem Part II
  • What’s My Age Again?
  • First Date
  • Bored To Death
  • Built This Pool
  • Down
  • I Miss You
  • Dumpweed
  • Reckless Abandon
  • So Out Of Her Mind
  • Always
  • Violence
  • Sober
  • Happy Holidays
  • Dysentary Gary
  • Los Angeles

Encore:

  • All The Small Things
  • Brohemian Rhapsody
  • Dammit