With a combined age of 145, Blink 182, last night at Birmingham’s Utilita Area, played like a trio with a quarter of that age. Feisty, pure energy with enough punk attitude to equal The Clash, The Ramones and Nirvana, yesterday Blink did not disappoint.
The return of Tom DeLonge, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker has seen them visit the world over supporting new material, the relentless schedule has done nothing but seemingly help them play at such an intense breakneck speed level it’s hard to fathom how they can keep the energy levels going. Leaving those doubts behind the band enter from behind the stage to a bevy of crowd noise and camera flashes enthusiastically tearing into Anthem Part Two, The Rock Show and Feeling This.
Of the new material notable additions thus far include Edging, Dance With Me and More Than You Know showing little sign of a band ready to retire early or hang up their mischievous elements to their game play, with promises of their best album to date. There’s plenty of subtle nudges towards, politely put, relationship education, covered in length from the stage mainly by Tom and Mark, with possibly the loudest cheer retained for a one word ‘hello’ by Travis.
As well documented the threesome have been through their fair share of personal troubles, Barker in aeroplane crash, even more shocking Hoppus has battled successfully stage 4 cancer, a miracle to see the latter bounding about on stage, the new Peter Pan of Punk. Happy Holidays, You B@astard, I Miss You, What’s My Age Again and All The Small Things do little but elevate the band to another level, with Barker’s drum riser raised to the high heavens, it’s a spectacular visual meisteruck.
Final track of the evening One More Time delivers a poignant finale telling the story of the bands journey to the stage right now, seemingly the band have had their own doubts and personal demons to get them to this point, the songs message seem to say anything stopping the band being best friends and any previous bad feeling between them has been completely forgotten and a realisation of the maybe the shortness of live and to live your best life with your loved ones is a goal to set as you approach middle age.
Never mind dying before you get old, Blink 182’s message is clear, live your best life and have fun whilst you can. Without doubt a miraculous band on so many levels.
Blink 182 can be found here
Photos by Matt Mead and David Kinally @djkinally