Blink-182 and My Chemical Romance
Oct. 1, 2011
If you've been keeping up with Blink 182 news, you know they've spent the last two months trucking along with the decade-old Honda Civic Tour and are playing together for the first time since their 2005 breakup. They also have a new album, Neighborhoods, an insipidly mediocre collection of songs bearing little resemblance to the band's snot-nosed heyday.
Reports abound of guitarist Tom Delonge choosing to record many of his parts in San Diego, more than 100 miles away from his LA-based cohorts Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker. But if, as has been suggested, Delonge has grown weary of playing songs about masturbation, flatulence and bestiality, it didn't show during Blink's hour-plus set at the Honda Center–which proved exceedingly entertaining–as demonstrated by scores of college-age kiddos rocking the devil horns and singing along to every tune with the passion of a Catholic priest at an unsupervised daycare center.
The set began with the notoriously smart-assed Delonge, perhaps subtlely teasing the crowd, strumming out some delay-infused notes reminiscent of his “grown up” project Angels and Airwaves. The band quickly launched into, “Feeling This,” one of the most rapturous songs in the band's catalogue with its rallying drumline, call and response verses and an anthemic chorus sung in rounds by Hoppus and Delonge.
And it didn't stop–as it shouldn't for a band who has a ridiculous catalogue of hits playing at any given time on radio stations across the country.
Though it was Hoppus who showed the most enthusiasm, mincing back and forth across stage during jams such as “What's My Age Again” and “First Date,” Delonge contributed to the antics with his between-song banter, which is just as lame as it was 10 years ago. At one point he mentioned that semen had ejaculated from his speakers onto the crowd's face. No doubt the crowd didn't buy tickets expecting subtlety.
Though the two melody makers at the front of the stage played each song with note for note precision, it was impossible to miss the head snapping Barker whose skills with the skins feature two overriding characteristics–snake bite speed, met with raw power. He's like the Mike Tyson of drumming. Some songs saw him joined on the riser by his son Landon who strummed along with his own guitar.
Halfway through the set Delonge, incurred a disapproving look from Barker when the guitarist asked him how he would pleasure a girl's clitoris with his drum sticks. Barker quickly motioned to the young lad standing at his side which seemed to muzzle Delonge in a hurry. It served as a reminder that these guys have come along way in their personal lives since they first started writing songs in the early '90s.
A thoughtful person would have to wonder what, with all the changes in their lives and personal tastes, prompted them to don their gear and sing songs like “Fuck a Dog” again, especially as they approach middle age. Is it the money promised by the Honda Corporation for serving as the spear head of an aggressive marketing campaign? Is it a desire to relive youthful experiences?
Who's to say? It's probably best not to think about it too much. After all, thinking isn't what they had in mind when they wrote most of their songs.
The Crowd: Mostly college age. Lots of girls in cut-off jean shorts and stilettos. Bros in tank tops and shaved heads. There were also people wearing paper masks of Tom Delonge's face. Creepy.
Overheard: The guy in the row behind me passionately singing the chorus to the song “I Miss You.”
Random Notebook Dump:
The non-stop Honda commercials beamed ad nauseum between sets was as revolting this year as it was last year when Paramore played. We already paid for the tickets. We shouldn't be forced to listen to a massive sales pitch.
Up All Night
The Rock Show
What's My Age Again?
I Miss You
Stay Together for the Kids
I Wanna Fuck A Dog
Heart's All Gone
Happy Holidays, You Bastard
Ghost on the Dancefloor
All the Small Things
When You Fucked Grandpa