Blink-182 at Jiffy Lube Live

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Sunday, August 14, 2011

It has been slightly over a decade since I went to my first show; Blink-182 at Merriweather Post Pavilion with direct support from New Found Glory. Even though I’ve been to 177 shows since then, that one will always have a special place in my heart. Not just because it was my first concert, but seeing the boys in Blink-182 come out with the word “F-U-C-K” in huge flaming letters is hard to forget and definitely leaves a lasting impression in your mind.

I’d put in to cover their reunion tour in 2009, but was denied last minute. So, needless to say, words couldn’t begin to describe my excitement when I finally received my confirmation to cover this show. While they were pretty solid overall on the reunion tour, this show was truly a return to form. Perhaps it was the number of shows under their belts post-reunion or the new music in their repertoire, but whatever the cause was – this was truly an incredible performance from the pop/punk gods.

Aside from photographing Metallica a few years ago, this is probably the most excited I’ve ever been to cover a show. Once everything was in place, drummer Travis Barker, guitarist and co-vocalist Tom DeLonge and bassist and co-vocalist Mark Hoppus made their way on stage to thunderous applause and cheers. After opening with “Feeling This”, the set only got better with classic hits such as “What’s My Age Again?”, “Family Reunion”, “Stay Together for the Kids” and my personal favorite “Man Overboard”.

One of my biggest concerns seeing Blink-182 in 2009 was whether or not the reunited trio would continue their foul-mouthed banter between songs that had become synonymous with their live shows. If they didn’t, some of that Blink magic would most likely be gone. Thankfully, while it wasn’t quite as hilarious as the banter featured on The Mark, Tom and Travis Show album it was definitely entertaining. Tom’s seemed substantially more forced than Mark’s, but once 2011 came around it seemed almost like a return to form; the cobwebs were dusted off and it truly seems like the Blink Boys of Yore had finally returned.

One of the most interesting events of the evening was when drummer Travis Barker was seen bleeding and wincing from pain. After they finished the song, a roadie came on stage to help stop the bleeding. Mark offered up an explanation that essentially stated that due to the calluses on Travis’ fingers he requires super glue on his finger tips in order to hold onto his drum sticks and apparently one of them had broken off – causing the bleeding. Soon you were able to see Travis holding his fingers next to a fan to dry to the glue. Thankfully Tom showed Travis the sympathy he deserved stating (to Mark), “Travis’ thumb looks like your mom after a Friday night”.

One of the many upsides of the show was hearing a lot of Blink-182’s new material live for the first time. While they’d officially released singles “Up All Night” and “Heart’s All Gone” for fans, it was our first taste of new classics like “Ghost on the Dancefloor” and “After Midnight”. While it’s hard to fully gauge how a song will sound mastered after only hearing a live version, I will say that (at least initially) I was very impressed with all of the new songs and can’t wait for their new album Neighborhoods to drop on September 27th.

After ripping through another 5-7 songs, the band came to the point of the show where, as Mark put it, “We’re going to act like the show is over even though it’s not.” After a short break a curtain is dropped, only to find Barker (and his drum kit) suspended a good ten feet over the stage. As he starts drumming, the lift is swaying back and forth over the crowd; a huge step up from his solos during the reunion tour.

Overall, this was the show that I’d hoped Blink-182 would put on ever since I saw them in 2001. Tom and Mark both sounded fantastic and Travis was a champ for playing through the blood and pain. The set list was great and their antics were as good as I’ve seen them. I for one can’t wait for many, many more years with one of my favorite rock bands.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 10

Setlist:

1. Feeling This
2. Up All Night
3. The Rock Show
4. What’s My Age Again?
5. Down
6. I Miss You
7. Stay Together for the Kids
8. Dumpweed
9. Always
10. Violence
11. After Midnight
12. First Date
13. Blew Job
14. Heart’s All Gone
15. Fuck a Dog
16. Man Overboard
17. Ghost on the Dancefloor
18. All the Small Things
19. Josie

Encore:

20. Travis’ drum solo
21. Dammit
22. Family Reunion

Photos:

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