w/ A Day To Remember, All Time Low, DJ Spider
Mountain View, CA
September 28, 2016
Sometimes, a show will come along that defies all expectations and is just, for lack of a better word, perfect. Blink-182 came to Mountain View, CA yesterday evening, bringing along one of the best tour packages of the past few years, and a show that is everything rock and roll is supposed to be about. It was, indeed, perfect.
It should come as no surprise that this was one of the most anticipated shows of the year. Filling in for former Blink-182 member Tom DeLonge was Matt Skiba, the vocalist/guitarist of another punk rock group, Alkaline Trio. While people had heard what the band had to offer in their current incarnation with Skiba, entitled California, it's clear that fans eagerly awaited what would happened when he took the stage with the band and performed the songs (particularly the classic Blink tracks) in a live setting.
To kick things off, there was a 45 minute set from DJ Spider. While it wasn't my favorite moment of the evening, I do have to say that Spider was good, and he knew how to read a crowd. His set featured a mix of rock, punk, and alternative classics, a little bit of hip-hop, and a good deal of scratching and remixing tracks.
The crowd was now a bit warmed up, and it was time for All Time Low. One of the reasons that I say this tour was perfect is not just because of Blink, but because of the selection of opening artists. If you've listened to artists like All Time Low or A Day To Remember, there's a good chance that you went and listened to Blink-182. It was amazing to see that the fans of each of these bands was able to sing along just as loud to the openers as they were to the headliners. All Time Low were thrilling to watch and listen to in a large amphitheater. They've been in the scene for quite awhile now, and they know how to cater to a crowd of any size at this point. Guitarist Jack Barakat even made it a point during the first song, "Lost In Stereo", to jump off of the stage and run a lap around the entire amphitheater, stopping with fans to take photos (all while still playing). And to top it off, they sound better than ever.
It brought me a great deal of joy to see A Day To Remember finally performing in an amphitheater. They've always been know for their grandiose stage shows, so it was fitting to see that their entire stage was decked out to look like something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey (all the way down to the movie theme intro that played when they walked out on stage.) They perform with an invigorating amount of energy, as if someone has given each of them a shot of adrenaline to the heart. Their songs border on the line between metalcore chugging and pop-punk sing-along, and they perform each and every note with the same amount of gusto as the last.
Finally: the main course. A curtain that adorns the front of the stage is dropped once drummer Travis Barker kicks in with the opening fill on "Feeling This", from the band's 2003 self-titled record. Four gigantic letters, set ablaze with fire, spell out "FUCK" right behind his drum kit. Matt Skiba (guitar/vocals) and Mark Hoppus (bass/vocals), launch into their vocal parts as a large number of explosives, boom cannons, and sparklers go off behind them. The crowd hangs on to every word, screaming it back to them, one song after another. The band go straight into "What's My Age Again?", one of their biggest singles from 1999's Enema of the State, before performing an old live favorite, "Family Reunion". The song is twenty seconds long, but I promise you'll never forget it upon hearing it.
The rest of the evening includes a healthy mix of material from both California (complete with perfectly coordinated pyrotechnics and sparklers) and selections from their previous records, including Enema of the State, Blink-182, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, and even Cheshire Cat ("Carousel"), and Dude Ranch ("Dammit"). Massive, high-definition video screens that boasted incredible imagery to accompany each song, in addition to the pyro cannons that shot off behind the band, made for a visual delight.
As the last song, "Dammit", finished being performed, confetti cascaded down upon the amphitheater to signify the end of the show (and a lovely four song encore).
If you weren't there, I have to say that I legitimately feel sorry for you. This was easily the tour of the year.
What's My Age Again?
The Rock Show
I Miss You
Bored to Death
Built This Pool
Stay Together for the Kids
Kings of the Weekend
Happy Holidays, You Bastard
All the Small Things
A Day To Remember
All Time Low
This has been another Shameless Promotion.