August 4, 2009
I have never in my life laughed so hard at a concert than I did when I attended my first Blink-182 show last week in Milwaukee. Guitarist/singer Tom DeLonge and bassist/singer Mark Hoppus could seriously star in their own stand-up comedy act, complete with a prime-time half hour slot on television. By the end of the band’s hour and a half long set, my stomach ached from laughing. No joke – my abdominal muscles really hurt! I only wish drummer Travis Barker was given a microphone. It would have been cool to hear him say something – anything! He doesn’t talk that much. At least not when Mark and Tom are bantering back and forth as if the past four years (Blink-182’s “indefinite hiatus”) had never happened. At one point in between songs almost halfway through the band’s set, Tom and Mark took turns teasing each other, with Hoppus even going so far as to make fun of Tom’s song “Everything’s Magic” by his other band Angels & Airwaves. Well, Tom had it coming. DeLonge was wearing a freaking Angels & Airwaves T-shirt. And his in-ear monitors were custom-designed for Angels & Airwaves too. What the hell was up with that, Tom?! Not to mention that as I was walking into the venue, there were street teamers handing out Angels & Airwaves stickers. Needless to say, I was all for Mark embarrassing Tom in front of thousands of people. BOOM! ROASTED! Score for Mark!
More photos of Mark, Travis, and Tom from Blink-182 after the jump…
If you take a look at the set list below, you’ll see that Blink-182 played “Stockholm Syndrome” after “Always” instead of after “Violence.” On the band’s last untitled (well, self-titled) album Blink-182, the final 1 minute and 42 seconds of “Violence” serve as an outro of sorts, featuring dialogue provided by some random woman’s voice over a piano interlude. According to the record’s sequencing, this outro is considered the end of “Violence,” but in actuality, its purpose is more of an intro into “Stockholm Syndrome.” Honestly, it was weird hearing that chick start talking (over the Marcus Amphitheater’s PA system) after the boys finished my personal favorite Blink-182 song “Always.” It kind of came out of nowhere. Also, you wouldn’t know it by looking at the set list (unless you were there), but Tom made up his own little outro at the end of “First Date.” I call it the “Blow Job” interlude. Let’s just say it involved Tom finishing up his lead vocals on “First Date” by singing the actual lyrics “forever and ever, let’s make this last forever” over and over and over again, eventually changing the lyrics to revolve around blow jobs. Enough said.
After performing “Not Now” off of the Blink-182: Greatest Hits album, Tom broke out another little improvised ditty. I call this one the “Take Off Your Pants, Dad” interlude. Again, enough said. About 3/4 of the way through the night’s festivities, Tom told the crowd “I’m drunk” before immediately launching into a guitar intro riff (forgot what song, sorry!). Soon after announcing his intoxicated state of mind, DeLonge screamed out “Red Bull and vodka!” into the microphone, much to my delight. Side note: I used to work for Red Bull and therefore am very partial, loyal, protective, territorial, etc. to the brand. Yay for Red Bull and the fact that Tom DeLonge made it publicly known in Milwaukee what his preferred brand of energy drink is! We were meant to be… Well, Mark had to cut Tom off before his bandmate got too inappropriate and apologetically told fans, “Anyway, this next song is a real bum-out.” Can you guess what song Blink-182 played next? I knew it the second Mark uttered the words “bum-out.” Of course, Mark was talking about none other than “Adam’s Song” from the band’s most successful album to date, Enema Of The State. Man oh man, Mark was not kidding around when he called “Adam’s Song” a real bum-out. The track can totally make me cry if I’m feeling depressed/down/blue/sad/hopeless you name it. It is about suicide after all. How can that topic not be depressing?
Moments before the boys in Blink-182 launched into “All The Small Things,” Tom announced to fans, “You know, just because we’re back together doesn’t mean I still don’t hate these guys,” while pointing to Travis (behind him) and Mark (to his right). For the encore, Travis got to show off his mad drumming skills while performing a solo to a remix of Jay-Z’s “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” while strapped down safely to his drum kit as it floated through the air over the stage. Honestly, I don’t know how Travis had the guts to do what he did. His drum kit platform was suspended 20-30 feet up in the air by these rubber bouncy cables on all four corners while the base rotated and leaned at various angles. Barker was tipped and turned in every direction except completely upside down.
The band’s Milwaukee gig ended with the hit that put Blink-182 on the road to mainstream success, “Dammit.” Upon hitting the last note, both DeLonge and Barker walked away from their instruments and off stage, while Hoppus remained firmly planted in front of his microphone on stage right. Now it was Mark’s turn to improvise, with his interlude consisting of the following lyrics: “I’m sorry about my friend Tom; I know what he said is inappropriate.” Hoppus supported the words with a simple bass line while singing that phrase over and over, faster and faster as the audience clapped and sang along. I realize this was Mark’s attempt to undo the foul language that came from DeLonge’s potty-mouth all night long, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Tom’s stage antics and inappropriate dialogue is what makes a Blink-182 show a Blink-182 show!
Hoppus then proceeded to sit down at Barker’s drum kit and show the crowd his drum skills, or rather lack thereof (compared to Travis that is). For the last few minutes, thousands of Blink fans either slowly exited the amphitheater, or stayed and watched Mark play his drum solo over a backing track of some horrendous song called “Let Me Smell Your Dick.” Then all of a sudden Hoppus got up and walked off stage and poof, the show was really over. I could have watched those three guys play all night long. I didn’t want the night to be over. It took me 12 years to see Blink-182 live in concert, but I finally can say I’ve seen them!
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