Blink 182 is finally back, and they’re back with a vengeance. As 9:30 rolled around at the Molson Amphitheatre the big curtain in front of the stage came down with a bang, as Blink 182 appeared on stage with a massive pyro explosion that spelt out the word ‘FUCK’ behind them.
They wasted no time getting nostalgic with us as they opened up their set with ‘Feeling This’. The crowd literally went wild as people started spewing out of their seats and into the aisles of the Amphitheatre trying to get more space to dance around in. The security guard in my section didn’t look too impressed as he had to try and get everyone back into their seats since it was a safety hazard to block the aisles. This actually happened multiple times through out the night as everyone was having a blast getting lost into the music and belting back the songs to the band.
As someone who has grown up listening to Blink for the last 12 years, I wasn’t sure about how I’d feel seeing songs like ‘Feeling This’, ‘First Date’, and ‘Down’ being performed without guitarist Tom Delonge – as the songs were heavily dependent on his vocals. But I have to say, Matt Skiba fit the bill perfectly and I thoroughly enjoyed the dynamics he added to the band. Their stage presence was very cohesive as they were going on between their stage banter and chasing each other around the stage; something I don’t remember seeing much of when they last performed in Toronto back in 2011. You could tell that all three of them were genuinely having a great time on stage.
The set list itself was a fantastic mix as they played songs such as ‘What’s My Age Again?’, ‘Stay Together For The Kids’ and ‘Dumpweed’. To my surprise, they didn’t include anything off of their 2011 release Neighborhoods; which I personally didn’t care for, but was still somewhat expecting to see ‘After Midnight’ or ‘Up All Night’ pop up somewhere in the set.
As usual, no Blink show would be complete without slipping in some of their 30 second goofy songs here and there, and they didn’t disappoint as they performed ‘Family Reunion’, and ‘Built This Pool’. It was also great to finally hear songs off their new album California being played live. Fans went crazy when songs like ‘Cynical’, ‘Bored To Death’ and ‘San Diego’ popped up through out the night.
Towards the end of the set, Mark Hoppus told us ‘We’re about to make Rock history!’ and asked for the lights to be turned off as they performed ‘Happy Holidays, You Bastard’ in the dark. After they plowed through the 50-second song, Hoppus jokingly told the crowd that we did it wrong, and that we were to use our cellphone flashlights to light up the venue during the song – so they performed it again. But this time the whole Amphitheatre was lit up with cellphones, which was incredible to see.
Blink’s encore consisted of ‘Carousel’, ‘All The Small Things’, ‘Brohemian Rhapsody’, and ‘Dammit’ – some of their many fan favourites. It was a great way to have the show end off with a bang while leaving the fans still wanting more.
The most important thing I took away from this show was that even though Delonge is no longer in the band, it still very much felt like a Blink 182 show as it was filled with stage banter, playfulness, and most importantly – some really great pop punk.