I felt a sense of nostalgia as I walked into Rogers Arena on my way to see Blink 182. Hell I even referred to it as GM Place a few times. The general admission floor was packed as I took my seats in the lower bowl and watched the road crew set up Mark, Tom & Travis’ on stage set up. Old met knew in the stage design as Travis’s drum stage had Blink 182 spray painted on it while the backdrop was a cityscape which is a play off of the title of their upcoming album Neighbourhoods. The stage was dark as two kids came to small microphone stands and yelled “GET READY FOR BLINK 182!!!” The lights, lasers and smoke machines kicked in full tilt as Mark, Tom & Travis broke into the song Feeling This.
If you have ever seen Blink live or heard their best-selling live album The Mark, Tom & Travis Show you know that the band jokes around between each song. This night was no different. Mark & Tom, despite being a few years older than before still crack jokes between one another and get the crowd laughing between songs. All night long Mark was trying to flick one of his bass picks at Tom from across the stage. After a roadie had to come out to put more picks on Mark’s mic stand he eventually hit his target. Mark also brought Tom’s ridiculous chef’s hat. It was more of a toque, but we all shared a few laughs at Tom’s expense.
Of course, we didn’t all go to the concerts for the jokes and pranks; we were there for the music. Personally, I found that Blink’s last album which was self-titled was their best effort. It showed that the band had matured as musicians. It was clear that I was not alone in this sentiment. When the band played a song off of the self titled album the crowd was singing along for each lyric. Sure the old hits like What’s My Age Again?, Rock Show, First Date (it is of note that the video for this was filmed just outside of Vancouver) & All The Small Things got a louder scream once the songs started, the crowd seemed more in tune with the band when they were playing Down, Always and the aforementioned Feeling This.
As the concert rolled along I kept looking back at Travis Barker. I’ve seen Blink in concert before and I knew they had something special in store for the encore. The moment was getting closer as Mark said “We are going to pretend that was our last song. See you in a few minutes”. The band left the stage and when the lights came back on Travis was strapped into his drum kit on the end of two long hydraulic arms that came down from the ceiling. As he began to rock his fucking heart out to mixes off of his solo album Give The Drummer Some the arms moved out over the crowd and the end tilted forward. The arms dipped down to just out of reach of the mosh pit that was worked into a frenzy by this point then up to just a few feet under the scoreboard at centre ice at Rogers Arena. It went side to side while the cell phone cameras rolled throughout the entire arena. Many stood in awe as Travis played the drums 20 feet above the floor. Once he stopped and safely had his feet back on solid ground I heard one of the loudest roars I have ever heard at a concert. He was joined by his band mates again and they played a few more songs.
The best way to describe the concert as a whole was how the last few minutes panned out. They played Dammit as the final song of the encore. If you are not familiar with the song it has the lyric “Well I guess this is growing up”. This lyric seemed fitting since that is what has happened to the guys from California. They broke onto the music scene playing punk rock, turned into the faces of pop-punk with dick and fart jokes, matured on their final album, got married, had kids, grew up and now they are back on tour. Just as I thought that Mark, Tom & Travis had grown up I heard a familiar bass riff. Then the crowd chimed in:
“SHIT, PISS, FUCK, CUNT, COCKSUCKER, MOTHERFUCKER, TITS, FART, TURD AND TWAT.” Maybe they didn’t grow up TOO much
Against Me! photos © Jamie Taylor
Rancid photos © Jamie Taylor
My Chemical Romance photos © Jamie Taylor
Blink 182 photos © Jamie Taylor