Saturday 15th July
Liverpool Echo Arena
It may have been a 5 years since Blink 182 have played in Liverpool but for the 11,000 in attendance, it was a night for nostalgia as well as new memories. The band have been a soundtrack to many of the people in the arena growing up, myself included. Now, some of them are bringing their kids along to experience one of their first shows.
Opening the show was Frank Turner, who alongside backing band, The Sleeping Souls know exactly what is expected of them, whipping the crowd up in a rousing 10 song set list which saw Frank not only jumping over the barrier to crowd surf, but bring the appropriately named Daniel from the audience onto the stage to help play the Harmonica on ‘Dan’s Song’. Despite nursing the “hangover from hell”, you don’t get to your 2071st show without knowing how to work the stage and was a hit with everyone and bound to convert a few into fans.
As the headliners emerged to the Stranger Things TV theme behind a massive Union Jack, emblazoned with the Blink 182 logo, the audience erupted as a collective to a punching one-two of anthemic tracks ‘Feeling This’ and ‘Rock Show’, the latter certainly being one of their best known tracks from a career spanning 25 years.
Despite all the members now in their 40’s, they can still get a full arena of all ages singing along.
2016 brought the bands 7th album ‘California’, the first without long standing guitarist Tom DeLonge, who left rather messily (again). The album went straight to number one, with Matt Skiba stepping into the big shoes, As a huge fan of the Alkaline Trio frontman, it’s a match made in heaven but it’ll take time to be part of the tapestry which makes up this three piece. Other than Skiba complimenting the crowd with a “That was the best singalong”, he leaves it to the music to reach out to those who are still unsure.
Other than the expletive heavy ‘Family Reunion’. the pop-punk three piece have replaced the toilet humour between tracks, once a staple of their career, with a tour production to rival anyone else. Unfortunately it highlights a show without much interaction with the the audience and indeed each other. When bassist and de-facto leader of the band, Mark Hoppus did try to engage with the crowd, it was often more misses than hits. But the passion he has for the band saw him sing every words, even if just to himself as he jumped around the stage.
Indeed, the older tracks seem to gain new life and have never sounded better, and it is sensational drummer, Travis Barker who draws your attention with a high energy performance keeping everything together. As expected, a large portion of the set list draws from the last album, showing a maturity to their music.The night closed with 13 year old Barker Jr stepping up into the drum stool for a faultless solo, no doubt inspiring many in the Echo Arena. In Liverpool they bring a little bit of California with them, lets just not make it so long next time round yeah?