Whenever I told someone I was heading to the Blink182 concert at the Xcel Energy Center, I got the same response.
“Really? Why? Aren’t they, like, 10 years ago?”
I mean, sure, their first album came out in 1997 — when most of Wednesday’s concertgoers were probably still in diapers — but one shouldn’t discredit a band so quickly just because their “mainstream” hits are now celebrating milestone birthdays.
The truth is, Blink182 is entering a legends status. With 10 albums now under their belt and countless hits, they’ve truly entered a new era — one where they’re somehow able to attract the young’uns while still being relevant to the fans of ’97.
This noble feat was no more apparent than it was Wednesday in St. Paul. The goofy guys of Blink proved no matter how old they get, no matter how many ups and downs the band faces, they’ll never truly grow up. And that’s quite refreshing.
That’s also, perhaps, why I couldn’t help but feel like I was among the oldest in the crowd. A somewhat shocking revelation, but honestly, do these kids even know who Blink182 is? Were they alive when Dude Ranch hit the music scene? I mean, sure, the humor of the band is still at about an eighth-grade level but I can’t imagine that was the only draw for these parent-chaperoned children.
And yes, with a band like My Chemical Romance opening the night, I’m sure that garnered its share of preteens — but from the looks of the crowd, most were in the latest Blink merch.
Ages aside, the night’s set provided plenty of high-energy for the floor mob, and subsequent crowd surfers, with plenty of classic Blink and a few hits off their new album, due out later this month.
Opening the night with “Feeling This” off their 2003 self-titled album, the guys had a somewhat slow start but quickly kicked up the energy and ran with it for the rest of the evening.
The band spun through at least 20 hits, including “All The Small Things,” “The Rock Show,” “I Miss You” and more. When they tore into their classic, “What’s My Age, Again?” I couldn’t help but feel some serious nostalgia and be hit with memories of my younger years.
The rest of the crowd must have been feeling a similar sensation since the energy level shot into another level, with more crowd surfers taking their turn and non-stop jumping around the stadium.
One of the best compliments I can bestow upon the group’s performance is that undoubtedly and, in a way, finally, they feel like a dorky trio of friends having a blast on stage, without really caring about anything else. But, you know, a trio that just so happens to be extremely talented musicians.
Besides, it was a celebration and anniversary of sorts for Blink. As Tom DeLonge mentioned, it was during a performance in the Twin Cities a few years back when he decided to write Travis Barker a letter (shortly after the infamous plane crash), asking to end their feuding and get the band back together.
And lucky for us, it seems they’ve never been better.
As my fiance put it, the best way to sum up the “new” Blink is to reflect on their performance of “Always.” Typically, it’s one of the band’s somewhat slower, more poignant songs — not to mention beautifully performed. But just when you think they’re taking themselves seriously, DeLonge drops the word “penis” during a dramatic pause.
And just like that, we’re back — a group of 30-something men stuck in their immature, teenage years and loving it.
The group closed the show with “Josie,” off Dude Ranch, before heading off stage to get ready for one of the best encores I’ve seen in a while. (Hilarious side note, Mark Hoppus completely admitted the fake exit saying they were going to pretend to be done but really, would be back in a bit.)
When they emerged, Travis Barker ditched his stage drum set and was now flying high on a giant movable platform, where he would perform a nearly five minute ridonkulous drum solo. The platform swung Barker above the floor mob, took him to the top of the stage and even bent him forward on a 45-degree tilt. I mean, c’mon. It was insane.
The group closed the night with a performance of “Dammit” — a song that perfectly brought the night’s show and the band’s history full circle. For the newcomers and yes, the old faithful fans, Blink has proved once and for all, they’re not done yet.