Live Review: Blink-182 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Irvine
Mon, 21 Sep 2009 15:37:59
It's good to see that kids still listen to music.
Given the youth of America's unwavering fixation on Facebook, video games and their iPhones, it's easy to forget that young music fans still exist. Blink-182's second sold-out show in Irvine was quite the reminder though.
The majority of the crowd could barely drive, but they managed to belt out lyrics like they'd been going to concerts forever. The triple threat of Blink-182, Fall Out Boy and The All-American Rejects no doubt made for a lot of Facebook updates that night.
In many ways, it was the perfect pop punk bill. Blink-182 remain the genre's reigning godfathers. They're so important to this style that Pete Wentz even exclaimed, "We grew up on Blink-182. When they went on hiatus, we got bad haircuts and started taking ourselves too seriously."
He basically dissected the whole emo scene in one sentence. Just like Blink-182 though, Fall Out Boy have always been one step ahead of the game, mitigating intoxicatingly infectious chorus with a healthy dose of humor and self-effacing sarcasm.
Blink-182 ripped through a flawless set of hits and fan favorites. "Dumpweed" ignited everything with speedy punk drumming and the impenetrable interplay of Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus. "What's My Age Again?" resounded like a new national anthem with the entire crowd screaming along as the band nailed each nuance. "Stay Together for the Kids" and "Down" were strangely pensive and powerful, while bright and bombastic renditions of "Josie" and "All the Small Things" felt like the perfect ending to summer.
DeLonge was on fire, cracking jokes and ripping riffs with the reckless abandon he's always had. Hoppus helped the hooks soar and, at the center, Travis Barker bashed away at his kit like he was possessed. Travis got his time in the spotlight during a rollercoaster drum solo, which saw him suspended and spun around upside down while jamming. He managed to oscillate from hip hop grooves to full on metallic mastery, captivating every fan in the house. It was the perfect middle ground between Joey Jordison and Eminem—undeniably Barker.
Fall Out Boy's set sparked just as many sing-a-longs. They tore through "Sugar, We're Going Down," "Dance, Dance" and "Grand Theft Autumn," thrashing about with a raw punk energy. The songs maintained their pop sensibility, but Wentz and Patrick Stump infused a distinct attitude on stage—definitely bringing it. "I Don't Care" and "This Ain't a Scene" elicited gospel-like cheering from the audience. Wentz talked about how it was his son's first Fall Out Boy show and blown away by the underage audience he said, "LA, I raise my red soda cup to you!"
Wentz toasted the crowd, and The All-American Rejects got them "Feelin good!" Vocalist Tyson Ritter truly has the classic "lead singer mystique." He's edgy and hypnotic all at once—more like Perry Farrell than Billie Joe Armstrong. The All-American Rejects' set was the perfect middle ground between unforgettable pop and off-the-rails rock. Ritter writhed around the stage, while carrying hooks from "Move Along" and "Dirty Little Secret." His band mates circled around him like sharks tearing through the music's Vaudevillian stomp. "Swing Swing" felt massive, and The All-American Rejects gave the kids some old school swagger.
"Damnit" closed off the evening's festivities. The crowd left energized to go post comments on Twitter. Glad to see the love's still there though…even if it is digital.