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blink-182 and Lil' Wayne Tour: A Parent's Perspective

Mark Hoppus

Blink-182 is and has been my favorite band for the last 16 years and probably always will be. Take Off Your Pants and Jacket was the first album I ever bought as a teenager along with Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory and in hindsight, I still believe they were solid purchases.

The band recently celebrated their 20th anniversary of their breakout album Enema of the State which had such singles as What's My Age Again?, All The Small Things and Adam's Song. When I first heard the album it was pure perfection, it was something new outside of the top 40 radio music that was on repeat, and opened up a the world of punk rock and pop-punk music to me. The question is, do all of the songs still stack up after 16 years of listening to them?

I've had a little bit of experience listening to the Enema of the State album in the last few months seeing them perform the front to back record not once but thrice first at the 2nd Annual Back To The Beach Fest in Huntington Beach California where they initially celebrated the album's birthday, again at the 25th Annual Vans Warped Tour in Atlantic City New Jersey, and lastly in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA where Blink played alongside Neck Deep and Lil' Wayne.

The show was off to a great start featuring UK pop-punk band Neck Deep who's set I missed at the Atlantic City Warped Tour, sorry guys, Taking Back Sunday was a priority. The band played through a number of their hits from their 2017 The Peace and the Panic record as well as their 2015 Life's Not Out to Get You album featuring their new forthcoming single "She's A God" thrown in the mix for good measure. They were everything I hoped they'd be except for when they played their single "December (Again)" and Mark Hoppus was MIA for that middle-bridge part that he guest sang on.

As the UK quintet piled off stage, the crowd waited for Lil' Wayne to set up next, but were greeted by an announcement that blink-182 would be going on at Lil' Wayne's 8:30 time slot as the rapper was MIA for the time being. Social media spread like wildfire and before long I was getting text messages asking what was going on from friends who were tailgating in the parking lot and were only waiting for blink to play. The setup went without a hitch and at 8:30 the band began.

Like I said earlier, this is the third time in only a few months that I've had the pleasure of listening to Enema of the State front to back with the band opening up to the Jaw's Theme at the Back to the Beach Fest and both the Atlantic City Warped Tour and Pittsburgh show coming out to that infamous bible verse Ezekiel 25:17 that Samuel L. Jackson quotes on the famous cult classic Pulp Fiction to which the band jumps right into track 1 of EOTS, Dumpweed. It was great to see fans young and old sing right along with all 12 tracks from the 1999 album, with big crowd responses to songs like All The Small Things, and What's My Age Again? with older fans of the band, like myself, enjoying deep cut tracks like Wendy Clear, and Anthem.

After the 35 minute album was played front to back a brief 3 minute intermission was announced by bassist Mark Hoppus to which a barbershop quartet version of the band's hit single Feelin' This was played over the PA. Hoppus and Matt Skiba emerged from the crowd near the lawn area of the Keybank Pavillion after the 3 minute delay to play an intimate acoustic set of their songs Down and Wasting Time as drummer Travis Barker set up for his drum solo.

Travis' solos have been a blink-182 staple since their iconic Pop Disaster Tour with Green Day back in the early 2000's with Travis spinning upside-down in drum harnesses ever since. This show was no different with the drummer hammering through a hip-hop/punk rock fused drum solo in a Thunderdome-like contraption while spinning around and upside-down the entire time. The band rejoined back onstage only to finish their set with a number classic blink-182 tunes spread out through their 20+ years as a band, ultimately finishing with their single Dammit off of their 1997 album Dude Ranch.