This past Wednesday, the godfathers of pop-punk, Blink-182, came to the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA for the 20th Anniversary of Enema of the State and brought with them thousands of fans, a killer 90's themed LED panel light show, and a ton of inflatable aliens! As of two weeks ago I had never seen Blink live before, but I was lucky enough to catch them at Vans Warped Tour in Atlantic City, NJ. Seeing them back to back was a whirlwind experience for me!
From start to finish Blink's set was full of energy and kept the crowd engaged the whole night. My favorite of the night, despite being warned by Mark Hoppus in advance that it was a sad song, was Adam's Song. For me, this song was great to hear live. It flawlessly combines ambient guitar leads and longing vocals, but then kicks in with the right amount of energy for the hook to get the crowd going! This song has the perfect amount of dynamic range so when you hear it live you really get the feeling that you're seeing a band of Blink 182's caliber.
One aspect of Blink’s set that did really stick out was the production value. The back of the stage was lined with what looked like huge speakers, but in reality were LED panels that changed color and flashed graphics. The perfect moment of the night was when the band played “All the Small Things.” The song started off with air cannons on stage shooting out confetti streamers, the lights flashed to the beat, and those LED panels had Space Invader-like graphics playing in the background. The whole atmosphere of the night felt like one feel-good and lighthearted party. Come to think of it, that seems to be the general vibe the band is giving off (see, for instance, their new song Happy Days).
With respect to the performance of the band, I thought they performed pretty well! With Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio filling in on Tom DeLonge’s parts, I think the band was rounded out. Travis Barker, of course, was a mad man behind the drums. He managed to provide a steady and grooving beat, but added his signature flare to really set the performance over the top. Mark Hoppus did a great job on vocals as well, but where I think he really came through was as the MC for the set. He did most of the talking and cracked most of the jokes. Most of the antics were the same as they were at Warped Tour a few weeks earlier, but I’m going to say that was more of my issue seeing them back to back.
At the end of the day, its Blink-182, they are going to be awesome. If you're a person who is upset that Tom DeLonge isn’t performing, a review of the show probably wouldn’t change your opinion of the matter. But, if you’re looking for a fun time with awesome music check out Blink on tour with Lil Wayne and Neck Deep on their remaining dates.