IRVINE — Excitement and the smell of fresh kettle corn filled the air Sept. 17 as fans piled through the gates of the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre for an event four years in the making: the reunion of Blink-182.
A curtain hid the stage as the audience eagerly chanted the band’s name. When the curtain finally went down and the lights dimmed, the stage revealed bright lights, LCD screens and of course, Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Tom DeLonge. The crowd went wild as Blink-182 played some of its mega-hits that had the entire audience singing and dancing.
The band members proved that despite their four-year hiatus and having families of their own, they hadn’t grown up at all. They constantly made sexual jokes that had the audience busting up in laughter. Hoppus and DeLonge made several derogatory references to each other’s moms as Barker smiled and drum rolled in response.
The smell of weed was evident, which prompted the band to jokingly threaten to call the cops.
As they quipped more about authority, the band reminisced about the days it would mess around with security guards but urged the audience not to follow in the same manner. The security guards cheered.
Despite Blink’s manager’s request to keep it a secret, Hoppus called him out on stage saying he would spill the beans anyway. He announced that Blink-182 would be playing the Hollywood Palladium Oct. 10.
The curtain went up once again after Blink’s last song and the audience cheered for an encore and pounded the seats loudly. When the curtain came down, Barker was literally flying in the air on a spinning and tilting platform and seemed almost superhuman. He showed no fear despite being in a plane crash last year that left him critically injured with burns over his torso and lower body. Barker just looked like his old tattoo-bearing self. When he landed, the audience applauded as the rest of the band joined Barker on stage to play its final song of the night, “Dammit.”
Prior to Blink-182’s spectacular set, Weezer and Taking Back Sunday took the stage. Because of its hilarity and bizarre stage presence, Weezer was arguably more entertaining than Blink.
The band members wore white jumpsuits on the glittery and flashy stage. Due to some technical difficulties, lead singer Rivers Cuomo’s cordless microphone wasn’t working but that didn’t stop him from taking full advantage, singing into two microphones at a time. Instead of throwing guitar picks, drumsticks or other usual items, Cuomo threw rolls of socks into the audience.
He beat down a ukulele as the audience laughed. The band delighted fans with old favorites such as “The Sweater Song,” “Hash Pipe” and “Buddy Holly.” The band ended its set with a rendition of The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” which the audience responded with “Stay!”
Taking Back Sunday performed as lead singer, Adam Lazzara, swung around his microphone, his signature move. The music was loud and at times, it was hard to understand what Lazzara was singing, especially as he was running all over the stage. The majority of the audience was still sitting down, so in a frenzy of excitement, Taking Back Sunday ran around the venue and into the stands with its cordless instruments to urge people to stand up and clap their hands.
Fans clapped even more when Lazzara pointed out that their guitarist, Matthew Fazzi, had a broken left foot and despite being in a cast was still able to rock out.
Lazzara acknowledged that this was its last date on the tour and thanked Blink-182, which prompted Hoppus to jump on the stage and hug the band. Taking Back Sunday ended its set with the hit “Make Damn Sure,” which got a lot of people to finally sing along.
Blink-182 is worth seeing. To quote its song, I’m “so sorry it’s over.”