Blink-182, The All American Rejects.
Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield.
17th June 2012, 6:30pm.
The All American Rejects bounded onto the stage with all the energy of a band there to entertain the crowd in the run up to tonight’s main act. Kicking off with ‘Dirty Little Secret’, one of their biggest songs to date, got the crowd on their side straight away. After that though the set went a little downhill, as older and lesser known songs were played many in the crowd did seem to lose interest. Frontman Tyson Ritter’s onstage persona can only be described as a little bit pretentious and pretty annoying and there was way too many ‘fuck’s’ coming out of his mouth than was necessary. Bordering on every other spoken word was the ‘f’ word, there is being all rockstar cool and swearing for the hell of it and then there is that. Finishing with ‘Move Along’ and ‘Gives You Hell’ ended the set on a high and the crowd were reawakened which is a good thing really for what was to come.
It’s hard to believe it but blink-182 have been a band for 20 years but the moment the curtain falls and reveals them you wouldn’t know it with the sheer energy of all 3 members. Opening up with ‘Feeling This’ and the crowd were singing along and already losing themselves in the music of arguably pop punk’s biggest band. The biggest challenge for the band would be fitting in the brand new songs from ‘Neighborhoods’ alongside the old classics and they did it well. They chose a few choice cuts from their 6th studio album which sat perfectly with everything else. ‘Up All Night’ was the first to be showcased and had fans new and old singing along. The crowd was very much a mixed bag of older fans that have probably been with the band for many years and younger kids probably at their first ever blink concert after the success of their reunion and new album. ‘The Rock Show’, ‘What’s My Age Again?’ and ‘I Miss You’ are all played within the first 25 minutes, big songs to play that early on but after 20 years in the business and massive singles there is still many more big songs to come. ‘Wishing Well’ took the tempo back down a little as it was probably the one song from the new album least known but following it up with ‘Dumpweed’ revived the crowd straight away. For a band in their late 30’s their energy is just as high as it ever was and the crowd reciprocate with plenty of dancing, moshing and general movement. The biggest difference about this whole show though is that the band have grown up but only a bit, there are still dick jokes but just not as many, they are funny men in their own right and when not entertaining us with songs, they are entertaining us with their witty American banter. ‘All The Small Things’ is definitely one of the best moments of any blink-182 show and tonight was no exception with a brilliantly loud sing along and ending with ‘Josie’ a old time fan favourite. For the first half of their encore, guitarist Tom DeLonge and bassist Mark Hoppus took to a mini stage in the centre of the arena for an acoustic rendition of ‘Reckless Abandon’, an old school album track classic from ‘Take Off Your Pants and Jacket’. They followed that up with an acoustic airing of ‘All Of This’, the track which features The Cure’s Robert Smith on the album. The song has only been played live once or twice before and is a real treat for every single person in attendance tonight, a completely beautiful moment. Then the attention turns back to the main stage when drummer Travis Barker has his moment. Playing ‘Can The Drummer Get Some’ from his solo album and the crowd stand in awe watching the sometime overlooked drumming genius showing off his real talent and insane skills. This is followed by three old but worthy of band anthem status songs ‘Carousel’, ‘Dammit’ and ‘Family Reunion’, whether you knew the songs or not everyone in the crowd was going mental for this pop punk trio and their fast paced songs. And with that they were gone, having put on one of the shows of their lives, from the brilliant lighting to the perfectly structured setlist. They showcased their 20 years as a band in one night and proved, if anyone was in any doubt, that they are the pop punk masters.
Also, I’ve put up my photos from the gig on my Tumblr if any of you want to have a look at them.
If you want my after concert reaction where I completely gushed about the night then it’s on my Tumblr. I posted it last night as soon as I got in and if you are interested then feel free to have a look.