One thing that was blatantly obvious upon entering the Hydro last night was the sheer variety in ages. It’s weird to think that blink-182 have been around for more than two decades yet looking at parents who no doubt grew up with them bringing friends and family along was undeniably heart-warming.
The band’s surf rock/pop punk sound has been influential to say the least and has managed to stand the test of time, even if their potty humour and one of their members, co-founder Tom Delonge, didn’t.
So to say that the California rockers’ show last night was hotly anticipated would be the understatement of the year – the queue stretched out near the entrance to the exhibition bridge and fans were adorned in merch and tattoos, more so than any gig I’ve ever experienced.
The support acts got everyone aptly hyped as well, The Front Bottoms getting everyone emotional and giddy with their blend of the headlining act’s pop punk and The Cure’s glitzy instrumentals.
Frank Turner came in with his folk punk bravado, think Mumford and Sons if they were on all the drugs you can think of, and cemented himself as one of the best showmen of the decade, conducting the audience with pure ease and even giving a beautiful speech regarding Safe Gigs 4 Women, a topic many artists support but none have quite shown their support like this.
Then the big draw finally walked on stage – flying a huge union jack flag with the band’s logo on it didn’t get the best reception but when it dropped to reveal the group, the Stranger Things theme tune playing in the background, and flaming graffiti spelling out “fuck”, it was safe to say the crowd were livid.
To make things all the sweeter, they were starting off with arguably one of the band’s strongest tracks “Feeling This”. With all this in mind, I should have been having the time of my life yet there was something missing.
As mentioned before, blink-182 have been around for longer than I’ve been on this earth but it seemed like it had finally caught up with them – Mark Hoppus and Matt Skiba seemed devoid of any joy with Travis Barker being the saviour in that department with his insane talent on drums.
No one’s asking for a big ear to ear smile throughout your entire set but even when singing, both Hoppus and Skiba sounded more like they were performing at a karaoke than singing to an arena full of fans who have paid upwards of £50 to see them.
That’s not to say that the night was a total disaster: as mentioned Barker is an absolute delight, especially when tracks like “Cynical” put him into top gear, and the setlist was surprisingly varied considering most acts are usually trying to push their latest record, meaning a lot of what was played definitely appealed to that 90’s kid inside everyone.
Sadly though, it feels like Skiba wasn’t getting the hang of it, whether that was down to nerves or just his voice not being suited to the songs DeLonge’s iconic whiny voice made so classic. When they did play new stuff, everything flowed well together but again, it just wasn’t enough to justify the point of entry. As Hoppus and Skiba sing in unison about being bored to death, it’s hard to admit but undeniably true that this song is saying a lot more than they think.