REVIEW: Blink-182 Brought Fun Back to Their Boston, Massachusetts, Rock Show
The last time I saw Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge, and Travis Barker share a stage together was during Blink-182's 'Neighborhoods' tour stop at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts. The band was physically there that night, but there was something missing. The secret ingredient that had made Blink-182 one of the most popular bands in the world for years.
It wasn't long after the 'Neighborhoods' tour wrapped up that Tom DeLonge left Blink-182. Hoppus and Barker carried on, adding Matt Skiba to the trio while recording a new album and touring again, playing all of Blink's greatest hits. But to say the loss of DeLonge's signature voice and antics at live shows wasn't evident would be disingenuous. The band wasn't the same without him.
So perhaps it took near-death experiences and cancer scares for Hoppus, DeLonge, and Barker to realize that the right place for them all to be is together. When they took the stage at the TD Garden on Sunday, May 21, the secret ingredient wasn't just back. It was on full display.
Blink-182 went full throttle in Boston. They were smiling, laughing, and antagonizing the crowd over the Red Sox and Celtics. Hoppus and DeLonge bantered between songs about each other's mothers and sisters with DeLonge quipping that was "excited for your Fallopian tubes" to the female members of the audience.
They swore. A lot. They played a filthy Christmas song in complete darkness. They doused the general admission crowd hugging the stage with paper sperm to simulate...well, use your imagination there. Travis Barker even said "hi" into a microphone.
Speaking of Barker, he remains worth the price of admission alone. He was relentless on his drum kit, even when he was vaulted twenty feet above the stage for several songs during the set list. When the rest of the band is energized, Travis Barker elevates to a different level.
The most heartfelt moment of the night was the intro Mark Hoppus gave to "Adam's Song". He stated he wrote the song during one of the lowest moments of his life. 18 months ago, he felt low again when he could barely walk up the stairs at his home because of stage 4 lymphoma. The fact that he was touring the country with his friends and playing music in front of crowds was not lost on him.
Blink-182 closed their 25-song setlist with four of this biggest hits. Everyone in the arena was standing and soaking in the last few moments. They played almost the same setlist more than a decade ago for their "Neighborhoods" tour, but this was different. It was fun again, for the band and especially the fans.