Blink 182 at The O2, Dublin

Blink 182 at The O2, Dublin on May 12th 2012

Review: Aidan Cuffe
Photos: Kieran Frost

It started 11 years ago. This reviewer was largely guided by pop charts for a large part of his early teens, which to a new acquaintances horror, needed “fixing”. He handed me Blink 182’s – ‘Enema of the State’ and so began a long winding road of musical deviation which lead me down the road of all kinds of local and international punk, rock, electro type acts which have scattered themselves across my musical preferences over the past decade.

That all led to tonight, when I was fortunate enough to meet the band and tell them this story of how they kickstarted this 10 year project of musical coverage in Ireland. Gentlemen that they are, they hoped it was a great 10 years and long may we continue. As we left these childhood heroes, Four Year Strong took to The O2 stage. Frantic, sweaty, heavy and hard. Four Year Strong are veterans in their own right, running about the stage hyping up the already packed crowd. Few bands can command such an early crowd, but FYS drew them in and got them bouncing long before the headliner was due.

All American Rejects were next. Continuing on from the good work by FYS, they managed to rattle through a set of their better known tracks. Every ploy you can put in the cheap cliché book is used, Ole Ole’s and his love for Dublin,Ireland, the crowd and how they were the best they’ve had this tour, all making their way into Tyson’s wordplay. He scattered himself around the stage, dropping to the ground like a child in a tantrum regularly, getting down into the crowd and picking up an umbrella and spazzing out on stage with it, as they finished up a strong set with Give You Hell. Frontman Tyson certainly kept the set interesting as you never knew what was next.

Cue Blink 182 and their customary front of stage cover, the strobe lights provide a lightning-like effect, with the silhouettes of the three men we all came to see. Two bars into the first track the cover drops revealing the band, and neighbourhood themed background in keeping with their latest album.  The opening track was Feeling This followed promptly with tracks like The Rock Show and What’s My Age Again and Dumpweed all making the opening eight track salvo. There did seem to be some vocal level problems that made it hard to hear Mark at times.

The childish humour is still a key feature from Tom, and Mark playful skips around the stage, clearly enjoying being back on stage with his old pals. The lights and visuals are a key part of the show this visit, with an extremely impressive array of changing light styles and structures across the set, matched with some quirky visuals and a live video effect showing sketch versions of the band members. These on the fly visuals look amazing and mixed so perfectly with the light show.

A drum solo from Travis leads into Violence, The crowds dancing starts up again for First Date. A personal favourite of Man Overboard seems to resonate as much with the crowd as it does with me, sending the sweaty crowd into moshing heaven. All The Small Things is sung word for word and Josie pleases the fans of the older content. Returning for an encore, Travis lit the crowd up with another of his customary drum solo’s to a ‘Can A Drummer Get Some‘ track. Tom and Mark join their beat master to belt out Carousel and Dammit finishing the show strongly.  We have a big soft spot for the older content.

Blink 182 have been terrorising mothers since 1992. Now that the years are packing in and all three have families, they at times lack the energy and pace of their younger counterparts like Four Year Strong. However with Travis in the engine room driving the live show, it’s impossible not to enjoy a Blink 182 show. The energy emanating from the drums matched with a cracking back catalogue that Blink possess means every show is going to be a great mix of new and old. The band perhaps lack a bit of energy found in previous shows that we’ve seen them play but the light show and visuals helped balance that out.

Blink 182 at The O2, Dublin Setlist

Feeling This
Up All Night
The Rock Show
What’s My Age Again?
I Miss You
Wishing Well
After Midnight
First Date
Heart’s All Gone
Man Overboard
Ghost On The Dance Floor
All The Small Things
Can a Drummer Get Some (Travis Barker Solo)

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