Gig Review by Hayley Clark with Photography by Carolyn Brown

It was summer 2001 and the sun shone down on the Spanish isle of Lanzarote, the cool young lad with his baggy shorts and trucker cap lent me his headphones and thus began the journey of enlightenment that is Blink-182. The holiday romance fizzled out but the love of the punk-rock cheeky ditties did not and here we are sixteen years later, older, wiser and at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena.

Blink-182

As The Front Bottoms (yes that is really their name) graced the stage, the crowd exploded in a loud cheers for the four-piece, currently settled in New Jersey. Rip-roaring like a rocket through their small, yet spectacular, support set starting with hit ‘Skeleton’ and ending with ‘Twin Size Matters’, the indie rock band showed heavy influences from the likes of The Clash and Smiths to keep the youthful crowd on their feet and bobbing up and down .

“Good evening Birmingham! My name’s Frank Turner put your hands in the f***ing air.” As the Hampshire homegrown talent made his way onto the stage as the crowd went wild . Having saw numerous gigs advertised for The Sleeping Souls and their front man and curious to know more, I asked a  work colleague who described him as “a naughty Ed Sheeran”. Great vocals, a mean guitar riff and more expletives than Gordon Ramsey on a bad day. Sharply dressed in a white shirt it was obvious to see why the doting  fans loved Frank Turner so much, as he sprung into a ten song set list. He acknowledged the crowd virtually every single song, encouraging fans to climb on shoulders and jump up and down. He slayed  the stage, encouraging the crowd to take care of each other whilst performing a mix of both energetic and beautiful melodies filling the  arena from opening with ‘Get Better’ to closing with ‘Four Simple Words’, exciting the crowd ready for 9pm and Blink-182.

Frank Turner

Frank Turner

Eager anticipation filled the room as the Californian rock gods were due on the stage, the tour being the first time they played in the UK since headlining at Reading and Leeds in 2014 and since Matt Skibba from Alkaline Trio stepped in to fill the spot of Tom DeLonge. As the curtain dropped and  a barrage of flames flew into the air from the stage the iconic punk rock band of the nineties set the crowd on fire with ‘Feeling This’ and the crowd exploded with ‘Rock Show’ bouncing and singing along with this nostalgic favourite, the three-piece grabbed the crowd early and took them on a journey of ecstasy and elation.

Blink-182

Blink-182

Blink-182

Latest album offering ‘California’ created a steady and sturdy base to their performance but it was the crowd favourites from the early days, in which the crowd really were blew away; ‘First Date’ and ‘What’s My Name Again’ highlights of the evening, as well as an arousing drum solo by Travis Barker which echoed around the arena over the screams and cheers.

Blink-182

Blink-182

Blink-182

Blink-182

Blink-182

Blink-182

Whilst the childish toilet jokes of Tom and Mark were missed, the chemistry within the new formation is electric, the fast paced show full of pyrotechnics and raucous rifts came to a premature ending with not one but two encores ‘All The Small Things’, ‘Dammit’ and the finale of Travis’ 13-year-old son Landon performing an epic drum solo left the sellout crowd wanting more, as they spilled out into a muggy city centre.

Blink-182


Setlist:
Stranger Things
Feeling This
The Rock Show
Cynical
Anthem Part Two
What’s My Age Again?
First Date
Bored to Death
Built This Pool
Down
I Miss You
Dumpweed
Reckless Abandon
She’s Out of Her Mind
Kings of the Weekend
Violence
Sober
Happy Holidays, You Bastard
Dysentery Gary
Los Angeles

Encore:
All the Small Things
Brohemian Rhapsody
Dammit

Encore 2:
Drum Solo

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