blink-182 rocks the show
Nicole Caratas | Monday, September 12, 2016
Rain showers set an angsty mood in the suburbs of Chicago on Friday night as blink-182 unsurprisingly filled the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre with thousands of poncho-clad fans ready to scream at the stage.
Also unsurprising was the recent addition of Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba to the band — replacing Tom DeLonge — only adding to the band’s usual energy and theatrics.
A Chicago native, Skiba came out on stage in a Cubs jersey and immediately dove in to blink classics such as “Feeling This” and “What’s My Age Again?” The setlist wove together older songs that all blink fans love with some of the best from their newest album “California.”
Listening to “California” nearly nonstop in the weeks leading up to the concert, I wondered what it would be like to hear Skiba perform DeLonge’s parts in the older songs. Would “All The Small Things” sound like it should without Tom’s unique voice?
I’m happy to report that the classics were not noticeably different. Skiba’s stage presence and crowd interaction overshadowed his deeper voice.
Midway through the show, Mark Hoppus announced a setlist change as a tribute to Chicago, promising that we would “tell [our] grandchildren about this one day.” Hoppus told crowd members to take out their cellphones and turn on their flashlights. With a sea of LED lights in front of them, the band became very serious before breaking out into “Happy Holidays, You Bastard.” Is there anything more typically blink-182?
Between the fireworks and the flares, blink-182 did what they do best — entertained thousands of people with their jokes and immaturity. Hoppus called out Travis Barker for being “so sad” because they were about to play their “emo” song, “Stay Together for the Kids.”
Blink played seven songs off their new album, including my favorite “San Diego,” though the title track did not make the setlist. The set ended with “Los Angeles,” during which the main lights were turned off and a strobe light show encapsulated the spirit of the song.
After minutes of cheers and applause, they ran back out for their four-song encore. Though most blink fans agree that “All the Small Things” is overplayed, the crowd could not contain themselves when the first notes sounded — screams erupted and everyone sang along. “Brohemian Rhapsody,” off the new album, served as proof that even after all this time, blink-182 has not changed who they are as artists or as people.
Even as three guys in their 40s, blink-182 made everyone feel like they were in middle school again.