About a year after Calfornia’s release Blink 182 are on their European leg of the album tour. Tom DeLonge has taken leave from the band for a second time in order to pursue interests outside of music (aliens) and he is replaced on the tour by Matt Skiba, from Alkaline Trio.
The first support act was the Front Bottoms, an American Folk Punk band. They performed with a sofa in the centre of the stage upon which they invited four members of the audience to sit. Whilst the band’s interesting sound captivated some of the audience, the four people sitting on stage looked a bit awkward and many people saw a lack of showmanship. Thus people who may not have heard of the band before were going to the bar for another pint.
The second support act was Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls. From the moment they came on stage, the tone was set for the rest of the gig. The audience belted out the lyrics, a massive mosh pit formed in the centre of the crowd and gig goers began crowd surfing. Frank hit home the message about his shows being fun but he also took a moment to address a more serious issue of the Safe Gigs For Women movement, which aims to address the issues of sexual harassment and other threats to women that occur at gigs.
Next was Blink-182. They started their set with a giant Union Jack flag with the band’s logo in the centre hiding the stage. The flag dropped revealing the band, while they opened the show with ‘Feeling This’. The trio performed in true pop punk style with an endless display of pyrotechnics, crowd surfing, a creative video display and an impressive amount of energy for a band in their forties. They opened with a string of bangers off their older albums, getting the crowd really riled up before they dropped into some slower songs such as ‘I Miss You’ and ‘Down’, giving us a nice break in energy before diving into songs from California and other hits.
The atmosphere in the crowd echoed the band’s enthusiasm with fans screaming their songs back at them, moshing and crowd surfing. There was, of course, the usual chanting “YORKSHIRE, YORKSHIRE, YORKSHIRE”, to which the American band responded by asking for a representative from the crowd to tell them what we were chanting before we could continue.
On the whole, the trio gave an electric performance and although Tom’s unique sound was missed in some songs, particularly ‘I Miss You’, Matt Skiba was able to slide into the role almost seamlessly. There were some odd points during the night such as the end when Mark came out with Olaf’s head on and a seemingly random kid did a sick drum solo. But, hey, that’s part of punk rock and overall the gig was definitely not one to miss!