Although the announcement made in 2015 about Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba taking over from Tom Delonge as co-vocalist and guitarist of Blink 182 didn’t go down well with some fans, it is pretty safe to say that the band are in a better place now than they were, both creatively and in the live environment. Last year’s album, California, was a return to form, with Skiba offering a different taste on the tongue in cheek ‘crappy’ pop punk which made Blink the megastars they are today.
Tonight, the three piece stop off at Newcastle arena as part of the UK tour in support of the previously mentioned album, California. Opening with a barrage of hits, and a one-two of Feeling This and Rock Show, the crowd are sent into raptures and the band are clearly having a whale of a time. The set is stacked full of songs from California, and they sit alongside the older numbers pretty seamlessly which is great to hear. It’s pretty strange to see Skiba shed his serious, dark demeanour and just have some fun playing 2-minute pop punk bangers.
Given the somewhat scatter-gun nature of a lot of Blink 182 songs, they are damn tight tonight, due almost entirely to their powerhouse drummer, the iconic Travis Barker. The skinny tattoo covered figure pounds away on his kit all night, his style of drumming quite unlike others. But he really is something to watch, and when people rank him as one of the best in the world at his craft he really does belong there.
The set covers all areas of the bands career, closing with an encore of All The Small Things and Dammit it is pretty disappointing to see that the band have only played for 75 minutes. padding the night out with subpar support bands (which is definitely the case tonight) is not acceptable. with the ever-rising ticket prices in this day and age, don’t an audience deserve two hours at least for a big arena show?