REVIEW: Blink-182 at O2 Arena, 8 June 2012

After waiting almost a year for the rescheduled London dates heralding the return of infamous pop punk legends, Blink-182, I think it’s fair to say that the atmosphere in the O2 was electric on Friday night.

We were unfortunate enough to find our seats in the highest of nose bleeds, which didn’t do much for my vertigo. I’m convinced it’s not entirely safe up there. We were comfortably early so we got to see Four Year Strong open. It’s a well-known fact that venues never put the good sound on for bottom billers and in a venue as cavernous as the O2, it really shows. The band seemed to be getting a pretty good response to their energetic brand of pop punk but the very back of the Arena was not the best place to get to know a band you don’t already have a strong feel for. With that in mind I can’t really comment on the strength of the performance. It was like watching ants jump and down in the far distance.

Second up were The All American Rejects, who I do know a lot better having seen them headline twice. They benefit not only from having a hearty back catalogue of radio hits but also an extremely charismatic front man in Tyson Ritter. I’ll admit that I found the new material a bit boring but I couldn’t resist a singalong to Swing Swing or Dirty Little Secret or a giggle when Ritter went off on a tangent about the people in the private boxes. I’ve sat there… it’s not that great. Overall a solid performance, worthy of the positive response from the audience apart from one guy slightly in front of us, who booed throughout. Probably the type who bottles people at festivals.

What can one say about Blink? After a five year hiatus, I think I half expected them to come back Green Day style and explode in an American Idiot kind of way. Unfortunately unlike Green Day the members of Blink genuinely appear to hate each other… well Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge anyway. If you’ve hung out with a couple who are about to break-up, you’ve probably got a good idea of what the onstage vibe was like, with both front men hurling thinly veiled barbs at each other. It wasn’t that they played badly, it was just an extremely uncomfortable experience. Their early material relies heavily on dick and fart jokes, which was funny when they were twenty-three (as the song says) but with all three pushing forty, it’s a bit tragic watching them trying to capture a level of silliness unbecoming to husbands and fathers. The new material and the songs from their eponymous final pre-split album fare better but when the overriding feeling is that the light show was great, I think things have gone wrong. I suppose one can hope that they’ll get over their differences and create something epic but I think it’s relatively unlikely.

7 Comments

  1. Tis a shame.

    I am going to see them at a festival in Belgium. Safe to say I prefer to see them at a festival because if they blow (like you have implied they might) I will at least find solace in the other headliners there.

  2. Louise

    I am so surprised at your review. They stayed true to their fan base and even the banter between them I think was mostly put on for the show. I waited like most people a year to see them after the postponement of the gig and I was not disappointed – loved every minute in fact left wanting them to play more of their new album and will look forward to when they play in the UK again.

  3. I must say I fully agree with your review. I missed both supports as I got there too late and had to grab a bite to eat. I was really looking forward to the gig having also waited for the rescheduled date. It wasn’t that it was bad, far from it, I did enjoy myself but I was left feeling somewhat underwhelmed by the whole experience. That may be some part due to the fact that I was also at the back (all be it below the boxes) but I’ve seen other artists from that seating area and had a more positive experience.

  4. wyatthaplo

    Cool my girlfriends a big fan and is trying to get me into them now.

  5. Josh JOhnston

    you are completely idiotic if you think tom and mark hate eachother..if you knew anything about the band you’d know they always jab at eachother on stage like that for the hell of it. and for the jokes, thats just what they do for entertainment..its not by design/staged. its just what they like to do and the fans love every minute of it. and as for Neighborhoods, their best album musically/lyrically is something you cant go wrong with and so what if they take those songs more serious? they have a right to be, they all went through a bunch of turmoil over the years so what they did with this album makes perfect sense..blink sounds phenomenal on this current UK tour and will continue to impress and show why their one of the great rock/punk bands in this time

  6. Abbi

    I’ve been a fan for years and I’ve seen them live before… banter and all. I found the atmosphere very different from this particular gig.

  7. Did you go to the same gig I went to that night? because from where I was stood which was front row at the barrier they sounded amazing, the stage banter was typical blink and that will never change and as for Mark and Tom’s relationship ever since blink got back together it’s been stronger than ever. They’ve always made fun of each other they definitely don’t hate each other

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