Live Music + Gig Reviews

Blink 182 @ Hammersmith Apollo, London

12 February 2004


Taking to the stage with a minute full of musically accompanied profanity, Blink 182 are most definitely in the house. Those not screaming transfixed at their idols on stage will notice a mother dragging her innocent eared and eyed son out by his hood within this first minute, which sums up all that Blink stand for – being rude, crude and downright lewd.

Despite this minor loss in fanbase, the rest of the packed Apollo cannot contain their jubilation as the San Diego trio tear into one of their breakthrough hits What’s My Age Again? which goes down like Mr Spock appearing at a Star Trek convention. This three-minute slice of pop genius features some interesting variations in the rhythm section from Mr Travis Barker, who is merely limbering up for a night of unrivalled showmanship which will include playing with broken sticks, not dropping a single beat throughout the entire gig, and quite frankly, setting a mediocre band on fire.

Fever pitch is quickly reached as recent single Feeling This sails across the sea of tightly packed pre-pubescent fans who try their best to mosh but end up achieving more of a gentle sway from left to right throughout the tune. They get even more excited as Reckless Abandon swiftly follows, proving that Blink haven’t grown up totally as the lads who have taken up the mantle of pop-punk from Green Day still find time to play with the bras that are tossed up on stage and slip in the odd Mum joke or two.

This jars somewhat with the more serious nature of songs like forthcoming single Miss You, especially since there are no requests to see “boobies” or for audience members to engage in naughtiness as have been common at Blink shows of the past. But who knows, maybe even delinquent late twenty-somethings have to grow up sometime.

As with Blink’s recent Top Of The Pops performance, Miss You doesn’t quite come across as they may have liked it too, with Mark searching for the right pitch for most of the song, and his bass being strangely absent from the mix.

However, quality of musicianship and technicality are the last thing on everyone’s mind as Rock Show provides a further moshing opportunity for children who should simply have been in bed hours ago and will definitely be nodding off during maths tomorrow. Ah, bless.

Your Holiday provides a chance for Mark to encourage us all to “Put your lighters away… It’s 2004, get your cell phones out and let’s see the light from them!”. This novel, extremely funny and sign of the times gesture is followed by Tom’s confession that “Any Moms who brought your kids along who have missed calls will find my number on there.”

Tom is most chuffed with his humour, and so are his minions, whose high pitched chuckles belong at home in front of the Simpsons and definitely not with its top off trying to crowd surf!

The highlight of the rest of the set has to be All The Small Things, during which everybody in every corner of the venue sings along to every single word, whilst still chuckling to themselves at the memories of the Backstreet Boys parody video that accompanied the song on its release.

All in all, it proves an enjoyable night, especially for 90% of the audience who surely lost their gig virginity to the cheeky kings of pop-punk tonight.


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More on Blink 182
Blink 182 – Greatest Hits
Blink 182 @ Brixton Academy, London
Blink 182 @ Hammersmith Apollo, London
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