Blink-182 takes ‘California’ to New Jersey

By Maddi Ference
Staff Writer

Any punk lover that grew up in the past 20 years has to be familiar with the revolutionary alternative rock band Blink-182. The band influenced countless others with its music over the years, such as Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco and the All American Rejects. When most people found out that the group was gearing up for the California Summer Tour, they could not get their hands on tickets fast enough. Blink-182 was ready to perform again, and what better way to do it than a summer tour?

Barker wails on the drums at a Blink-182 concert. (AP Photo)
Barker wails on the drums at a Blink-182 concert. (AP Photo)

From diehard fans in their mid-30s who have been fans of Blink-182 since its inception in 1992 to younger fans just discovering the band, the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., was packed to capacity on Friday, Aug. 14, with fans from all over eagerly anticipating Blink-182 to close the night after openers All Time Low and A Day to Remember. It was a hot and humid day, but no one seemed to mind as they were stuck in traffic on the Garden State Parkway, with many blasting Blink-182 songs until the moment they walked into the venue.

All Time Low started the night off with nine lively songs, closing with the band’s most popular track, “Dear Maria, Count Me In,” which had nearly everyone on their feet and singing.

A Day to Remember then showed off a much heavier set. Mosh pits broke out all over the lawn and the energy in the crowd was terrifically high, which only added to the excitement for the night’s headliner.

Once the first drum beat was heard, the crowd went ballistic. Blink-182 ran out and opened the night with “Feeling This.” The entire audience erupted into song as everyone screamed the lyrics in unison while frontman and bassist, Mark Hoppus, danced around on stage. He was joined by drummer Travis Barker and the newest band member: guitarist, Matt Skiba (formerly from Alkaline Trio), who recently replaced founding member Tom DeLonge.

Blink-182 kept the audience entertained and singing for about an hour and a half, making sure to play some new material from its most recent album “California.” The band also dug into its backcatalog for some classics, such as “I Miss You” and “All the Small Things.”

Blink-182 concluded its set with a newer song, “Los Angeles,” but of course, the audience wanted more, so an encore was in order. The band ran out on stage one more time and played a few more songs until it ultimately concluded the night with “Dammit.” At the very last chord, confetti cannons shot into the audience. Fans left the venue with the knowledge that Blink-182 can still put on a great performance and is not going anywhere anytime soon.

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