LIVE: Blink-182 at Redbull Soundspace, Los Angeles

Does Punk music matter anymore in this synth washed world where Nuevo-New Wave and EDM rule all? It does to the leagues of now adult ex-TRL viewing teens who grew up as the last generation to value music as a commodity (CDs)and know what it was like, pre-youtube, to wait all day with MTV on in hopes of seeing your favorite video. Those fans helped Blink-182 sell out an amazing 5 nights at the Hollywood Palladium and the Wiltern over the next week as they tour in celebration of the 10-year anniversary of their self-titled Blink-182 album (also known as the untitled album). KROQ launched their career when in 1997 they put “Dammit” in rotation, from their sophomore album Dude Ranch, igniting other commercial stations to do the same and propelled the otherwise unknown album to gold status.

It was only right that the band would stop by KROQ and Redbull’s amazing Soundspace to perform for 300 devoted fans who all played hooky from work in order to see the trio up-close. Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge and their superstar drummer, Travis Barker, played a 5 song set list made up of tracks from the Blink-182 album including “Feeling It”, “I Miss You”, “Violence”, “Down” and “Always”. Songs were segued by impromptu frat-like comedic banter between Hoppus and DeLonge (“we don’t write this stuff” Hoppus joked) that displayed the humor that made their videos so popular on MTV. Despite his silence, Barker drew intense focus from the crowd, proof of his status in the mainstream world. This is the man who defied death in a plane crash, created the iconic Famous Stars and Straps clothing line, and… sex tape aside, is destined to be this generations Tommy Lee.

Despite the iconic status of his life and image, he plays the s#*! out of the drums like a grown and tatted up Bam-Bam from the Flintstones. The band knows this and
creates space for Barker to shine with solo after solo to satisfy the idolizing crowd. “KROQ asked us to come and play 5 songs,” Hoppus said, “F#*! that, we’re playing 6!” Before the crowd could scream encore, Blink jumped into “Dammit”, a fitting thank you to the station, fans and city that made them. It could be argued that those artists who dominated in the early 2000’s were the last to have access to the types of media platforms that can create pop icons. Watching Blink come back from a prolonged breakup in a time where their style is not “in” and be welcomed by sold out shows and radio stations that never gave up on them, I would have to agree.

Long live Punk!

-Dominic Painter

Photos courtesy of Chelsea Lauren / Red Bull