Manchester went back to the 90’s this weekend with pop-punk veterans Blink 182 playing two consecutive shows at Manchester’s largest venue. The crowds gathered, clad in their finest emo attire, and my fourteen year old self would have been buzzing to catch this trio back in the day, so fast forward 22 years (yikes!) and I find myself armed with a camera, precariously balancing on a metal barrier to shoot one of my favourite bands from my teenage years.
The support for this evening’s entertainment was California pop-punkers ‘The Story So Far’. It is difficult to understand why a band with such a following as Blink 182 chose this band to support them, (Europe faired better with Rise Against). In all honestly, it did not seem that the crowd were very much enamoured with them either, people seemed to be talking through the set, and walking around.
The venue did not do them any favours either, and I feel that they were just not a strong enough support for such a well known band. The singer jumped around in an England shirt, perhaps an attempt to win over a city well known for its love of football, it didn’t do him any favours, it was all just a little bit bizarre.
The energy shift when Blink 182 entered the arena was incredible. The trio have not toured since 2014, so the anticipation was evident in the audience’s reaction. Tom, Mark and Travis kicked off with ‘Anthem Part 2’ which nearly blew the roof off (the pyrotechnics were out in full force). This was swiftly followed by hits from their entire back catalogue. It was good to see the original line up back together with Tom DeLonge back on stage with Travis and Mark (DeLonge was replaced by Matt Skiba for the last seven years).
The three are defying the aging process and still have that boundless energy, with Travis’s drumming at times carrying the band, and DeLonge and Hoppus running the full length of the stage throughout the evening. The last part of the show was the most memorable as the band performed back to back belters including ‘First Date’, ‘All The Small Things’, and ‘One More Time’ before leaving the stage to the ultimate Manchester anthem Oasis’s ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’. The Manchester date saw the end of their European leg with the band returning to the States next week to continue their world tour.