Returning back to Manchester less than a month since their last visit, pop-punk trio Blink-182 really are making up to their UK fans after having to reschedule their tour by a whole year. This time, they’re treating their more die-hard fanbase to a show in a venue less than half the size of their original MEN Arena show: packing out the O2 Apollo.
Bringing in just the one support act for their more intimate UK shows, rising British rockers Lower Than Atlantis (***) are given the far from easy task of keeping every amused until their pop-punk heroes grace the stage. Steering far from their older material and keep things pop driven and mainstream, the hooks are shooting out from the speakers from start-to-finish. It’s clear to see the band have boosted their confidence over the years and new single ‘Love Someoone Else’ shows a bright future ahead.
The room has been building in anticipation and finally explodes once Blink-182 (*****) on stage. It’s obvious that every single person in the O2 Apollo is there to see this band bring out all of their hits and tom foolery. The former of the two rings true of course, boasting radio bothering hits from the get go with set opener, ‘Feeling This’. The crowd’s voice overpowers the band during ‘I Miss You’ and ‘All The Small Things’ and it’s a shock the floor doesn’t cave in with the amount of bouncing throughout set closer ‘Dammit’.
Despite the pop-punk nature of the gig as a whole, getting everybody moving and singing along to nearly ever word of every song, it’s the acoustic interlude mid-set that really shines as one of the strongest moments of their whole time on stage. This was the first time ever Travis Barker joined his band mates, with a custom made stand-up drum kit, and the reworkings of ‘All Of This’ and ‘Give Me One Good Reason’ really transcends the tracks into a whole new realm than in their normal pop-punk mould.
Tom Delonge sings out the band’s final moments on stage in ‘Family Reunion’ to the uplifting and thought provoking (not) lyrics “I fucked your mom” really snapshots the band’s comedic side and pop-punk drive. Even 20 years into their career, Blink-182 still reign as one of the best living bands that pop-punk has to offer.
Written by Zach Redrup