Bournemouth International Centre
It would be a fairly valid comment to say that tonight’s show at the BIC has been the most anticipated event Bournemouth will see this year. As I approached the venue it was obvious who’s in town; pop punk pioneers and worldwide icons, Blink 182. As the queue to enter the Windsor Hall loops round every possible pillar and stairway, a plethora of smiles and excited glances provokes an undeniable buzz before any music has even started.
Finally, after the masses have broken through the security, it’s the turn of openers; The Blackout. It’s not every day that a group of lads from South Wales manage to play with an American giant such as Blink 182, and as they open with the fiery “ShutTheF**kUppercut”, the combination of the piercing screams of Sean Smith and soaring vocals of Gavin Butler shift their performance into fifth gear from the off. As expected, a few fans seem taken aback by their power packed instrumentals and hesitate to show any adaptation to The Blackout’s heavier sounds. Nonetheless, the band plough through their set with the utmost confidence, with the banter inbetween songs seemingly potent as standout tracks “Children of the Night” and closer “Higher and Higher” beckon The Blackout to greater things. Keep your eyes peeled, these Welsh jesters mean serious business.
Supplying the main support tonight is a band who you may have just heard of; pop rock veterans, The All-American Rejects. Using the term veterans with these guys seems fairly odd considering their youthful sound and flamboyant vibes but since they have been around since 1999, it’s not surprising that the former UK chart raiders have remained as high profile with their latest album “Kids In The Street”. Opening with obvious fan pleaser “Dirty Little Secret” the crowd seems divided in opinion regarding this band. The young girls in the crowd seem to be having the time of their life, whereas the majority of crowd seem hungry for something a bit more than their predictable atmospheric pop rock anthems. Thereís no doubt that they are a top class band, as their instrumental and vocal standard cannot be faulted, but thereís just something missing to make this band world class. The Blackoutís storming opening set may have meant that the change in momentum hardly helped the pop fuelled band’s glossy aroma. Regardless, they end on crowd favourite “Gives You Hell” which receives a superb response from virtually everyone, including the uninterested crowd members.
Finally it’s the moment weíve all been waiting for, and as the instantly recognisable opening of ëFeelin Thisí kicks in, the crowd is sent into a frenzy of excitement. The distinct vocals of Tom Delonge and Mark Hoppus echo round the ëintimateí venue (in their circumstances) and coincide with the unnatural drumming ability of Travis Barker. Itís true, Blink 182 have grown up. Their banter between songs is limited and somewhat unsure, but it seems that their more serious elements shining through during this later point in their career have proved to have some benefits. The vocal work of Tom Delonge has often been criticised but this time round he sings the majority of the set in the style of each songs original format. Itís incredible to remember just how many good songs this band has, but sadly material from their latest album ëNeighbourhoodsí seems somewhat lacklustre in comparison to their extensive back catalogue. Despite this, the traditional Travis Barker drum solo blew more than a few minds in the crowd. His sharp composure, blistering speed and intricate patterns mean that he is up there with the best drummers in the world. An encore consisting of old favourites “Carousel” and ëDammití leaves the crowd desperate for more, but Mark Hoppus leaves us with a string of heavy bass notes and a simple goodbye.
It’s obvious from tonight’s performance that Blink 182 will never get old. No matter how much more they mature, or new records they make, they will still maintain their enormous fan base, which well and truly proves that regardless what people say about this band, they are true legends in their own right. They may not be the most talented band (bar Travis) but they have created songs which have spawned many of the acts we worship on the side. Don’t forget it; Blink 182 will be ever present in years to come.
Set List Blink 182
Up All Night
What’s My Age?
I Miss You
Hearts All Gone
Ghosts On The Dancefloor
All The Small Things
Blink 182 Videos
Words by George Fullerton.
Photos by Luke Bhagwanani.