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6/21/00 Oakland, CA.
........San Diego skate punks Blink 182 are
certain sellouts. They have taken every corporate endorsement that's come their
way, reveling in the fact that MTV and radio have anointed them the pop-punk
successors of Green Day. This wave of media hype washed them into Oakland arena
for a sold-out show on Wednesday--an extraordinary accomplishment that few
bands who've been established for decades can match. (The Cure didn't sell out
on Friday.) After all, why spend years painstakingly learning to master your
instrument when you can just pick up a few chords by learning to play,
"The Mel Bay Way," write a couple of songs about the ruder bodily
functions and hit the road? But judged by the first criterion, Blink are
champions. Their humor is mired in sophomore year of high school, which seemed
to be the median age of most of their fans. Within minutes of taking the stage,
they had made numerous jokes about masturbating, popping zits and picking your
nose, and they had said "penis" and "vagina" several times
for the sheer joy of hearing the words echo from the zillion-watt
system. Heavily tattooed drummer Travis Barker was sidelined after breaking a
pinkie in a fistfight in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, two weeks ago. Damon Delapaz
(guitarist for support act Fenix Tx) has been manning the trap set for the
remainder of the road dates Bassist-vocalist Mark Hoppus and guitarist-vocalist
Tom DeLonge take a justified pride in their craftsmanship of their songs, few
of them more than three minutes long, and all of them filled with infectious
hooks and funny examinations of teen concerns (sex, being cool, sex, fitting
in, sex and sex). In fact, half of the show was taken up with inane chatter
between numbers such as "Adam's Song," their radio hit, "All the
Small Things" and "What's My Age Again?," an epic
ode-to-stupidity where the band members own up to not being the sharpest knives
in the silverware drawer. A sample statement, from bass player Mark Hoppus:
"I'm starting to sweat up here, and, uh . . . I look pretty good when I do
it." But they're smart enough to know that they don't have anything that a
other garage bands have. The result is that the boys convincingly portray the
gonzo joy of the class clown who has locked the teacher out of the room and is
now free to entertain. Goofy but never boring, sloppy but never less than
compelling, they delivered 18 songs in a little more than an hour, ranging from
the ridiculous (a 30-second tune consisting of nothing but words that can't be
printed in the paper) to the sublime (the touching "Adam's Song,"
about the tragedy of teen suicide). And they even managed to make the vast and
impersonal World seem like a mid-sized club, thanks to video screens that
flashed pictures of the band and footage from old beach blanket movies and
B-grade science fiction flicks. (While "The Blink-182 drive-in"
wasn't U2's Zoo TV, it was impressive.) Heavily tattooed drummer Travis Barker
was sidelined after breaking a pinkie in a fistfight in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio,
two weeks ago. Damon Delapaz (guitarist for support act Fenix Tx) has been
manning the trap set for the remainder of the road dates. The band gives hope
to aspiring teen-age musicians everywhere.
Blink-182 set list: 1. "Dumpweed" 2. "Don't Leave Me" 3.
"Aliens Exist" 4. "Dick Lips" 5. "Shit Piss"* 6.
"Going Away to College" 7. "Blowjob"* 8. "What's My
Age Again?" 9. "Untitled" 10. "Voyeur" 11.
"Pathetic" 12. "Adam's Song" 13. "Peggy Sue" 14.
"Wendy Clear" 15. "Mutt" 16. "Genie in a
Bottle/Dammit" 17. "Thong Song" dance Encores: 18. "Xmas
Song"* 19. "Carousel" 20. "All the Small Things"
........This is the Official Rock Publication Web Site
All photos and written material courtesy of Rock Publication
By Randy Cohen
.Copyright © 2000
Members of "Blink 182" are:
| Tom DeLonge:
Guitar/Vocals Mark Hoppus: Bass/Vocals Travis Barker: Drummer