Here’s a reprint of my review of the Blink 182 Belfast gig that ran in Hot Press.
Piccy by Ramsey Cardy (www.shoottothrill.co.uk)
Blink 182 at the Odyssey, Belfast
After surviving plane crashes, in-band bust ups and the decade that is now, somewhat baffling, referred to as “the noughties,” pop punks Blink 182 finally make their way to Belfast tonight for their first ever show. One of the heavy hitters in the so-called second wave of punk rock, the trio have succeeded in turning their recent frowns upside down thanks to their successful reunion in ’09 and these days they are once again embraced by stadiums across the globe with the same sort of passion that Jim from American Pie reserves for baked goods.
Opening with the frenetic ‘Feeling This,’ the near capacity crowd go ape-shit for the opening salvo of ‘Up All Night’ and ‘The Rock Show’ and while this writer usually prefers a lot more snot in his punk rock (trust me, it’s not as disgusting as it sounds), it’s hard not to break out my invisible pogo stick when they kick into ‘What’s My Age Again?’ Speaking of “pogo sticks,” the boys, as expected, deliver all the required puerile jokes you’d imagine and even the notorious sourpuss that is guitarist/vocalist Tom DeLonge happily offers scripted jokes and gentlemans’ Johnsons and it seems to push all the right buttons for the faithful.
Hits old and new are all aired tonight and sonically, the trio are as tight as they come. ‘I Miss You’ and ‘First Date’ are particular highlights and the Laurel and Hardy like double act of bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus and Delonge certainly induce the odd grin or three with the former acting like the best mate Belfast never had, while the latter gamely charms the gaggle of girls down the front who are all looking for a tickle on his love truncheon (see-they’ve got me making these types of references now too…).
Ill-advised drum solos and silly willy jokes aside, Blink 182 have matured (if ever so slightly) into a bona fide stadium straddling rock group and this evening NI’s capital got to witness a slick and polished show by a band back to their best and if you can’t enjoy the genius that is ‘Dammit’ then frankly that’s your loss.