BLINK 182 RETURN TO SCOTLAND TO PLAY GLASGOW'S SSE HYDRO
Kicking things off tonight we have New Jersey's finest, The Front Bottoms. From catchy opener "Skeleton" all the way to closer "Twin Size Mattress" the band don't hold back. Surveying the crowd gathered at The SSE Hydro it seems some may have attended tonight purely for the opener, with a small pocket screaming back every word.
Main support tonight is punk rock troubadour Frank Turner and his band The Sleeping Souls. Opener "Get Better" is the perfect way to start, with it's ever powerful hook of "we can get better, because we're NOT DEAD YET" resounding around the arena. The crowd seem slightly unsure to begin with, but as the set progresses more and more are won over by Frank's sheer energy and charisma. Crowd participation is a massive part of any Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls show, and a crowd surf race between two randoms ,Cameron and Briona, during "If Ever I Stray" is a definite highlight of the evening (easy win for Cameron...sorry Briona!) With a new album nearly finished and rumoured to be released by the end of this year/start of next, the inevitable tour to accompany it is one not to be missed!
A massive British flag bearing the Blink 182 smiley face covers the stage while it is being set up for the headliners set, and when the familiar drum beat (seriously, I could watch Travis Barker play drums all night) opening of "Feeling This" kicks in and the flag drops to reveal the iconic trio, the venue erupts. The production for this tour is huge for arena shows. "Feeling This" is accompanied by a glorious fire display of the F word (I'll let you guess which one...) which throws back to the childishness of some of Blink's music. Throughout the set it is clear the band has matured, if you'd seen them live before the infamous split the set would have been riddled with jokes but tonight is a lot more serious. This could be put down in part to original vocalist/guitarist Tom DeLonge being replaced by Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba. Matt is a perfect fit for the band, and as much as it pains me to type this has a much better live sound than Tom, though at times with some of the older songs Tom's unique vocal style is missed.
The setlist is a great mix of old and new tracks, encompassing everything from "Dysentary Gary" off of 1999's "Enema Of The State" up to "Bored To Death" from the most recent release "California". Bassist Mark Hoppus pulling a fan up from the front row to play bass on "Always" was also a standout moment of the evening.
Tonight is a dream come true for many in attendance, some who I spoke to that were seeing their idols for the first time. If you have the chance to catch any remaining dates of this tour, don't hesitate to do so!
BLINK 182'S TOUR CONTINUES:
12 JULY - AECC GE OIL & GAS ARENA - ABERDEEN, UK
14 JULY - CASTLEFIELD BOWL - MANCHESTER, UK
15 JULY - ECHO ARENA - LIVERPOOL, UK
17 JULY - B.I.C - BOURNEMOUTH, UK
19 JULY - O2 ARENA - LONDON, UK
20 JULY - O2 ARENA - LONDON, UK
28 JULY - CITI FIELD - NEW YORK CITY, NY - USA
30 JULY - HERSHEY PARK - HERSHEY, PA - USA
31 JULY - ART PARK - LEWISTON, NY - USA
01 AUGUST - EXPRESS LIVE - COLUMBUS, OH - USA
04 AUGUST - LOLLAPALOOZA - CHICAGO, IL - USA
09 AUGUST - MYSTIC LAKE AMPHITHEATER - PRIOR LAKE, MM - USA
10 AUGUST - STURGIS BUFFALO CHIP - STURGIS, SD - USA
12 AUGUST - KTCL'S BIG GIG - DENVER, CO - USA
13 SEPTEMBER - CIVIC COLISUEM - KNOXVILLE, TN - USA
16 SEPTEMBER - MUSIC MIDTOWN - ATLANTA, GA - USA
22 SEPTEMBER - LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL FESTIVAL - LAS VEGAS, NY - USA
24 SEPTEMBER - RADIO 94.7'S CITY OF TREES - SACRAMENTO, CA - USA