Review: Blink-182

Andrew Parkinson at Manchester Arena, 15 June, 2012

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Blink-182’s eponymous 2003 album brought closure to a decade of pop-punk material littered with morally questionable scenarios with dogs and grandparents, and marked the discovery of a new sound palette embellished with atmosphere, haunting lyrics and subtlety.

This new era ended when the band went on indefinite hiatus in 2005. Skip to their reformation in 2009, the release of the soulless comeback album Neighborhoods in 2011, and we’re drifted along to the show at the Manchester Arena this evening.

The crowd’s reserved reception to openers Feeling This and Up All Night were quickly quashed with the soaring What’s My Age Again, setting the tone for the show as the atmosphere swelled between the audience’s delirium to their youthful anthems (Dumpweed, First Date) and the restrained reception to the band’s later efforts (Violence, After Midnight). However, the one foot Blink-182 had in the past was more than strong enough to carry the other that struggled in the present, ensuring punctuated bursts of mosh pits and crowd surfers throughout.

The closure of the show with Dammit’s repeated refrain ‘I guess that this is growing up’ emphasised this self-recognition that the band have survived the growing pains of youth to settle in comfortable, if more subdued, pastures new.

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