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Live Review: Blink 182 – Brixton Academy, London – 25/07/12

Blink 182 played an intimate show at Brixton Academy and HTF went to check it out. See what we thought here!

Band: Blink 182
Support: Lower Than Atlantis
Venue: Brixton Academy, London
Date: 25/07/12

For most bands, playing Brixton would be one of the biggest shows in their career, but for Blink 182 this is a small intimate club show. The show is sold out with most of the crowd having waited years to see this band. London shows its appreciation for the event by bringing the sun out in all its glory, an obvious sign that the impending show is going to be even hotter and sweatier than anything before.

The venue is rammed and it is the responsibility of Watford-bred band Lower Than Alantis to get the crowd warmed up before tonight’s headline act. To support any band can be difficult enough let alone one as loved as Blink, but the band give it everything they have and produce positive results. Frontman Mike Duce shouts out the band’s appreciation to the band everyone is here to see, telling the crowd that Blink 182 were “the reason I picked up a guitar and the reason we even started this band”.

For them this isn’t just any old show – this is probably one of the most exciting nights of their lives. The band certainly do everyone proud by producing a half hour set that would have changed the opinion of any sceptic in the venue. Their tight set includes humorous banter and tracks from their latest album ‘World Record’ including a fast-moving finish with ‘Deadliest Catch’. Mike even manages to convince the seemingly unwilling audience to get to their knees before reaching for the ceiling halfway through the set. A great set from a well-deserved support.

After a half hour wait, screams echo through Brixton as the black curtain of anticipation falls to the ground and everyone’s screams sink to the pit of their stomach where butterflies have been laying low ready to explode out. For most people here, the band standing on stage in front of them are their entire childhood and probably more. Blink 182 are stuck in characters they can’t (but probably don’t want to) shift as dick jokes and references to “your mum” are still high on the agenda. The deep bass lines blast out causing the floor to shake and hearts to beat at maximum speed and the night is a perfect mixture of old classics sprinkled with four tracks from the band’s latest ‘mature’ offering ‘Neighbourhoods’.

Their old classics including ‘Rock Show’ and  ‘What’s My Age Again’ – clear anthems straight from the 90s and early 00s – keep screams and smiles flowing, but it’s tracks from the band’s more ‘grown up’ self-titled album that seem to provide the biggest singalong moments of the evening, the biggest of all seeming to be ‘I Miss You’. Despite being in their late thirties (or in the case of Mark Hoppus the big 40) the band still act the same age as their own children, blasting through ‘Blow Job’ not once but twice! And a performance of ‘Fuck A Dog’ gets the crowd cheering. It seems that at the very sight of this band you just revert back to being a fourteen year old in three quarter length trousers and skate shoes.

After a swift twenty tracks the band appear at the very front of the stage with acoustic equipment to perform four tracks – ‘Reckless Abandon’, ‘Going Away To College’, ‘Dick Lips’ and ‘All Of This’ – giving the band a chance to wind down and actually look out over the crowd who are eating up everything thrown in their direction. With Mark and Tom vacating the stage Travis Barker performs his iconic drum solo to ‘Can A Drummer Get Some?’ and despite the drumming going on for a little longer than perhaps one would like he holds the audience’s attention with everyone in complete awe at his undisputed talent. The band reunite for a final two songs bringing the fully charged night to a close. As the lights begin to rise the venue cleverly play Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call Me Maybe’ so that the already elated crowd sing and dance around as they vacate the venue.

If you push past everything else Blink 182‘s vocals aren’t the very best out there, but with a career spanning a few decades and a back catalogue filled with so many hits they could play all through the night, this doesn’t seem to matter. The crowd go crazy at every track and Blink 182 show that they might indeed be the best live band around.


Reviewer: Rhian Westbury

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