For one night only Blink-182 gave 5000 Melbourne fans the chance to regress – and regress they did, writes SARAH SMITH.
There are dicks everywhere. The guy swaying in front of me has one tattooed on his forearm. The young girl beside him apparently wants Tom DeLonge to “suck her dick”. And I just un-ironically fist pumped along to ‘All The Small Things’, so I’m pretty sure that makes me a dick.
But, hey I’m at a Blink-182 show. Dicks are par for the course.
But here we are, 10 years since Blink-182’s last visit to Australia, and no one, not least the band themselves are leaving 1999 back where it belongs. Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus are playing to a sold-out venue, still dressed in jeans and skate shoes, still making jokes about their mum’s vaginas, still singing off-key. And, it isn’t the least bit depressing. For one night 5000 fans have permission to regress. And regress we do.
“This is a song from 1998, where are all my old people at?’ Hoppus smirks at the sticky crowd, having just sent the Sidney Myer Music Bowl into raptures with Blink’s ode to eternal youth and tonight’s somewhat ironic anthem, ‘What’s My Age Again?’
And what a weird bunch of fans we are. The great majority of the crowd are late-20s, edging 30. Tattered Blink tees are stretched over plump(er) bodies, charcoal has been rubbed under eyes, DC caps dusted off and long-closed over face-holes re-pierced – just for one night. At first, most people stuck up on the hill – or “the outback” as DeLonge coins it – are reluctant to get too excited, standing arms-crossed, nodding enthusiastically, but not too enthusiastically. That is until Hoppus yells, “This is for everyone that liked us before 1998”, at which point a guy wearing an Empire Strike Back t-shirt leads the charge, pumping the air frantically with both fists until everyone follows.
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It’s hard not be caught up in The Mark and Tom Show. The pair literally never stop moving, swearing, grinning or talking. They are clearly having a stupid amount of fun, singing stupid songs to a bunch of people who just want to pretend for one stupid moment, that they are 15 again.
The banter is all still there too: A conversation about a bug burrowing into Mark’s neck soon digresses into a conversation about Sharon Stone’s crutch, which mutates into a familiar “Your Mum” tête-à-tête, until Hoppus concludes, “Nah dude, the bug reminded me of your dad biting on my neck with his hot, whiskey breath.”
Even though the set-list is almost identical to the Sydney show nothing feels rehearsed or rehashed. When DeLonge’s mic stand breaks, Hoppus entertains the crowd with an improvised bass-slap song about plectrums (I think) flicking a pocket-full of picks across the stage. After a few minutes DeLonge shoots him a smirk and mutters, “For 20 fucking years you’ve been doing that same creepy face.” It’s a strangely personal moment amid a whole lot of, well, dick – and one that hints at how happy Blink are to still be doing this together. Despite falls-outs, shit side projects and flightless drummers.
What’s our age again?
Blink 182 set list
Up All Night
The Rock Show
What’s My Age Again?
Dogs Eating Dogs
I Miss You
Heart’s All Gone
Ghost on the Dance Floor
All the Small Things
All of This
Review by Sarah Smith for fasterlouder.com.au