See all of Chris’ Blink-182 photos.
It’s nine in the evening, Weezer just walked off stage after closing with The Clash’s hit, “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” and it’s getting dark and cold, but the heavy breaths screaming fans keeps the pit area feeling more like a sauna. Blink-182’s guitar techs come out on stage to tune the guitars and basses. In the midst of tuning, the techs begin to throw out Mark’s signature Octopus pick and Tom’s “Dance Monkey, Dance” pick to the crowd; and they begin to act barbaric – Jumping, screaming and pushing for a small piece of plastic; it’s a scene that perfectly depicts what the rest of the night is going to be like.
A black curtain falls over the front of the stage, the lights dim, and the fans scream. Mark and Travis enter from stage right; Tom from stage left. From the front of the stage, I can see them doing a high-five before getting into their designated areas. The curtain has been down for a minute, but seems like ten, and then it begins to rise as the crowd erupts. Blink-182 kicks off their twenty-one-song set with the opening track to Enema of the State, “Dumpweed.”
A five-year hiatus has done no harm to the members of Blink-182. They seem stronger, more energetic, and just as potty-mouthed as they ever were. Blink-182 are still the band they were over ten years ago, running across the stage, and shouting obscenities at the crowd. “This song is going to get everyone pregnant. I promise!” shouted Tom just before starting “The Rock Show.”
The band dedicated a song to one of the band’s friend, Chris “Little Chris” Baker, who was from the Sacramento area, and died in the plane crash that Travis Barker was seriously injured in last year ago. Mark gave a speech about Little Chris, and the band played “Stay Together For The Kids” as homage to Chris Baker.
Their performance was nothing short of epic, from beginning to end. The band shows no sign of weariness and pushed through the show, sweating bullets all the way. The crowd does the same; circle pits ensue, the security at the barricade are catching crowd surfers every second, and the crowd’s blow voices still sing along with the band. Blink-182 made sure they kept their fans content by playing all their biggest hits ranging from their albums: Dude Ranch, Enema of the State, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, Blink-182, and their Greatest Hits – Songs like, “Feeling This”, “What’s My Age Again”, “Josie”, and “I Miss You.”
“We are Blink-182, and thank you for an amazing show, Sacramento!” were the last words Tom spoke through the microphone before playing their last pre-encore song, “The Anthem Pt. 2.” It seemed as though the band saved their best for last. Everyone in the amphitheater could feel the band’s energy and focus. The song ended and the band walked off stage followed by that same black curtain coming down over the stage again. The crowd began to chant in unison, “Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!” The curtain is raised and Travis sits behind his set. He begins to play as the stage his drum set rests on begins to rise in a Tommy Lee-style fashion. This is the highlight of the show, Travis’ signature drum solo on the levitating stage that rotates, spins and swings.
Travis plays for about two songs before the stage is lowered back into its right position and Mark and Tom come back out asking the crowd if they were still ready for more. Soon after Travis’ harness and straps are taken off, Mark gets ready and picks up his bass. Mark starts off with the signature intro bass lick to the hit song off their first record, Buddha, “Carousel.” The song ends and the crowds are relentless in their chants, “Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!” The band ends their set with their biggest hit to date, “Dammit” off their Dude Ranch record from 1997.
It was one of the most memorable shows of my life and everything I expected it to be. Blink-182 knows how to put on a show and how to work a crowd, no matter the size, and they know how to do it well. “Dammit” ends and the band says their goodbyes to Sacramento and walk off stage, leaving the crowd open-jawed, stunned, and amazed.
“Thank you Sacramento, that was one of the best shows on the tour. See you soon!”