Review: Blink-182, My Chemical Romance and Rancid at Comfort Dental Amphitheatre, 9/4/11
BLINK-182 at COMFORT DENTAL | 9/4/11
Blink-182 last night. More photos below.
Seeing Blink-182 live is kind of like viewing a moment suspended in time: The music hasn't changed, and the band's NOFX-knock-off-style masturbation conversations are identical to a decade and a half ago. But consistency is a huge factor in a pop punk band's success, and as the forefathers of the genre, Blink-182 gets it. And will probably continue to make the same record and use the same jokes on stage until they can't play anymore.
Opening with "Feeling This," the dudes had hardly changed, wearing the same hair and attitudes they had sported for the last twenty years. Between songs like "Rock Show" and "What's My Age Again?," jokes of the dick and Dirty Sanchez variety flew, Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus gleefully finishing each other's sentences. Black and white images of suburban homes and subdivisions splattered the background, while the visual boom of stage lights and lasers beamed down on the crowd.
Brandon Marshall Blink-182's Travis Barker last night. See more photos: Blink-182 at Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
Slower songs like "I Miss You" and "Always" came off in perfect time, only to be slightly atmospherically offset by more jokes about sex and incest -- and those too were broken up, as Travis Barker interjected random drum solos. But middle school laughs for Blink are a dime a dozen, and the crowd (just as much as the band itself) relished in the variety show. The night repeated this song-joke-pause-drum solo routine over and over again, with "Happy Holidays, You Bastard," "All The Small Things," "Josie" and of course, "Dammit" coming and going in Blink's signature pleasing, major chord tones.
Brandon Marshall Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 last night. Blink-182 at Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
Much like 2010's Honda Civic Tour, last night's show was weighed down heavily by annoying, uncomfortably pushy advertising from the car company, using the stars of the tour as its conduit. Earlier in the day, Rancid opened KTCL Big Gig -- as the tour stop had been rebranded locally -- to a less than full, less than interested amphitheatre, the East Bay veterans hardly getting as much as a nod from a crowd that was, by all accounts, in preschool when the band saw its first mainstream success in the mid '90s.
Opening with "Radio," Rancid tried to hype the seated audience as best it could, but the effort was fruitless. "Roots Radical" let Tim Armstrong and Lars Frederikson's signature voices intertwine beautifully, though the sound in the venue did them no justice. Through each band's set, drum kits were over-miked and the popping punch of bass and snare were painful to human ears. Vocals were drowned out in the messy mix (which came to an awful, most noticeable head later with Blink-182).
Brandon Marshall Tim Armstrong of Rancid on Sunday. Rancid at Comfort Dental Amphitheatre