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Blink-182 | Live in London

Nostalgia was at an all-time high when Blink-182 took the stage at the second of their two-night stop at London’s O2 Arena. As Mark Hoppus said before going into one of their songs, “It’s Emo time.” That statement rang true throughout the night as emos from all over gathered to busk in the nostalgic joy that is Blink-182, who also proved that they still have a lot of music under their belt and are far from finished.

The trio, comprised of Travis Barker, Mark Hoppus, and Tom DeLonge, have been through their fair share of ups and downs. Since their formation in 1992, they busked in their peak in the late 90s/early 00s and were a part of the quintessential pop-punk era, which dominated alongside the likes of Bowling for Soup, Sum 41, Good Charlotte, Green Day and Fall Out Boy to name a few. They captured a feeling of angst and heavy emotions across a generation of teenagers.

So when they broke up in 2005, it felt like somewhat of a loss in the sphere, but as it goes, their music lives on and has continued to do so with their hits like I Miss You, What’s My Age Again and ther other classics never missing a moment and forever in the membrane of that time. It took a couple of reunions, a health situation, and several different things, but alas, when the band announced their reunion, which comprised all three members back in 2022, fans alike were ready for this next chapter for the band.

Fast forward to an unexpected Coachella headline slot, a world tour announcement and their upcoming 9th studio album due for release next week. Blink returned to The O2 arena and gave their fans what they have been waiting for since 2005. The show featured everything from fire, pyro, confetti, lights, visuals and even Travis Barker playing the drums in the air; it was a real display of how they are still that band and have not lost touch throughout everything thrown at them.

The show had an hour-and-a-forty-five-minute run time and was comprised of everything across their catalogue of 8 studio albums spanning the last two decades. Everything was at an all-time high, with their production and visuals matching the energetic performance, which never waivered from start to finish. Perhaps the only thing that might have been unnecessary was the crude and somewhat vulgar talking between songs.

Those moments aside, it was a celebration of a band which has impacted many people’s lives. Moments when the audience was singing along to I Miss You and All The Small Things, and the energy which existed in that time was something to take in.

Not to mention the speech Mark gave before going into Adam’s Song in which he said, “This song saved my life”, speaking on going through his battle with cancer and chemotherapy and how there were moments where “I didn’t think I’d ever be on stage again”. Blink fans will know that this particular song and its lyrical content hold strong meaning to the band and is one of their more emotional tracks and for a long time was one they found difficult to perform. However, at this moment, he stated, “This tour and this band and all of you are saving my life,” which felt like an actual moment of love and appreciation for Blink-182 fans.

Across the show, the evidence of their musicianship, whether it be Tom and Mark doing their things on the guitar as well as vocally carrying the show from song to song or Travis Barker, who showed how he is a drummer of all drummers and does carry a lot of the energy and spirit of Blink in those drums. Their musicianship is evident and has been able to carry them throughout the years, and I’m sure it will continue on this upcoming album.

Nostalgia has been a theme of late, whether it be the use of samples bringing back more music from the 90s/00s or the return of iconic bands like Paramore and Fall Out Boy, who have graced the stages once again. As displayed by Blink’s performance, one thing that is evidence is that once you make music that speaks to people at any time or place, that will always be enough to keep you going.

New album One More Time… is out 20th October for more info on Blink-182 visit www.blink182.com

Words by Seneo Mwamba

Photography  Isha Shah

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