WORDS AND PHOTOS BY JESS BECK | Go Venue Magazine
This is arguably one of the biggest shows that you’ll have the chance to see this year. When the announcement came that Blink-182 was reuniting AND going on a global tour last October, every teenager at heart dug deep into their wallets and happily paid the price for nostalgia. Kicking off their world tour right here in the heart of St. Paul at the Xcel Energy Center on May 4, 2023, Blink gave the fans exactly what they wanted during a blistering 25 track set that proved a few things:
Mark Hoppus beat cancer and shows no signs of slowing down.
Kourtney Kardashian’s husband still kicks ass on the drums.
Tom DeLonge will absolutely fuck your mom.
As the arena was packed with fans dressing in homage to the nurse from their album “Enema of the State,” and as Tom DeLonge from the music video for “First Date,” the air was heavy with anticipation. “What’s my age again?” seemed to be the question of the evening as I watched an entire arena of humans, most of whom are well over 30 by now, revert back to high school behavior such as shotgunning a beer and pounding loudly on the rafters in the hallways to impress their friends in the lengthy merch lines.
But probably more important was the announcement from stage by Hoppus that they were indeed working on new music – so hopefully this means that there will be an album in the works soon! “That’s the truth,” Hoppus declared. “We wouldn’t lie to St. Paul. But we’d lie to Minneapolis all day. Fuck those guys!”
Did I mention that Tom will literally try and fuck your mom if he gets the chance? Actually that’s not fair. I’m pretty sure Tom would fuck anything and anyone if given the opportunity.
“I had a tuna sandwich up here and it sucked!” Tom shouted from stage during one of the many exchanges that he and Mark shared between tracks.
“Why did you get that Tom?” Mark asked.
“I don’t know. I should’ve fucked it!” Tom replied.
There were also a few gifts that Blink left the audience with – one of them being that they broke out “Adam’s Song” for the first time since 2009. The others being that they played two Skiba-era tracks including “Cynical” and “Bored to Death.”
Oh, by the way, Travis Barker is still an animal on drums. I don’t fully understand the complexity of playing on a rig like he does, but the audience absolutely lost their shit when he went airborne with it. Barker is both methodical and chaotic behind the kit, and watching him do his thing is both violent and beautiful.
And while the stage might have been ripe with teenage sexual tension (at least it was according to DeLonge), it was as if this band never broke up and gotten back together…and then broke up again…and are now back together. They played in such unison that it was like they might actually stay together for the kids this time.
Supporting acts were Beauty School Dropout and Turnstile – both of which were great in their own right and you should check them out. Turnstile will be supporting Blink throughout the remainder of the tour here in the U.S.
As always, a big thank you to the Xcel Energy Center staff for working together to make this a safe and enjoyable evening for thousands of Elder Emos, MILFs, and the rest of us. Remember to stay hydrated, keep on wearing deodorant and keep being excellent to each other. We’ll see ya at the next show!
Beauty School Dropout