herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Pop punk trio are older... but no wiser

Mark Hoppus is so glad we made it to Euro 2012. "Did they?" asks his buddy, Tom. Yes, Tom, we did. But then, Hoppus also reckons we're doing great in Euro 2012. Maybe that's just Blink humour. Minutes later, the boys kick off a round of sex jokes. Probably because somebody threw a pack of condoms at the stage. Not that Blink-182 ever needed an excuse to lower the tone. It's what they do best. Or, at least, it's what they used to be famous for.

Now, they're just some snot-nosed kids from California who forgot to grow up. The eldest member is 40. And they're still cracking jokes about each other's mothers. But you wouldn't expect anything less. This is, after all, a band that once released a song about a man's desire to get jiggy with a dog. And tonight, several thousand Irish followers decide that now is the time to remind the gang of that song.

Indeed, everyone here is making up for lost time. The big break-up cost us four years. The big reunion already hit town in the form of a cracking greatest hits tour. But the big comeback album (Neighborhoods) took way too long to make, forcing the pop punk trio to cancel a tour -- including a date at last year's Oxegen festival -- so that they could finish it. All of which may explain the empty seats at the back.

Still, the turnout is large enough to ensure a suitably sweaty riot. Most of these kids came for the hits (First Date, What's My Age Again, The Rock Show). Maybe the older fans appreciate the more 'mature' numbers (I Miss You, Always). But everyone loves the simple yet sublime anthem that is All the Small Things. After 20 years as a band, it remains their most effective tune.

Elsewhere, very little has changed. The jokes aren't as natural (or as funny), but they're told. Tom can't sing live, but he does his best. And yes, the always reliable Travis Barker (the drummer) is still in a whole other league to his bandmates. Good fun, then. But the party can't last forever. HHHII

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