Rock band Blink-182’s summer tour rolled through Des Moines last Thursday night at Wells Fargo Arena. The group’s last album was released in 2003, but their concert was vibrant, fresh and just as enjoyable as it was eight years ago.
The arena was packed with an array of fans showcasing the group’s ability to reach a variety of audiences. The concert brought out the 44-year-old’s who lived in their 20s for a night by rocking out to Blink, and there were the 13-year-old skateboarding, punk rock kids who dream of rocking as hard as Blink-182.
First-year Keegan Mechels has been a Blink-182 fan for six years and also attended last Thursday’s concert.
“I’m into that kind of music,” Mechels said. “Most of their songs are about stuff that doesn’t even matter like partying and that kind of stuff.”
Thes concert started off with Blink’s 2003 hit and personal favorite “Feeling This.”
“The highlight of the concert was definitely Travis’ drum solo over the general admission area,” Mechels said.
The group donned its classic look. Mark Hoppus, Blink’s bass player and vocalist, wore a black T-shirt, distressed shorts and sneakers, while guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge dressed in all plain black clothing. Travis Barker, the group’s drummer, was shirtless to showcase his array of tattoos. Everything about the concert from the music to the way the group dressed proved one thing; Blink-182 hasn’t changed a bit.
Blink-182 originally formed out of Poway, Calif., in 1992 when DeLonge was introduced Hoppus through Mark’s sister. Hoppus and DeLonge spent months playing and writing music in DeLonge’s garage. Scott Raynor was later recruited to join the band as the drummer. The three referred to themselves as “Ducktape” until they thought of the name Blink. The trio released the album “Cheshire Cat” in 1994 and the 1997 album “Dude Ranch” before replacing Raynor in the midst of its 1998 tour.
Barker was invited to join the band as the new drummer, and the new Blink-182 released the albums “Enema of State,” “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket” and “Blink-182.” The group achieved enormous mainstream success and fame from 1999 to 2004 when it snagged seven notable awards, including three Teen Choice awards.
Blink-182 experienced turmoil in 2005 and entered an “indefinite hiatus. DeLonge pursued work a separate group, Angels & Airwaves, while Barker and Hoppus started the group +44. Both groups achieved moderate success, but ultimately Blink-182 reunited in 2009 and the group is set to release its sixth studio album, “Neighborhoods,” later this month.
The group’s new single off the album, “Up All Night,” has a similar vibe to the older music that fans love but has a modern twist that keeps things fresh.
The men of Blink-182 may be approaching 40 years of age, but the dynamic of last Thursday’s show certainly did not reflect their ages. Blink-182’s on-stage chemistry was amazing and their pure love of rock certainly shined through. The men of Blink-182 have built their solid career on their carefree attitudes, their pure talent and their love of punk rock. This combination has attracted millions of fans worldwide and has led to a career that has lasted nearly two decades. Blink-182 encompasses the essence of punk rock and is definitely here to stay.