(PCM) I am a huge Blink 182 fan and even for as much of a fan as I am, I have to admit that the band’s recent sold-out performance at the Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, PA was definitely not up to speed, at least from what I usually experience from this band live.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that for some reason the performance felt as if the band was just phoning it in, which was a huge disappointment to many of the fans in attendance, myself included. Not that the band’s entire set was not without its’ ups and downs, but this time around there was a lot more of the latter.
As a band begins to age it can be very difficult to keep up with the youthful energy and vigor that was once showcased in their youth, and while it would be nice to say that Blink 182 has showed no signs of slowing down, that is just not the case. During the first half of the show guitarist Tom DeLonge’s vocals were cracking all over the place especially during “What’s My Age Again” so much so that even with bassist Mark Hoppus jumping in to lend a hand vocally, the song still did not pack as much punch as it has in the past.
That was the same for many of Blink 182’s hits that were played very early on in the set such as “The Rock Show” however the show did begin to pick up some steam and both DeLonge and Hoppus began to become more on point vocally with “I Miss You” and the remainder of the set. The band seemed to shine while performing tracks such as “Down”, “After Midnight” and “Ghost On The Dance” all from the band’s later album releases, which may prove a point that Blink 182 are looking to keep their music evolving and not get stuck in the pop-punk rut.
Drummer Travis Barker is always phenomenal, but even he seemed to be lacking a bit of the energy and vigor that I have always come to love when witnessing Blink 182 live. Would I be going a bit too far to say that perhaps, Blink 182 has outgrown their own music? That is a question that only the band can answer, however there was definitely a glimmer of their glorious past when they blasted into songs such as “First Date”, “Dumpweed”, mega-hit “All The Small Things” and “Josie” proving that some of that youthful energy is still very much alive and well.
The band also took some time to shine during their encore which consisted of songs “Carousel”, “Dammit” and “Family Reunion” and the crowd was absolutely delighted. While the show got off to a bit of a rocky start, by the end things appeared to be back on track, but one can only wonder for how long.
All photos credit: Ken Schuler