2016 may be remembered as the year kids born and raised in the 1990s rejoiced. Pokémon was the number one game in the country, Ghostbusters invaded movie theaters once again, a Clinton threw their hat into the race for the presidency, and Blink-182 reached the top of the charts with a number one album. For naysayers who claim Blink-182 hasn’t been a thing for years, they were proved wrong when a sold out crowd invaded West Palm Beach’s Perfect Vodka Amphitheater for four hours.
On Friday (Aug. 5), Blink-182 brought some their immature quirkiness to South Florida alongside some of their friends. Opening the humid summer evening was the All-American Rejects who treated the incoming crowd with a set full of classics. The Oklahoma-founded band, who hasn’t released a new album since 2012’s Kids in the Street, performed a medley of their biggest hits. Songs included “It Ends Tonight,” “Move Along,” “Dirty Little Secret,” and the song that broke them into the mainstream, “Swing, Swing.” During the set, the band also performed a brand new song titled “DGAF.” As they were about to begin their last song, frontman Tyson Ritter randomly proclaimed how he felt like Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. From there, the singer began to impersonate the Jamaican-accented crustacean from the Disney film. As the impersonation came to an end, the band launched directly into their final song of the evening, “Gives You Hell.”
After a set change, Florida’s own A Day to Remember got the chance to show their home state audience what they had to offer. The group, who call Ocala home, began their hour-long set with “The Downfall of Us All” as a slew of beach balls were thrown into the energetic crowd. Their set consisted of a mix of songs from their past albums like “2nd Sucks,” “Right Back at it Again,” “All Signs Point to Lauderdale,” and more.
Frontman Jeremy McKinnon proved to be an entertaining frontman, interacting with the crowd as well as his fellow band mates throughout the set. During “It’s Complicated,” he followed his band mates around the stage with a GoPro camera, filming them while the footage displayed on the large, LED screens behind them. Before beginning on “Have Faith in Me” from 2009’s Homesick, he asked the women in the crowd to make their presence known. After a deafening cheer from the crowd, he dedicated the song to “all the ladies in the house.”
But that wasn’t all. Like a true frontman, McKinnon requested that all the people in the sold out lawn area make the biggest circle pit that they could for “Paranoia,” the group’s new song off of their impending album, Bad Vibrations. While the lawn circle pit may not have been the largest, it was big enough for those at the front of the stage to see in the dark venue.
As the set was coming to a close, McKinnon and his band mates contemplated playing a song of their own or playing a random cover. A unanimous decision was reached with the band playing part of Oasis’ “Champagne Supernova.” As the cover came to an end, the band broke the news to the crowd that the next song would be their final. They immediately began to play the song that helped them gain a slew of fans, 2007’s “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle.”
While their set was a mix of mainly older material, it was a bit surprising that they decided not to include more songs from Bad Vibrations. The upcoming record, set to hit stores in September, already produced three singles: “Bullfight,” “Bad Vibrations,” and “Paranoia.”
Following ADTR’s exit from the stage, one last set change began. A little after 9 p.m., a sheer black sheet was erected on the stage, blocking the audience’s view of the stage. A short time later, the sheet dropped revealing not only the guys from Blink-182 (now including Matt Skiba), but also the word “FUCK” in flames. The set kicked off with “Feeling This” and continued by giving fans a mix of classics as well as some new tracks.
From the hour-and-a-half-long show, it was clear to see how Skiba fit in with the band. The proof came by the way he bantered with bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus, even trading instruments with him because Hoppus felt like it. As always, Travis Barker showcased his drumming skills, even treating the crowd to a solo while Hoppus and Skiba went backstage momentarily.
Since the band announced the departure of former member Tom DeLonge and that Skiba would replace him, debates have risen over whether Skiba was a doing a good job of filling the vacancy. In short, it’s a complicated question. On newer tracks like “The Only Thing That Matters,” “Kings of the Weekend,” and current single “Bored to Death,” Skiba sounds like he was always a member of the band, not just someone who was added at the end of last year.
When it came to older tracks like “What’s My Age Again,” “First Date,” and “I Miss You” the same could not be said. During “I Miss You,” it was a little odd not hearing DeLonge’s nasally voice screeching out “…what’s with all the spiders/catching things and eating their insides.” Instead, Skiba’s vocals sounded too similar to Hoppus’ as he articulated every word correctly. While that is more of a personal opinion, it didn’t take away from the fun of the show.
Their set came to a close with a four-song encore that included “Los Angeles,” “All the Small Things,” “Brohemian Rhapsody,” and “Dammit.” As the last chords of “Dammit” played and confetti was blasted into the air, it signaled the end of the show that proved just because you need to grow up doesn’t exactly mean you need to mature; just ask the band still playing songs about “building a pool to see naked dudes” and prank calling your girlfriend’s mom.