Blink-182: Kings of the Weekend

Blink 182 onstage. (Photo taken by Kelley West.)

Blink 182 onstage. (Photo taken by Kelley West.)

Blink-182 lit up the stage Saturday night at Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville and led the excited crowd singing along to every word. Every concertgoer joined in unison singing loud, proud, and some a bit drunkenly to the soundtrack of their ‘90s and ‘00s. Joining the legendary ‘90s rock band, The All-American Rejects and A Day to Remember also ruled the stage and rocked two outstanding performances.

After years of performing, making hit records, and delivering lyrical masterpieces (or the band’s notorious toilet humor) to all audiences, Blink still upheld its pop-punk energy as they have throughout the years. Klipsch was the most packed I have ever seen it, with a crowd that seemed much larger than country singer Luke Bryan and Foo Fighters last year. Many noted how massive the crowd was, with fans looking around in disbelief saying, “wow, I have never seen this place so packed.”

New Blink or old Blink? This seemed to be the question from many die-hard fans before and during the show. After Tom DeLonge (the original lead vocalist) left the group, many were skeptical of the band staying true to their classic and unique pop-punk sound.

On her first time seeing Blink, Amanda, a fan sitting next to me, responded eagerly between A Day to Remember’s set and the highly anticipated main event.

“I love old Blink, and I love new Blink. I think today they sound like a mixture of pop, punk, and alternative. But it’s still Blink-182 and they are always awesome,” she said.

Another fan, Bryan, whom I met walking out of the amphitheater, mentioned to me that it didn’t get any better than old Blink, though he still loved their new album, California. After hearing “First Date” from their 2001 album, Take off Your Pants and Jacket, he was immediately hooked on the catchy melody and strong, rhythmic guitar riffs. He said there’s a reason why their songs are so popular and easily became the soundtrack to our lives.

“Tom DeLonge had a character about him that represented Blink in the best way and created a certain attention to some songs,” Bryan said.

While waiting in an extremely long security check line, I overheard a couple in front of me talking about how unexpectedly diverse the crowd was.

And it was.

I came in expecting a crowd with pounds on pounds of black eyeliner, nose rings, eyebrow rings, and black jeans with Converse. Though there were plenty of fans in Warped Tour attire, the majority was far from. People of all ages, genders, races, and so on, all joined together with one thing in common- a love for good music.

I think this says something about a band. When people far from the stereotyped depiction of a pop-punk crowd can join together and know every song and every last lyric, it must mean the band was more than a success. What makes a band successful is not measured by how many tickets they sell, or albums they sell, or how many talk shows they are on, but how one band can bring thousands of complete strangers together and make them sing and dance to the exact same songs day after day.

Even in a world full of technology and an intense addiction to capturing every last second of something great, a band’s success is measured with the memory of a feeling not just the memory of being there. As Blink performed one of its most popular emotion-filled tracks “I Miss You,” the audience actually put away their phones. I looked around and felt the band’s intention with the song. The couple in front of me made out a little too passionately, and the girl wearing flannel in front of them determined to jump up and down the entire concert actually stopped to sway back and forth, instead. Then, I smiled at my best friend next to me knowing that this band has changed and we have changed over the years but the feeling still stayed same today as it did when we rocked out to Blink-182 in my purple bedroom almost 13 years ago.