A rare, sweat-drenched rock show with Mark, Tom, and Travis
Blink-182 are big enough to rock the Barclays Center, but swinging through Brooklyn last night, they had something else in mind. The Music Hall of Williamsburg is usually reserved for buzz bands, established indie acts, and nostalgia tours, but Blink-182 was never one to play by the typical rock rules -- last night they nearly tore the place down with a intimate, frenzied performance for a tightly packed room of diehard fans.
After 2011's "Neighborhoods" failed to reignite their Hot 100 heyday, a lesser band might have fallen into that dreaded nostalgia act territory. But Blink-182 are too self-aware, too open about what they're trying to accomplish to succumb to that fate. Their Music Hall performance wasn't a stroll down memory lane; it was a full-fledged rock show played to rabid Blink fans, mostly 20-somethings, but ones who moshed, crowd surfed, and shouted along the lyrics like they had just popped 1997's "Dude Ranch" into their Walkmans.
The early stages of the show were a mix of essentials from before their 2005 hiatus ("Feeling This" opened the set in frenzied fashion) and highlights from their major label swan song (2011's "Neighborhoods") and last year's underrated self-released EP, "Dogs Eating Dogs." Plenty of power trios tack on touring musicians when they've reached this level of success, but for Blink, it's still about the Mark, Tom, and Travis show. Even songs with more of a studio treatment -- like their 2003 hit "I Miss You" -- felt fleshed out and full with Travis Barker's breakneck virtuoso drumming and the crowd's constant sing along effectively serving as additional instruments.