Written by Samuel Barker
May 05, 2004 at 08:00 PM
ImageLast time we came across Blink-182, they were getting blown off the stage by Green Day on the Pop Disaster Tour. This time the boys brought Cypress Hill on the road with them and some new material which is moving away from the past potty humor that won so many fans.With Buddha and Dude Ranch, Blink seemed to be find a teetering point between pop punk and stand-up comedy. Early club shows by the band were occasions to see some good razzing between Mark Hoppus (bass/vocals) and Tom Delonge (guitar/vocals). When Travis Barker (drums) entered from The Aquabats, the music suddenly moved ahead. But Enema of the State and Take Off Your Pants and Jacket because rehashes of their old favorites and paled in comparison to their past releases.

Now, the boys have grown up a bit, got married, had kids and spent some time on other projects. Now they’re regrouped with their self-titled album and a new tour. Could they recapture the energy of old with this newfound maturity?

From the opening song of the set, new single Feeling This (well, not too new), Hoppus and Delonge were running wild on stage filling the bare stage with energy. The trade-off vocals on the opening numbers got both Delonge and Hoppus into the fray early.

Delonge, sporting his new Gibson Custom guitar, seemed more energetic in playing but also a bit more withdrawn. While he did the customary Deep in the Heart of Texas call (which is about as old as Greek Mythology) and traded a few stabs with Hoppus, he lurked in the darkness most of the set.

The entire band seemed to avoid a great deal of the joking and idiocies that they have become known for. The flashiest moment of the set was a 10 minutes drum solo by Barker. Many were blown away by the solo, but at 10 minutes, many happily accepted the end of it.

Few songs, like Dumpweed, from the band’s older albums made it into the set, but the band didn’t need it. They brought some of their recent hits back to life and closed the show on top, wrecking the 45 minutes NORML ad that Cypress Hill’s set was.

Complete with the same inflatable Buddha they used on the Smoking Grooves Tour in 1998, they ripped through song I listened to in high school (which was a while ago) and passed out joints to the preteens in the audience. When you have to buy your audience off with drugs to appear somewhat cool, you know the end is near.