PREVIEW: Blink 182: Keep the clothes on this time boys—you’re old now

by Laura Melvin

It’s been a decade since three naked guys ran across our TV sets committing random acts of deviant behaviour, causing us to wonder how old they were. For their breakthrough album, Enema of the State (preceded by the under-the-radar Dude Ranch, which did produce the hit “Dammit”), Mark, Tom and Travis of Blink 182 sang about aliens, sex, and a guy named Gary with an intestinal disease.  This led to a cascade of hilariously inappropriate and entertaining stage shows that made crowds roar with laughter the world over.

Do you remember when they were funny?  I know the memory is fuzzy now, but for a while they were the funniest band in the world.  But, unfortunately, they decided to grow up and get married and have kids, which inevitably turned them into mushy, love song writing knobs (ie: the abysmal “I Miss You” off 2003’s self-titled disappointment).

Blink did try to be deep and meaningful early on with “Adam’s Song” on Enema of the State and “Stay Together for the Kids” on Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. Back then, they were smart enough to compliment these sappy songs with ridiculous song titles like “Dysentery Gary” and upbeat head-bobbing tunes like “The Rock Show” so that we didn’t burn them at the stake for trying to make us think about difficult issues.  Thinking was not what the original Blink 182 was about!  No wonder they went on hiatus to explore different avenues, however unsuccessful (*cough Tom’s band Angels & Airwaves).  Their newfound maturity didn’t fit the image fans had of Blink 182 as a raunchy, foul-mouthed band of loveable delinquents.

So why am I excited for the upcoming Blink 182 show?  Why bother, you may ask?  Because the memories I have of early Blink 182 shows and listening to Enema of the State are some of the best concert memories I’ve ever had.  I am so excited to sing along to “What’s My Age Again?” and “Dammit” with the band that I’ll endure the agony of listening to whatever crap they play off 2003’s Blink 182. My fingers are crossed that the show will more closely resemble The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show: The Enema Strikes Back than the funeral that was the Angels & Airwaves concert I accidentally went to last time they were in town.  I realize that the band is seriously old now (in rock star years anyway), and that they have wives, and kids. But shouldn’t those kids get to see the reason their fathers became famous in the first place, swearing, nudity, and all?

For those of you debating whether or not to attend the show, go back and listen to your early Blink albums to get a feel for what Blink 182 was before the crap invaded.  They were never meant to be great songwriters or great musicians; they were meant to have fun! To everyone who’s ever been to a Blink 182 show, or listened to The Enema Strikes Back: BOOBIES!!!! See you at the show.

Blink 182 plays at General Motors Place on July 28. For tickets visit UQ Events.

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