LIVE REVIEW + PHOTOS: blink-182 in Boston, MA (05.21.23)
Last weekend was one of big concerts in New England as Janet Jackson visited Mansfield and Taylor Swift played three shows at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. In Boston, pop punk icons blink-182 were the talk of the town as they performed at TD Garden, a show at which former Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker was in attendance; on the GA floor mind you, not the luxury seats.
This year is the band’s first tour with founding member Tom DeLonge since 2014 after DeLonge had left the band to pursue a career in fringe science research, exploring the existence of UFOs. Surprisingly enough, DeLonge has found tremendous success in the field, playing a pivotal role eventually getting the United States Depart of Defense to authenticate three videos filmed by Navy pilots of what the government considers unidentified flying objects.
DeLonge was re-introduced as a member of blink-182 in October of 2022, when this tour was announced. While the band have announced they’re working on new music the current tour is serving as a career retrospective for the band both in terms of songs chosen and the anecdotes the members share between songs. Before “Reckless Abandon” DeLonge reminisced about first meeting Mark Hoppus in California in the early 90’s.
He described his youth as “climbing up a vertical ice cliff near Mount Everest” adding “I was alone, I didn’t have any friends, it was just me and God.” He described his meeting of Hoppus as the thing that saved him from falling off that cliff to his death.
Hoppus and DeLonge’s chemistry is a central part of what made blink-182 a successful band. Even with Hoppus at age 51 and DeLonge at age 47 the pair frequently dive back into sophomoric quips at one another about their mom’s, and tell jokes you’d expect to hear in a high school locker room.
Later on in the set Hoppus joked about texting with Boston Bruins legend Cam Neely, before DeLonge chimed in with a Paul Revere reference before saying “I fuck revoultionaly style” and then launching into another tune. Everything blink-182 does features a touch of humor, inflatable props that graced the stage on Sunday included a branded ambulance with band logos, and a giant bunny modeled after the band’s unofficial mascot.
A rare serious moment in the set took place when Hoppus spoke about his battle with cancer. In June of 2021 he revealed that he was undergoing chemotherapy for stage 4 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. By September of that same year he was declared cancer-free, much to the relief of millions of blink fans worldwide. He shared his story while introducing “Adam’s Song” a tune the band released in 1999 about suicide and loneliness and finding hope. Hoppus said the song took on new meaning for him during his treatment as he reconnected with it as inspiration to keep hope alive.
Pretty much all you need to know about blink-182 is summed up by the song “What’s My Age Again?” written in 1999. Lyrically the song explores the onset of age and maturity and failure to implement changes in one’s behavior. At least on stage It rings true today as much as it did when the band members were in their 20’s, they’re just three friends, getting together to have the time of their lives.
Photos by Kyle Musser: