Blink 182 bring California to Liverpool

Posted on 16 July 2017
By Frank Ralph
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The buzz outside the Echo Arena was palpable, on a beautiful day in Liverpool. The line for the merch stand was as long as the queue to get in and bag that all-important close up spot at the front and the random group sing-alongs that broke out in the lines was great to witness.

New Jerseys ‘The Front Bottoms’ opened what proved to one hell of a rock show in fine style with a short set of high quality indie rock – the drummer Mathew Uychich was by far the star of the show in my opinion and with the addition of a second drummer on several tracks his brilliant playing was given extra emphasis.

The set Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls played was a revelation. It was their 2071st show so they’re not new to this and it has obviously helped them refine and perfect their show.

With a stage debut on harmonica for Daniel from the crowd, Frank and the band bouncing around the stage and a batch of highly enjoyable punk rock songs the whole set could have easily been a headline one.

With the amount of energy on display it would be hard for anyone not to enjoy it and even with the hangover from hell after DJ’ing in Manchester the night before you could tell Frank Turner was enjoying himself – even ending up in the crowd at the end of the show.

As a massive Union Jack emblazoned Blink 182 curtain was lowered to obscure the stage and build anticipation for the headliners – as it dropped, the theme from Stranger Things rang around the arena, the pyro went off and Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Matt Skiba appeared to the sound of 15,000 fans collectively losing their minds.

The show was far from just a nostalgia trip for either the band or the fans. The new stuff was incredibly well represented and received, with a good 6 or 7 tracks from their latest album California forming the backbone of the 25 song set. That said though, with the likes of The Rock Show, What’s My Age Again? And Dammit (which is 20 years old this year!) it would be wrong to say there was definitely some nostalgia in the air.

There definitely seemed to be a coming together of generations in the crowd with parents and their children enjoying the show equally as much as each other, and the generations theme was also apparent on stage as Travis Barker’s son Landon closed the whole show with a drum solo that show’s the future of the rock show is in safe hands.

Trust me, in a few years there will be a band playing arena shows just like this and he will be sat at the back of the stage orchestrating it exactly the way his dad does now.

See a full set of photos from the show here: Blink 182 Gallery