What's My Age Again: Revisiting Middle School with Blink-182.
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What's My Age Again: Revisiting Middle School with Blink-182.

"Blink argues that in a world of formality, you never should lose your impulse decision-making and occasional need to scream."

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What's My Age Again: Revisiting Middle School with Blink-182.
Brandi Powell

Ever since I was in fourth grade, I've had an intense love of Blink-182. Their music caught me when I was ready to laugh, when I was struggling with growing up, and throughout my parents' current divorce. Blink has always been at the forefront of my favorite bands. Sunday night, I finally saw them for the first time. The band formerly consisted of Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker, and Tom Delonge. Recently, Tom left the band to focus on personal ventures, like hunting aliens.

Sadly, this is no joke. Tom had always been my favorite member, and I maybe, possibly, cried for hours when the news broke that he had left indefinitely. In light of their new album, the band recruited Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba and were confident that things would be fine. I couldn't argue with their choice; Matt is well beyond equipped and fits into the lineup well. Still, I found myself questioning how I would receive the show. How would the band present songs Tom had sung? Would the energy still be top-notch? Who was going to sing in the same nasally, angsty, nearly incomprehensible way? As it turns out, Blink was right; everything's gonna be fine.

The opening acts absolutely prepared me for Blink-182. I felt as if I had been transported back to middle school - from All Time Low to A Day to Remember - and back again. Even the first opener, DJ Spider, impressed me. After I was thoroughly made into the most psyched fan in the audience by the opening acts, Blink-182 sparked onto the stage. The black curtain was dropped, and a fiery display of the f-word lit up behind my heroes. Mark Hoppus has remained one of my favorite people in existence, along with Travis who has been completely destroying my brain with his epic drum skills since elementary school. On the other hand, I came into the show with an empty slate for Skiba. I kept my mind open and was ready to see what he had to bring

The trio launched straight from "Feeling This" into their hit "What's My Age Again?". These two songs rank among my favorite of their discography, but I was drawn to Skiba from the start. His enthusiastic personality and determination to present himself as worthy was astounding. I could see from the start that he was out to make his mark, and to give the best show possible. I gained massive respect for him throughout the concert. It would be impossible not to embrace him when he showed such passion, and this is coming from a girl who has undoubtedly loved Tom for eight years. Matt Skiba was not there to become Tom, or even to stand in as a replacement, but rather as himself. His voice was different than Tom's, but complemented Mark's vocals and fit nicely within the music. His hard work has surely paid off, for I quickly became less aware of his "foreign" presence, and more focused on the show overall.

As for the band's natives, I was nothing less than ecstatic of their performances. Travis Barker, who is easily one of the best drummers to ever grace our planet, launched into a jaw-dropping solo about halfway through the concert. Often, drummers go nearly unnoticed under the hard-hitting lyrics and catchy guitar riffs, but it's impossible to ignore the talent Barker holds. No matter how soft or hard a song may be, his style is exclusive to his skill set and easily the backbone of Blink-182. Mark Hoppus played his usual demeanor, as the clown who can't help but to enjoy himself. His passionate delivery of Blink's set list, which ranged from songs from 1994 to their current 2016 album California, devoured my attention. From my position at barricade, directly in front of Mark, I couldn't help but to admire his earnest love of Blink.

The band presented "Don't Leave Me" for the first time on their current tour, and drew the sharpest enthusiasm from classics such as "First Date", "The Rock Show" and "Dysentery Gary". The backdrop monitor captured the perfect visuals, from cartoon-ish figures, to graffiti, to 3-D mountainous terrain. The crew must've been fond of pyrotechnics and fireworks, because nearly continuous bouts of the two displays rocketed from the back of the stage. The fire spit out hot enough to send waves to me, even in the front row. It's clear that the band put a lot of cash into their tour this year, and the effort did not go unnoticed.

By the end of the night, I was covered in confetti and bursting with excitement. I even took home a few goodies: a set list from A Day to Remember and guitar picks from All Time Low, A Day to Remember, and even Blink-182. I was reminded of just how beautiful music can be, even when songs may consist of solely curse words, like in "Family Reunion". As goofy as they may be, Blink-182 has deeply rooted themselves in my life. There are times in life when you need a little "Brohemian Rhapsody" in your life, and times when "Adam's Song" becomes necessary to find sanity. One thing Blink never fails to instill is youth. Despite all the stress that growing up brings, Blink argues that in a world of formality, you never should lose your impulse decision-making and occasional need to scream about love, life, and grandparents who eat seven hot dogs and poop themselves.

"No one should take themselves so seriously
With many years ahead to fall in line
Why would you wish that on me?
I never wanna act my age
What's my age again?"



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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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