Gig Review

Blink 182
All American Rejects, The Blackout

Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
10th July 2012

Blink 182                       All American Rejects                 

Photo Of The All American Rejects © Copyright Neil OliverWith the 24th night of the European leg of the delayed Blink-182 20th anniversary tour kicking off at Cardiff's Motorpoint on the 10th of July and a crowd eagerly queuing out the door and round the corner tonight was set to be a great show.

Sadly due to some issues at the ticket office we almost completely missed the set of Welsh Post-Hardcore band The Blackout performing their second gig of the tour. Entering the main hall of the arena just in time to catch the last song of the set "Higher and Higher", the first single off the bands most recent album "Hope". With Sean Smith getting the crowd to sing the "Woo" part of the pre chorus, as well as jumping up and down along with the rhythm. Having seen The Blackout at least three times this year across a variety of stages, they have never failed to disappoint with the ability to transfer their energy to the crowd as well as throw in what can only be described as banter. Not to mention a constantly well performed tight set with the strong vocals coming though well. From what brief portion of the set we heard today it's seemed to be no exception to their high level performances, only lacking the Hyro da Hero's guest vocals not quite being filled by Sean Smith and Gavin Butler .

Photo Of The All American Rejects © Copyright Neil OliverAs it came time for All American Rejects to take the stage the lights went down and were welcomed with a huge scream from the crowd, showing the true size of this tour as All American Rejects are clearly a headline act. As Tyson Rittler bellows out the opening lines of "Affection" followed by Scott Chesak playing the piano section, both engulfed in soft red lights it became apparent that they had no intention of treating this like a supporting slot and nor did the fans. "Dirty Little Secret" followed, with the crowd singing back at the top of their lungs, jumping up and down and a lot of bobbing around on stage from Tyson, Nick Wheeler and Mike Kennerty. The lights stayed fairly simple but fit well, the vocals were good, with the tracks sounding like a heavier version Photo Of The All American Rejects © Copyright Neil Oliverof the CD. Having seen these at Birmingham on the 16th of June, I wasn't looking forward to them as they failed to live up to "Tornado" the bands 2006 live DVD. This being before Tyson's infection and resulting problems that clearly impacted his behaviour on stage, whilst he still looked pretty out of it at this show, he seemed to reel in the annoying behaviour from Birmingham by keeping the crowd interaction short and sweet. Asking the crowd "Are you ready to party?" and pressing after the first response for more before saying "it's time to play one from the past" when they broke into "Swing Swing" with Tyson playing bass for the first time tonight. "Falling Apart" followed by "Kids In The Street" which involved the use of neon lights around the instruments, in the same way as the video. As they played though the rest of the set "Walk on me", "It Ends Tonight", "Move Along" and "Gives You Hell" with Tyson occasionally playing bass but often residing in the roll of simply vocals occasionally doing unusual dances or singing facing the drummer. The overall sound was good, with the Photo Of Blink 182 © Copyright Neil Oliverdrums and vocals close to CD and the guitars as with most pop punk a bit heavier. The band had a good energy on stage, spoke to the crowd briefly between songs and made a few jokes such as saying "it's not a coincidence that Blinks tour was delayed two years until the Rejects had an opening, they were waiting for us to be free". It's rare that the support act can get the crowd singing along to every song, jumping up and down, or clapping with their hands in the air without any effort, but that's exactly what they did. The air at one point was even full of inflated condoms, and to be honest, they made up for the disappointment of Birmingham so if you had seen them on another night and they weren't great then don't let it damage your opinion too much because they pulled it together by the time they made it to Cardiff and for around £32.00 a ticket you could leave pretty happy.

Photo Of Blink 182 © Copyright Neil OliverSurprise surprise Blink-182 scored five out of five, but for all those who didn't make it to see them don't think it's because its Blink-182 and it's a given. With many fans thinking they'd never get a chance to see them after the break up in 2005, the expectations being off the chart, any fault would almost ruin the idealistic view built up in the imagination over the years and further rooted by the reformation. And Blink-182 truly pulled out all the stops, there is only one way anyone can be disappointed by them, their lack of appearance in "American Pie Reunion" (sorry for those who haven't seen it). As a large black curtain was drawn up to cover the stage there were screams, and the lights soon went down, which was met by one of the most deafening screams I've ever heard at a concert repeated again as the first note of "Feeling This" was struck and the curtain dropped. At this point the air was full of Photo Of Blink 182 © Copyright Neil Oliverphones and camera's with flashes going off regularly. The two large projector screens either side of the stage came into play for the first time of the night, playing a highly contrasted black and white video footage from the camera's inside the arena. Similarly to All American rejects the sounds was slightly heavier than the CD though for "Feeling This" Tom DeLonge's guitar was slightly to low and partly drowned out by the powerful rhythm section and singing crowd. Moving on to "Up All Night" off of Neighborhoods, with the 3rd screen at the back of the stage showing the side of buildings in the style of the album cover. The black and white style of lights and video continued as Blink played though "Up All Night" "The Rock show", "What's My Age Again" and "Down" with the white of the video occasionally being replaced by static. Blink playing fantastically with Travis Barker's assault on the drums, with the vocals still managing just to climb above the volume of the crowd. With Mark Hoppus and Tom walking around and bopping along, combined with a Jr version of Pink Floyd or Muse's complex light and video setup, showed a maturity to Blink's show. But don't worry they still managed to get in a few childish and crude comments between the songs such as Mark say "You have to calm the F*** down, you can't have this much fun" and later in the set after a crude joke saying "I'm pulling out all the classics here and I'm not really getting the reaction I was hoping for. I would expect you all to have applauded". With the sound incredible and a quick Photo Of Blink 182 © Copyright Neil Oliverbit of chat between songs the question remains with six albums of material, one of which is fairly new, how do you not disappoint your fans? To which the answer was obviously to perform 23 tracks with the added bonus of competing with the Foo Fighters for longest set. This being part of the reason for the short gap between songs, playing through some classics "I Miss You", "Dumpweed" and "Always" as the lights branched out from the one colour set and a load of new lights descended from the back of the stage, acting like mini search lights almost resembling an octopus feeling out an area and further adding to the Pink Floydesque nature of the show. During "Violence" Tom sung the first verse twice apparently having messed the song up all tour, the sound also saw a fantastic harmony with Mark. They continued to play though "After Midnight", "First Date" with a seamless transition into "Heart's All Gone", "Man Overboard", "Ghost On The Dancefloor" in much the same way, absolutely flawlessly with entertaining lights and Travis fitting in some of his unbelievable drum fills and at one point even a few twirls from Tom. After playing "All The Photo Of Blink 182 © Copyright Neil OliverSmall Things" during which the crowd managed to sing even louder, Mark made a speech about the incredible fan support over the past 20 years, before the lights dropped and they left the stage. A few minutes later a spotlight hit the sound board near the back of the room, where a mini stage had been set up for a short acoustic set. As Mark started playing "Reckless Abandon" the camera's and phones took to the air again, with people singing as people crammed as close as they could. Tom let the crowd take the first line of the final pre-chorus. They rounded off the acoustic set with "Wasting Time" off their first album. Straight after they left the mini stage, Travis kicked in with "Can A Drummer Get Some" off his solo album "Give The Drummer Some" as a drum solo that should make any drummer feel inadequate. It's difficult to explain what a Travis drum solo it like but it's easily among the best I've seen and he adds in some stick tricks to top it off. With Blink pulling out all the stops to make this one of the best Photo Of Blink 182 © Copyright Neil Olivershows I've probably ever seen, All American Rejects weren't the only act better than at Birmingham. As Mark and Tom returned to the stage for "Carousel", "Dammit" it was almost time for the show to end with "Family Reunion" and a quick cover of part of Justin Bieber's "Baby" and "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen before leaving Mark on stage for the "Grand Finale" of one chord played repeatedly before doing the rock symbol in with one hand. With the longest and one of the best sets I've ever seen over, as well as some fantastic support I think that show was easily worth the wait, and it begs what are people like Lady Gaga doing charging £50 for a ticket because that would be extremely hard to top. It's also clear as to why so many people have gone to multiple shows on the tour because I could have happily seen them again the next day.

All American Rejects – 4/5
Blink 182– 5/5

Review By Marc Rich

 Blink 182

Tom Delonge
Mark Hoppus
Travis Barker

 All American Rejects

Nick Wheeler
Tyson Ritter
Mike Kennerty
Chris Gaylor

 Band Related Links
Blink 182 Facebook
All American Rejects Facebook
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?