Given the tragic event taken place at Manchester Arena in May, there was speculation on whether the venue would be available for Blink-182 to play their already scheduled show. Although still undergoing repairs, the lucky people of Manchester were able to experience some of their favourite childhood songs in a more intimate gig at Castlefield Bowl. A venue that is quite spectacular in the sense that one could be the last to enter, yet will still have an outstanding view.
Their support being the Front Bottoms and Frank Turner, who did an excellent job in warming up the crowd. Hard to do considering the inconvenience of the rain, bearing in mind Castlefield Bowl is an outside venue. That didn’t seem to matter, it was only till I looked at my notes that I even remembered there was any downfall at all.
Blink-182 opened up with a classic ‘Feeling This’. Straight away there were moshpits, jumping and thousands of voices singing along. At first, I was so distracted I completely forgot that this was the first time I was experiencing Blink-182 without Tom DeLonge and with his replacement Matt Skiba. By the looks of the crowd, this also didn’t seem to bother them.
Skiba’s vocals work extremely well with Hoppus’, similarly to how DeLonge’s once did some time ago, that’s what makes him an excellent replacement. Given that, there was one thing that was missing a long with DeLonge’s absence, that being the on-stage chemistry between himself and Hoppus which was always so entertaining to watch. Although there is no doubt that there is a strong friendship between Hoppus and Skiba, it just didn’t feel the same.
The whole night consisted of nostalgic moments with hits such as ‘First Dates’ and ‘What’s My Age Again?’ with favourites from California such as ‘Sober’ and ‘Bored to Death’ slotted in-between. With the amount of tracks Blink have created and with the little time they had, the setlist was reasonable. However, it was rather disappointing to hear no tracks from ‘Neighborhoods’ as I like to think it was an important era for the band, one that should not be avoided or forgotten. All being considered, with Hoppus’ witty jokes, Skiba’s glorious vocals and Barker completely stealing the show with his insane drumming, it was a night that I and many other blink fans are sure not to forget.