By Tiffany Lam, Managing Editor. At last, the long anticipated Sunday night rock show at the Molson Amphitheatre had come: Blink 182’s California Summer Tour. The return on tour of these California punk-rockers, in support of their latest album California, had long-time fans counting down the days all summer long. Tickets had sold out months in advance for the Toronto date and resale tickets were going for roughly double the face value price. That said, expectations and anticipations were high; this was going to be a show to remember.
Originally, rain had been forecasted for the evening but Sunday night’s weather was beautiful and dry. The CNE’s amusements could be seen on the left from the crowd, which made an impeccable sunset view. The venue was as packed as ever, with every seat filled and nearly no grass space on the lawn. Crowds were generally older in age as many, like myself, came to reclaim their youth and relive their teenage emo pop-punk days.
Following supporting performances by All Time Low and A Day to Remember, Blink-182 took the stage and opened with 2003’s “Feeling This”. While personally an unusual choice to kick off the show, it seemed to be a band favourite given that they opened with the same track when they were last in Toronto for the Honda Civic Tour in 2011.
Their set list was well balanced, possessing a good blend of old classics and new LP tunes including “What’s My Age Again”, “Family Reunion”, “I Miss You”, “Bored to Death” and “Happy Holidays, You Bastard” (twice). After closing with “Los Angeles”, the trio returned to play four encore tracks: “Carousel”, “All the Small Things”, “Brohemian Rhapsody” and “Dammit”.
There was lots of pyro and the stage production was decently put together, but the energy on stage was not like their older, younger days. Nonetheless, the trio of Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Matt Skiba still managed to put on a pleasant rock show. Like their last show here in 2011, the trio sounded strong but mostly kept to their sides, with the occasional ambles around the stage.
California was the first tour and album since the official 2015 departure of Tom DeLonge and addition of Matt Skiba, and Skiba genuinely seemed enthused to be performing even the old hits with the band. Show after show, Travis Barker’s legendary drumming is one thing that seems to remain increasingly solid as the years go by.
Twenty-four songs later, Blink-182 fans went home happy with a majority remaining restless, including All Time Low, continuing the throwback party at El Furniture Warehouse.
While things will never be quite the same without founding member Tom DeLonge, the return of Blink-182 to the stage with California seems to be a promising new chapter for the current trio.
Photos by Winnie Surya