On more than one occasion I have almost blown the KCAL air studio monitors, or my headphones, while cranking the volume on a Blink-182 song. I love the energy of Blink-182, and more importantly the music, lyrics and attitude. The band’s next level musicianship, brilliant lyrics, and that wonderful attitude were all on full display Tuesday night at FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine.
Blink-182’s catalog of hits is special, they are songs that pull out every emotion. Every time I hear their songs I am transported back as though I am hearing the song for the first time. Until this week I had never seen the band live, and so Tuesday was a bucket list item not only for the chance to see them, but to photograph them. I have photographed drummer Travis Barker on a few occasions, like when he was at the RMA or Self Help Fest a few years ago with Yelawolf, but photographing him with Blink-182 was a wow moment.
Blink has been around close to 30 years, having been formed here in So Cal back in 1992, and since 2015 the band has consisted of Bassist Mark Hoppus, drummer Travis Barker, and guitarist and vocalist Matt Skiba. Three guys, and great artists each and every one. Tuesday’s show was everything I could have hoped for. This year is the 20th Anniversary of the iconic album “Enema of the State”, and they played it in its entirety! Hits like “What’s My Age Again”, “All the Small Things”, and “Adam’s Song” felt so good live. Luckily they didn’t stop after the Enema set.
I have photographed at FivePoint many many times, and while standing on the stage right side of the venue watching the show I noticed something different from any other show… security was out in force trying to keep the aisle clear. I asked a member of the team what was up and he told me that the band would be coming out in the audience. My first thought was “AWESOME, I am right here and no one else knows”! My second thought was sadness when I realized I couldn’t photograph that part, and just then Mark Hoppus walked by me, went into the aisle in front of the back seats, grabbed a guitar and started playing. I could only see my side of the venue, but according to Setlist FM Matt Skiba was out in the crowd somewhere too.
Before the night was done they had played every song I’d want and more, including “I Miss You”, “Blame It On My Youth”, “First Date”, and Dammit”. A night that started with the Ezekiel 25:17 excerpt from Pulp Fiction ended with hit after hit.
Before Blink-182 was supposed to be Lil Wayne, but as people were walking in there were flyers taped everywhere saying that due to unforeseen circumstances Lil Wayne would not be performing. I’m sure that upset some fans that were there for his set, but that is what happens sometimes, and I hope Lil Wayne is doing good. Opening the show was the welsh band Neck Deep, who I was not familiar with before this show. I was happy to find a new band I liked, and I’d suggest looking them up and checking them out.
There is a gallery of more photos below, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the show. Follow me online at:
All Images Copyright 2019 Steve Brazill, All Rights Reserved. Do not use without permission.