Review of Blink-182 at the Bell Center | The amazing and moving wisdom of peeing, pooping, hair

On Friday night, the Bell Center was filled with 17,000 spectators aged 15 or 16. Translation: On Friday night, Blink-182 were in town on their tour marking the return of founder Tom DeLonge to the pop punk band.

Tens of thousands of confetti float above the Bell Center floor. It’s the start of the show and Blink-182 has just played the last note of Family Reunionin which men aged 47 and 51 chant the words hash, piss, fucking, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits, wax, turd And twat. A song of just over 30 seconds having, in the work of the Californian group, the value of a manifesto, an oath of allegiance to childishness and impertinence.

Early evening all in contrast, therefore. As a curtain raiser, the trio performed Anthem, Pt. 2, a charge by Tom DeLonge against the oppression that adults inflict on teenagers. The good news: we were now all adults and we could all obey our own rules, even if that meant, as had been the case for many of the 17,000 spectators gathered at the Bell Center on Friday evening, investing part of money for groceries in a pair of bills.


Blink-182 in Montreal

The place was a little larger than the defunct Underworld in Ahuntsic, where Blink-182 presented a show in July 1996, but the Bell Center stage on Friday advocated such closeness between bassist Mark Hoppus, guitarist Tom DeLonge and the drummer Travis Barker. “Montreal embraced Blink-182 from the start,” exclaimed Mark after two or three songs, in a heartfelt tribute to the special relationship that his group established in the mid-1990s with Quebec.

Composed of half titles taken fromEnema of the State (1999) and Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001), the band’s current touring repertoire couldn’t be clearer as to the nature of the journey to which we were invited.

It was first and foremost, yes, a journey through time, although with the necessary self-mockery allowing such an exercise not to smell too musty.

In their exchanges between the songs, Mark and Tom, two virtuosos of the phallic joke, thus cheerfully made fun of their own musical performances by attributing to them, as at school, (poor) notes in the form of letters. The bombastic Travis Barker, who carries the band on his skinny tattooed back, for his part deserved nothing less than an A+, at all times.


Travis Barker

Before Aliens ExistMark Hoppus even gently mocked his colleague DeLonge’s fascination with unidentified flying objects, which he devoted a disturbing amount of his time away from Blink-182 to.

The relevance of impertinence

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is Mark fucking Hoppus”, launched Tom DeLonge early in the show, leaving no doubt about the authenticity of the reconciliation between the two founding musicians of Blink-182.


Tom DeLonge

In June 2021, Mark Hoppus had revealed on social networks to be suffering from lymphoma, which he would be today, fortunately, rid of. It was following this announcement that Tom DeLonge reached out to his partner, with whom he had fallen out in 2015 following a quarrel whose nature remains a bit mysterious to this day.

Did Tom resign or was he shown the door? We may never know and, anyway, the essential lies elsewhere: however competent his replacement Matt Skiba was, Blink-182 was simply not Blink-182 without the most emo of his members.

When the time comes, halfway through, to Stay Together for the Kidsa song co-written by Mark and Tom about their respective parents’ divorce, everything became clear.

This rare, purely sad and angry Blink-182 song, in which Tom does the verses and Mark does the choruses, perfectly embodies what this group has represented for so many millennials: a refuge, far from the problems of adult life, which s always invite teenagers too early.

From’I Miss Youanother of their more serious songs, the hits followed: Adam’s Song, What’s My Age Again?, First Date, All the Small ThingsThen Dammitthe only borrowing from the band’s more purely punk past.

It would be easy, almost expected, to reproach Mark and Tom for the immaturity of their interventions, but Friday evening, all these penis jokes, all these “I fucked your mother”, all these melodies having composed the soundtrack of the youth of so many thirty-somethings and forty-somethings, contained another form of wisdom: sometimes you have to hear from the nono child that you have been. The relevance of Blink-182 was, more than ever, in its perfect impertinence.

“Not so long ago, I was in chemotherapy, and now I’m here tonight, in Montreal,” said Mark Hoppus during the milder part of What’s My Age Again?a brief and moving aside about the illness that threatened him never again to be able to sing his childish ageless refrains.

Friday night, Mark Hoppus was alive, Blink-182 was alive. And the teenager in all of us too.

source site-53