Blink-182 has been a staple in rock music since the 90’s, and suddenly, we’re celebrating 20 years of their seminal album, Enema of the State. The band is commemorating this record with a cross-country tour, playing it in full, along with an assortment of their other hits. Joined by Lil Wayne and Neck Deep, the tour hit Phoenix this week for a night of debauchery.
British up-and-comers Neck Deep played early, but their diehard followers came out in force to sing along. The band was full of energy and clearly stoked to be on tour with a band that influenced their current careers as musicians.
Lil Wayne was the surprising addition to this package. Surrounded early on by controversy, fans were unsure if the “greatest rapper alive” (according to his hype man) would take the stage for his full set in the Arizona heat. Weezy defied any negative controversy, however, and remained dynamic for the entirety of his time slot.
A lengthy intro brought him out, accompanied by his DJ and a full band. Wayne showed love to his “band, fans and fam”, all the while rattling off snippets of some of his biggest hits. All in all, he played an extended medley of nearly 30 songs, including clips of Young Money’s “Bedrock”, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” and Chance the Rapper’s “No Problem”.
Fans were feeling it, dancing like they were at the club and filling in Wayne’s vocal gaps. The set was lively and Wayne made sure to fully thank his audience and show love after walking offstage at previous shows.
Enema of the State took center stage as Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Matt Skiba sprinted through the 30-minute pop punk classic. It’s clear that this album has transcended generational gaps- fans of all ages sang every word, with extra gusto for “What’s My Age Again” and “All the Small Things”. The band also played “Happy Holidays, You Bastard” in total darkness to raucous applause.
They started the second half of their set by venturing into the crowd for acoustic renditions of “Down” and “Wasting Time”, the pavilion lit by hundreds of phones pointed at Hoppus and Skiba. Barker was due for his spotlight and did so with the spectacle of a fireworks show. His drum solo reached legendary status with this tour, as he spun 360 degrees in a cage, a la Tommy Lee.
Blink-182 continued to shoot streamers into the audience, and kept things going with a sing-a-long to “I Miss You”. Skiba, well aware of the Tom DeLonge-sized gap he’s filling, prompted the audience to sing DeLonge’s classic verse in their versions of his unique singing accent. The night came to a close with cheers for “First Date” and the closer- “Dammit”.
Blink might be all grown up, but the addition of “Built This Pool” (Google the lyrics if you haven’t heard) just shows that they’ll always be kids at heart and onstage. Soon enough, we’ll be celebrating another 20 years of a band that will probably be silly and classic forever.
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel