Blink-182 at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Pop Punk Threesome Return with Aquabats

Blink 182
Paul Wellman

“I create jazz : you don’t even fucking get it,” guitarist Tom DeLonge explained to a packed house at the Bowl this past Monday. The epic performance-punctuated by epic lighting schemes, vulgarities, and playfulness on the part of the performers-marked 10 years since longtime friends Blink-182 and The Aquabats played a joint show at the Bowl. Although Monday’s concert was first assumed to be Blink’s last, the band announced plans for both a new CD and tour scheduled for next year.

Playing before the legendary punk trio, The Aquabats put on their classic, yet abbreviated, show, complete with a showdown in which lead singer the Bat Commander defended the stage from a human-sized lobster with a giant pencil. Meanwhile, scantily clad girls in tight nurse outfits threw beach balls, inner tubes, and inflatable alligators into an enthusiastic pit of youngsters. The ‘Bats performed what could be considered their go-to set, churning out “Pool Party” and “Pizza Day” in an effort to excite the crowd. Despite their frolicking, however, the fans simply could not contain their anticipation for the first S.B. Blink concert since the band’s breakup in 2005.

When Blink-182 took the stage, the Bowl erupted in fervor. Bandmembers DeLonge, bassist Mark Hoppus, and drummer Travis Barker started their set off energetically with “Dumpweed,” “The Rock Show,” and “What’s My Age Again?” all being played in the opening minutes. Although vocal levels appeared to be off during the beginning half of the set, it became clear that the performers were not fazed. In a hilariously vulgar performance, DeLonge continually battered the crowd with his flanger pedal, profanity, and Oprah jokes. “Oprah Winfrey is backstage,” he yelled. “She’s going to take off all of her clothes and crowd surf on top of your hands and all of your fingers are going to go inside of her.” The mischievous DeLonge often had to be calmed down by Hoppus, but nobody seemed to care-the band was having a blast, and that translated to the audience. Keeping to their roots, the trio played a good number of hits from 1996’s Dude Ranch, including “Josie” and “Dammit,” to close out the night.


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