The Honda Civic Tour 2011: Blink-182, MCR & Matt & Kim

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My husband and I had tickets to see Blink-182 in 2001 for the first Honda Civic Tour, but he was in the Marines at the time and due to heightened security after 9/11, he ended up working late and we missed the show. Total bummer.

We had another opportunity to see them live in 2004 when they were touring for their self-titled album. A brand new band, Taking Back Sunday, opened for them, Cypress Hill followed and Blink-182 headlined…it was the best show I’d ever seen! I had purchased our tickets on eBay and we ended up in the first row, right behind a few people in wheelchairs, directly in front of Mark Hoppus. I was in heaven. It was one of the best nights of my life. (Sorry, hubby but I’m just keepin’ it real.)

Fast forward to September 2009, when Blink-182 reunited and announced a reunion tour. I was estatic, and secured seats in the 5th row. Once again, we were directly in front of Mark Hoppus on the base. (I may have swooned just a little. Okay, fine. I swooned a lot!) Unfortunately, the show was disappointing. No, let me rephrase that: the show was horrible. It sucked. Tom Delonge was such an ass to Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker or the duration of the show that he ruined it. The dynamic that made me love seeing Blink-182 perform live was completely gone – I felt like I was watching an old married coupled fight during a divorce proceeding. I left the stadium so angry that I didn’t ever want to see my favorite band live again.

That is, until I saw Mark Hoppus tweeting in 2010 that they were working on a new album. Of course I was logged into Live Nation, armed with presale code and credit card the morning of their fan club presale. I was only able to get tickets in the 16th row, which broke my heart, but I was psyched to see them, especially after hearing Up All Night, their first single, which was reminiscent of Tom Delonge’s work with Angels and Airwaves.

We missed most of Matt & Kim’s set because we were a little late due to traffic. We were able to hear them singing as we walked from the parking lot into the amphitheater, and they sounded fantastic even for the songs we heard on our way in! They had a great stage presence – you know a band really loves what they do when they look like they are having fun on stage. Matt & Kim looked like they were having fun, and they actually hung out around the amphitheater after their set and met their fans and signed autographs and took photos. My cousin and his girlfriend, who went with us to the concert, got a great photo with Matt!

Honda Civic Tour 2011

I am not a fan of My Chemical Romance…I saw them with Greenday in 2005 and I hated them. The lead guitarist spat all over the stage at the show and I was anxious to see if he was going to do the same thing during this concert. Now, as I said, I am not a MCR fan, but I do really like their songs Welcome to the Black Parade and Sing. Well, they didn’t even sing SING and they performed so horribly that I didn’t recognize Welcome to the Black Parade until the end of the song! I am convinced that they are just one of those bands that can’t actually sing or play their instruments – they are all studio sound.

Blink-182? Well, they were superb. The snarky attacks, the not-so-well hidden resentment over their break up that had ruined the 2009 reunion concert wad gone. In its place was the comraderie and passion for music and performing that made me fall in love with them all those hears ago!

Where do I start? How about how Mark Hoppus (in case you aren’t aware, I am obsessed with Mark Hoppus), and about how much life he brings into a show by his stage energy and his interaction with Blink-182 fans while he is performing. Most guitarist cover the entire stage at least once or twice during a set, but Mark NEVER STOPS. From the opening song to their 3 song encore, he didn’t stay in one spot for more than a minute. That engagement of the audience is what made me take notice of Mark the first time I saw Blink-182 in concert in 2004.

Honda Civic Tour 2011

Tom was his loud-mouthed, perverted normal self – which is really half the show, if you ask most Blink-182 fans. We love the banter; it includes us fans in a level of familiarity that makes the band members seem so much more personable. It’s like watching friends hang out in their garage, shooting the shit, giving each other a hard time.

The music? Holy shit, the music…I’d already been following along as Mark Hoppus released singles on his Google + so I knew that I loved Up All Night and Heart’s All Gone, but I hadn’t heard anything else new yet. I was as excited to hear their new music as I was to hear my old favorites. Along with Up All Night and Heart’s All Gone, Blink-182 played all of their old favorites…including my husband’s favorite song, Stay Together For The Kids.

Except they didn’t play Adam’s Song, which I was hoping and praying that they would sing. It’s my favorite Blink-182 song, and one of my top 10 favorite songs of all time. I was actually so upset by it that my husband did a little Google recon and found that they no longer play Adam’s Song because of the association the song has with Travis Barker’s close friendship with DJ AM, who passed way. If you look closely at the album for Neighborhoods, you’ll see DJ AM is actually in their graffiti artwork – their own personal tribute to him. For that, I can forgive them for not singing my favorite song.

While I do really love Angels and Airwaves, and I completely appreciate that signature sound being a part of this new Blink-182 album, I have to say that I really appreciate the fact that most of the new album sounds like Blink-182. I was worried when Up All Night came out that the Neighborhoods album would just be Angels and Airwaves all over again, but it totally isn’t. It’s not exactly like their last self-titled album, but it has been almost a decade and after branching off and forming three different bands, surviving plane crashes, tv shows, clothing lines, etc, I expected their sound to have changed.

It did, and you know what? It’s still friggin’ awesome.

Go pick up their album, Neighborhoods, that was released on the 27th, it’s amazing!

* Thanks to my cousin, Nick @ iamnicholasjordon.blogspot.com for letting me use his photos from the concert. As we all know, the iPhone takes totally shitty photos in the dark!

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