Monday, August 17, 2009

Blink-182, Fall Out Boy, etc.

When I heard Blink-182 was back together, I figured it was another money thing. Angels & Airwaves was a good band, but Tom DeLonge probably found that it didn't do that great. Same with +44, the band of Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker.

Not to mention that when they had appeared together in photos and at the Grammys, DeLonge and Hoppus didn't look to happy with each other.

Not so on Sunday night. They babbled back and forth. They pushed each other around and got in the other guy's face while he was doing lead vocals. Hoppus stole DeLonge's microphone and threw it to the other side of the stage, so DeLonge retaliated by throwing Hoppus' on the floor. Hoppus then laid on the ground to sing.

It made for a fun, entertaining show, much like the Blink of old. (Has anyone heard their live album? Just as much cursing, stage banter and changing lyrics to reflect inappropriate actions towards one's mother.)

The band was tight and one thing I noticed was that they seemed to play every song at a slightly faster tempo live than on their albums. That made the show more intense kept up the tempo, especially with a few of their "slow" songs like "Stay Together For The Kids."

Hoppus interacted with the crowd a ton, talking and yelling while he played his bass. DeLonge kept a habit of screwing with Hoppus, but also made it to each corner of the stage to play for fans. Travis Barker was intense. He didn't say a word or seem to acknowledge the crowd, but just hammered and bashed his kit from the beginning to end.

Fall Out Boy performed just before Blink, playing songs from every album. They didn't seem to favor their new disc, which was good (not because I don't like the new one, but because I want to hear their old stuff too).

Highlight of their set was when they brought out Brendon Urie from Panic! At the Disco to sing a cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin.'" ("If you don't know the words to this song, you've never been to New Jersey, you've never been to a bar mitzvah or you don't have a pulse in your body," bassist Pete Wentz said. It appears that everyone in the crowd had at least one of those things because the thousands in attendance easily drowned out Urie.)

As for the rest of the show, I wasn't too impressed. Bands like Dirty Little Rabbits and Chester French just weren't very good. Maybe they have a following on 89.7 The River that I'm not aware of.

A sold out crowd of 16,000 people filled up Westfair to take in the concert, according to The River's Sophia John.

And wow, what a young crowd. These kids (I'm talking mostly from 12 to 18) filled up the place. Most folks sat on the lawn during the day, but as the sun went down Fall Out Boy, then Blink-182, took the stage, everyone stood up and crowded close to the stage.

During the begginning of each set, kids who were concert virgins flooded toward the front of the stage. Each time, about two songs in, a flood of them came back out. One girl retreating from the stage told everyone that looked at her, "Don't go up there. Don't go up there. Don't go up there."

That led to a few problems. Kids kept getting knocked down and couldn't get back up because of the crushing crowd. That stopped Fall Out Boy's set once and Blink's set at least twice so people could make room and help people back up. Thank goodness no one was hurt.

It wasn't a crowd control issue or an issue with the venue, but probably with the lack of concert-going experience among much of the crowd (many of whom looked to be accompanied by parents).

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