Have you ever watched that episode of Laguna Beach where LC, Lo, Stephen and Kristen are all at the same Blink-182 concert together and you just wish you were a part of their friend group? Well, same, which is why my two best friends and I jumped at the opportunity to see Blink when they came to our home town this past summer.
The tour is still happening, and includes either the All-American Rejects or All Time Low as the openers (depending on your location; AAR is currently opening), A Day to Remember are the second act, then it’s all Blink. We, thinking that AAR would go second since we’ve never heard of A Day to Remember, arrived at the concert venue at 7:10, knowing the show began at 7. We were horrified to find ourselves in a long line waiting to enter the arena, listening to the dulcet tones of Tyson Ritter’s voice as we cried because we couldn’t see him IRL. It took us about 10 minutes to make it inside and at that point, they had already played “Dirty Little Secret,” “I Wanna,” and “Swing, Swing” (*screams internally*). We were halfway through “It Ends Tonight,” so we rushed inside some random section to watch the song and then ran to our actual section to catch the remainder of the set. They followed up with their new single, “DGAF” and I was instantly obsessed. It’s very classically AAR with some extra cheekiness and I can’t wait for it to be available for download on iTunes. Next up was the absolute TUNE “Move Along,” and all the memories of watching VH1 as I got ready for middle school flooded back (mems of braces and poor eyeliner application also joined the nostalgia train). AAR closed with “Gives You Hell,” and I screamed it at the top of my lungs. Their entire set was only seven songs AND I FELT SO ROBBED.
*Sorry this photo is such shit quality but that’s SnapChat for ya and I was too busy loving life to take a real pic on my actual camera*
*Also, this is AAR in case you can’t tell, and I don’t blame you for not being able to recognize Tyson bae*
Tyson was amazing, engaging, hilarious and honest between songs, throwing around curse words and making jokes at the band’s expense while complimenting the crowd. I have seen AAR three times previously and I have to agree with Tyson, the EP crowds have always been amazing. The All-American Rejects were actually my first concert, along with Fall Out Boy, Hawthorne Heights, and a few other emo bands from back in the day that scared me too much to actually remember their names. AAR get better each time and I love them more and more after each performance. The second and third times I saw them were at really small nightclub venues and I managed to get really close to Tyson (and almost passed out because his rockstar sex god presence is too much to bear). Last time I went, I was a junior in high school and “Gives You Hell” had just been released as a single. I was really sad that the band didn’t have a longer set to introduce us to more new songs because honestly, I haven’t met an AAR song I didn’t instantly love. My best friends and I mostly came to see AAR, so we were sad to miss the iconic “Dirty Little Secret” and my personal fave, “Swing, Swing,” but I also couldn’t feel too bad having already seen those songs three times in person. I also have to mention that Tyson Ritter is sexy as ever, and that fact is only reinforced and thrown in your face when you see him perform live. Also, his voice is SO GOOD live. I personally luuuurve his voice, but it’s so much better live because it’s so much more raw and there’s more emotion. We were dying a slow, beautiful, Tyson-induced death and loving every moment.
Next up was A Day to Remember and tbh, I didn’t love them. We took this as an opportunity to use the restroom and grab some beers because none of us knew any of their music and they’re quite into screaming, rather than singing. Anyway, their fans and everyone on the floor seemed to really enjoy it, and I will say that watching mosh pits from a safe distance was entertaining. At one point, the band threw out toilet paper to the crowds and we could see a group of people using the tp for limbo. It was amazing. About 20 minutes in, my friend Alexia checked Twitter and saw that Tyson had Tweeted out his location in the hallway between two sections and we SCREAMED. We then RAN over to the section, hoping we weren’t too late, only to find that he had come and gone. We did snap a pic (below) to Tweet at Tyson and be like, “hey, come back,” but it didn’t work. We missed our opportunity to meet the love of our lives, and we forced ourselves to head back to our seats for Blink.
Truthfully, I haven’t really kept up with Blink-182 since my high school days and actually had no idea that Tom DeLonge had left the band until we bought tickets for this show and with a voice that unique and iconic, I was pretty disappointed and afraid that we wouldn’t get the right experience. Matt Skiba from Alkaline Trio took Tom’s place and tbh, I hardly noticed Tom was missing. I LOVE Travis Barker, as many do because he is a drum genius, so that was really the only thing I cared about. They opened up with a statement word burning above them, really setting the tone of the show, and played “Feeling This,” which always reminds me of one of the Now! albums I have somewhere in my room. They then moved on to “What’s My Age Again?” and my bff was like, “Okay, let’s go. That’s all I needed to hear.” It was really fun and had everyone going crazy, naturally. The next song I knew was “The Rock Show” and then “First Date” a couple songs later and again, those are just some classic tunes. My fave “I Miss You” was a few songs later and it is SO GOOD live! Honestly one of the greatest songs of all time, if you ask me. After that, it was pretty much a bunch of new songs and songs I just wasn’t familiar with. There were some other goodies thrown in, but it was really just a lot of their new stuff, which is cool, but when you haven’t toured in a long time and are releasing a new album, I think it’s probably better to have about half of your classics and half of the new ones and some that are old, just not as known. IDK, that’s just me, but the crowd loved it. The best part, after “I Miss You,” was definitely the encore when they did “All the Small Things” and “Dammit.” I first heard “All the Small Things” and was introduced to Blink in sixth grade at our first school dance and I just remember everyone losing their little minds over it and I caught on to the chorus pretty quickly. It became a new fave and I was obsessed with listening to it ALL THE TIME.
Overall, my middle school dreams were mostly fulfilled with this concert and I didn’t pay very much and sat in some pretty good seats. I was with two of my best friends, also from middle school, and they basically mirrored all of my sentiments throughout the concert. We had a great time and AAR and Blink were more than I could have asked for. The best part was definitely when we stalked Tyson Ritter on SnapChat after the show and made it our mission to find him. He snapped himself in parking lot and my friend knew exactly where it was, so we drove there and walked around shouting his name. We didn’t find him at the end of the night, but it was so much fun freaking out every three seconds and hoping we would see him. Maybe next time! And honestly, follow Tyson on SnapChat because yeah, he’s documenting the band on tour, but mostly he’s fucking hilarious.