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Blink-182 & Lil' Wayne - Darien Lake, NY

It’s been 20 years since Enema of the State was released, introducing the world to hits like “What’s My Age Again”,” All The Small Things”, and “Adam’s Song”. For many, including myself, this was their first exposure to Blink-182, as it was the album that officially launched them into the mainstream. It was also the band’s first album with Travis Barker.

To celebrate it’s anniversary, Blink has decided to perform the album in full on their North American Summer Tour. While fans eagerly await the heavily teased new album, the follow-up to 2016’s California, the band is paying tribute to the release which earned them their place the spotlight, and we got a chance to check out their recent stop at Darien Lake, NY.

Of course it seems odd celebrating an album in the absence of one of the band’s founding members, Tom Delonge. However, the complaint that Blink isn’t Blink without Tom does feel exhausting at this point. Which is why I can’t give enough credit to Matt Skiba. The man does an outstanding job at facing an incredible amount of pressure while filling that void and bringing his own unique flavor to the band.

Joining Blink on this most recent trek is Neck Deep and Lil Wayne. The former started out as a Blink cover band, so I can only imagine how surreal their life feels at the moment. Their opening set was a great start to get the crowd hyped up for the night. I did think it was a missed opportunity that Mark Hoppus didn’t join them open stage for their song “December”, which he provides guest vocals on.

Next up was Lil Wayne, and I have to admit, like many, I was pretty skeptical of. He seemed like an odd choice for a tour-mate from the get go. It felt like touring together may would be Travis Barker’s idea, given his extensive history performing with Hip-Hop artists. He definitely isn’t my cup of tea, but I went in with an open mind. “Weezy” had just as much support from the crowd as Blink did as he put on a killer set. Again, I feel like there was a great opportunity for Travis to come out to drum to a couple of his songs.

Blink took the stage to Samuel L. Jackson’s famous “Pulp Fiction” monologue before exploding into “Dumpweed”. That opening riff just screams Blink-182, and it’s the perfect way to start of a show.

The album’s singles have made their way onto every Blink setlist since their release, but hearing them within the album as a whole made them feel fresh. The real highlights for me were hearing “Anthem”, “Mutt” and “The Party Song”, songs that I’ve never experienced the perform before.

Following the album’s conclusion and a brief intermission, Matt and Mark appeared in towards the back of the house, between the seated area and lawn, to perform a couple songs acoustic. “Wasting Time”, an early song off of Chesire Cat, was another I’d never heard live, and witnessing Mark sing it just a few feet from me was easily one of my favorite experiences of any of their past shows.

After another jaw dropping Drum solo from Travis, Blink wrapped up the night with a few more hits, including Blame It On My Youth, from their upcoming album, which sounded great live.

Blink-182 continues their run through the rest of the Summer, leading up to the release of their forthcoming album, "Nine," on September 20th.

Blink-182 Gallery: All photos by Keith Barker

Lil' Wayne Gallery: All photos by Keith Barker

Neck Deep Gallery: All photos by Keith Barker

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