Two years and one new album since they last played the SECC, Blink 182 returned to Glasgow to peddle their unique brand of pop-punk rock to a crowded auditorium. Not that anyone seemed to care. A curiously flat crowd filled the floor space, moved neither by the frenetic support of The All American Rejects, nor seemingly particularly excited for the main event.
Lethargic crowd complaints aside, the show started briskly, opening with ‘Feeling This’ and stirring up warm memories of their eponymous 2003 album. This album featured heavily in the first half of the show, rattling through ‘Always’ and ‘Down’, as well as popular single ‘I Miss You’ appearing much earlier in the set list than anticipated. Perhaps a little unexpectedly, their latest LP Neighbourhoods was given a large billing, but the majority of the new material flew over the heads of the crowd. Lead singles ‘Up All Night’, ‘Wishing Well,’ and personal favourite ‘Ghost on the Dance Floor’ were performed with youthful vigour that belied the advancing years of the group.
The theatrics the band are famed for were thin on the ground and a stripped down stage. An enthusiastic drum solo by Travis Barker lifted the mood slightly, while ‘Happy Holidays’ was performed in complete darkness. Crowd interaction gave way to the childish ‘frat boy’ banter Blink were famed for in the earlier stages of their career. Discussions about Mark Hoppus’ mother’s vagina and such like fell flat with an audience that could have benefitted from a more personal touch.
Crowd pleasers ‘What’s My Age Again?’ and ‘All the Small Things’ raised the tempo, along with hits ‘First Date’ and ‘The Rock Show’ making up a comfortingly familiar medley of favourites. ‘Man Overboard’ formed the highlight of the show, Tom Delonge thrashing his guitar like a man possessed.
“This is the part where we pretend to end the show,” proclaimed Hoppus, preceding an encore that took place behind the standing crowd, a small stage erected in front of the seated spectators. The band then performed an acoustic selection of album tracks in a low-key end to the performance. By this point it was time to leave, the unforgiving Glaswegian late night public transportation system unprepared to wait for the vagaries of San Diego pop punk artists, even those as legendary as Blink 182.