Review: Blink 182, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

Mark Hoppus performs in Newcastle. Picture: Carl Chambers.
Mark Hoppus performs in Newcastle. Picture: Carl Chambers.
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For some, Blink 182 are something of a nostalgia band.

The trio provided the soundtrack to your childhood, your teenage years, your University days and every important event in between.

But - newsflash - they've still got it. If we're being honest, they never really lost it.

Last appearing in Newcastle in 2012 on their Neighborhoods tour, Blink were given a heroes' welcome as they took to the stage at the Metro Radio Arena on Sunday.

The line-up was different this time around and for me at least, it was a welcome change.

Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba has taken the place of guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge following his departure in 2015. And this is a note for all of the skeptics out there - it really, really works.

Blink blasted into their set with Feeling This, followed in quick succession by The Rock Show, Anthem Part Two and Cynical, the opener to new record California.

Now's the time to make an important note about Skiba's performance - he is a gifted vocalist, perhaps more than DeLonge ever was, and he isn't about imitating him here.

He takes the classic back catalogue songs, and puts his own stamp on them.

And if you're a fan, you can't ask for anything better.

There was something different about Blink this time around. And I'm attributing that to the obvious chemistry between Skiba, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker.

The set was fast, furious and absolutely full to the brim with tunes both old and new. There was no need and indeed, no time, for the jokes, japes and heckles that we had become so used to at a Blink 182 show.

She's Out Of Her Mind, a song which Hoppus dedicated to his wife Skye Everly in his usual off-the-cuff manner, was a stand-out song for me, and my favourite from the new album.

All of the old gang were there - with I Miss You, Dysentery Gary, Rock Show, Happy Holidays and First Date standing out as audience highlights, judging by the amount of dancing, singing and fist-pumping going on.

Matt Skiba performs in Newcastle. Picture: Carl Chambers.

Matt Skiba performs in Newcastle. Picture: Carl Chambers.

The main set ended on a high, as rock shows often do, with Los Angeles - a loud, proud, rallying cry which falls near the start of California. If you need proof that Blink are going from strength to strength - this song is it.

An encore of All The Small Things and Dammit brought us back to the earth nicely - these two songs are crowd pleasers, singalong classics and straight-up Blink. And really, could they have ended the show any other way?

I'd go so far to say that this is the best I've ever seen the band - and long may it continue.

Blink 182 from left, Matt Skiba, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker. Picture: JustWillieT

Blink 182 from left, Matt Skiba, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker. Picture: JustWillieT