“The atmosphere was electric! Everyone was sharing this experience, remembering and celebrating years of listening to Blink 182. All of my memories of past shows and festivals came back when they walked onto the stage [...] definitely the best Blink 182 gig I've ever been to!”
Blink 182 travelled the world to celebrate 20 years of making albums and producing great music. Hitting three continents over three years, selling out numerous venues and playing a mix of old hits and new tracks from their latest album, Neighborhoods, Blink 182 took the world by storm!
The world tour was scheduled to begin in 2011, but the pressure of critical acclaim from their last tour and the growing excitement from fans worldwide may have proved a little too much for the band. They decided to postpone the European tour until they had finished their 6th studio album, Neighborhoods. They released a statement in April 2011 saying,
"It is with heavy hearts that we have to announce our planned 2011 European Summer tour has been rescheduled […] We owe you guys something new when you spend your money to come see us.”
The tour finally kicked off in Canada, where the band had support from punk royalty: Against Me! and Rancid. The anticipation of the fans at that first date in Montreal was overwhelming, and critics loved it. The shows were given 4 or 5 stars in almost every review!
Into Summer 2012 and the band's first date in Birmingham. They hoppused from place to place (see what we did there!) in the UK and Ireland, Germany, Belgium, France, Italy and Switzerland over two months. The band decided they didn't just want to play big arenas during their time in the UK; they wanted more intimate experiences with the fans:
“We're super excited to be doing a couple of smaller club shows […] It's been a while since we've done shows in the UK like this and we think it will be awesome for our fans and for us too.” - Travis Barker
Wales, Luxembourg, Spain and Portugal were next on the list, and the trio stopped off in England a few more times. Mark Hoppus commented on Bournemouth, saying it was “Better than Zurich, and they sell knives at the airport there!”
The band were supported by a number of different groups in Europe, including The All- American Rejects, Four Year Strong, Twin Atlantic, The Blackout and Royal Republic. Fans loved Blink's setlist and the encore was something special and unexpected. It started with an Untitled tune, incorporating a mix of Travis's solo material. Andy Reed, a reviewer and mega-fan, wrote,
“His stick-work on Can A Drummer Get Some was incredible, think Animal from the Muppets after 10 cans of Red Bull. He is easily the best drummer I have ever seen!”
The band played just two dates in the United States, Thackerville and Las Vegas, before this part of the tour was postponed too. Travis needed an emergency tonsillectomy, and everyone was unsure whether the band would make it across the water to Australia.
Travis was unable to make the dates in Australia due to a fear of flying after his tragic plane crash in 2008, rather than his tonsillectomy. He released a statement,
“I still haven't gotten over the horrific events that took place the last time I flew when my plane crashed and 4 people were killed, two being my best friends.”
The band made the decision to play the 6 dates in Australia, including headlining the Soundwave Festival. They temporarily replaced Travis with Tenacious D drummer, Brooks Wackerman.
Back to Canada and the US
Travis was back for the next part of the tour, when they returned to Canada and the U.S.A.
There was no humour lost as the band continued with Travis and their much-loved banter on stage.
The band joined up for appearances at festivals such as X-Fest, Sonic Boom and the KJEE Summer Round-Up. The community of fans could feel the close atmosphere at both the festivals and smaller gigs:
“They showered us with confetti during Family Reunion and we all really did feel like it was a family reunion. All of the Blink fans under one roof celebrating 20 years of their music. Awesome!”
An older fan commented on the range of ages at the gig:
“It was a mixed audience – ranging from teens to old folks like me that have watched the band grow. There was definitely something for everyone at the show, especially us hardcore punk-rockers!”
And one fan had obviously never seen Blink 182 live before:
“I've never seen three people make so much noise.”
Europe (August 2014)
It seems the band couldn't get enough of Europe and returned with the tour for another summer. Fans in Belgium, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and the UK were rewarded with more songs, testicle jokes and typical Blink 182 humour!
The tour eventually finished up at the Leeds and Reading festivals, with Tom DeLonge screaming, “We are fucking awesome, holy shit, we're doing a great fucking job!” He then changed the lyrics of Always to “I'm so sick of blow jobs, I hate them, I'm just joking, I love them. Suck me off!”
The gig ended with the word FUCK igniting in flames behind the band. Well, what else would you expect from a Blink 182 finale?