"Prepare yourself for the Pop Disaster: grits, gristle, and musical mayhem!”
The Pop Disaster tour saw Blink-182 team up with Green Day for an unforgettable tour. Blink-182 took inspiration from the Monsters of Rock tours, and decided they wanted to do a similar version with Monsters of Punk. Green Day agreed to the tour and Tré Cool commented,
“"We set out to reclaim our throne as the most incredible live punk band from you know who...”
This was a battle for the punk throne, but it didn't stop the bands admiring each other and being friends on the tour. Mark Hoppus said,
"They were a huge inspiration for us. Green Day breaking punk rock into the mainstream consciousness really helped us and opened up people's minds to our kind of music […] We probably have a lot of the same fans, for sure. At heart, we come from the same scene. The music is a little more melodic, it sticks in your head and has a positive message.”
Supported by Jimmy Eat World, Kut U Up and Saves The Day, the bands played 45 dates over two months and travelled across the whole of North America.
Starting Off In California
The bands started out playing 7 dates in California, as well as stopping off in other states, such as Colorado, Texas, Alabama and Kansas. They played at the Tacoma Dome, Washington, where one fan was amazed by Blink's performance. She wrote,
“Their stage set-up was by far the best of the three bands, which consisted of dozen of fiery explosions and many more lights.”
She then went on to describe how Blink-182 surprised the crowd with a drum solo from Travis Barker that took place in the air!
“His entire drum platform lifted off the stage about 20 or so feet, moved forward right above the pit, did 3 forward flips and 3 backward flips, all while Travis pounded out an awesome drum solo. The platform then stayed in its position as the guys went into one of their final songs, Dammit, during which the drum platform exploded with dozens of fireworks. Sparks rained down and the pit went crazy!”
At this point in the tour, Blink-182 may have been edging ahead of Green Day in the punk battle!
Onto Florida And North America
The tour continued on to Florida then passed through more of the United States, including North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New York. At this point, reviewers were starting to favour Green Day over Blink 182. One reviewer wrote,
“If the green hair and the lines of people leaving the stadium before Blink 182 even began was any indication, the crowd clearly belonged to Green Day.”
“Sometimes playing last at a rock show is more a curse than a privilege […] Pity the headliner, for instance, that gets blown off the stage by the band before it. Blink-182 endured that indignity.”
Was it possible Blink-182 would be kicked off the punk throne by veterans Green Day?
The bands only played one date in Canada, at the Molson Ampitheatre in Toronto. Conflicting reviews continued to come out about the tour. A fan commented on the overall show saying,
“The Pop Disaster tour is definitely a must-see show, and I encourage anyone to go. It was incredible!”
Back In The US
The last dates of the tour were filled with even more controversy. The tour was then well established and many people had the view that Green Day were playing better. A reviewer, who understood the pressure on Blink-182, wrote,
“Blink-182 was not nearly as tight a musical unit, but in the past that's only added to the band's reckless charm, with lyrics at times deeply moving or happily sick and twisted.”
The band were unfazed by any bad comments. Mark had already jokingly commented before the tour,
“We'll have a bunch of fire and cool lights to distract people from our poor musical performance."
At one show, the band members shouted to the audience:
Mark: “We are wonderful this evening!”
Tom: "If you want perfection, sleep with me!"
Blink 182 may have found it harder as, in the years when they were playing to crowds of 500, Green Day were playing to crowds of 15,000. However, the harsh reviews didn't stop Blink 182 considering a second run of the Pop Disaster tour. Mark said of the idea, in 2012,
“That tour was one of the best times we’ve had on the road. Good idea! Let’s make it happen. Pop Disaster 2.0! Somebody call somebody else and tell me when to be ready for the first show!”