HomeMusicblink-182 Deliver a Beautiful Night of Nostalgic Joy at The UBS Arena

blink-182 Deliver a Beautiful Night of Nostalgic Joy at The UBS Arena

Pop Break Live: blink-182 2023 North American Tour at The UBS Arena at Belmont Park, NY on Saturday May 20, 2023

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Words + Photos by Jenna Murray 

Everyone gets nostalgic for their youth at some point.

It’s evident that many people who grew up in the early 2000s pop-punk, original emo, indie sleaze era are very nostalgic about that time — hence the success of events such as Emo Night. Yet, if you would have told me last year that the original members of blink-182 would be back on tour in 2023 I wouldn’t have believed you.

However, on Saturday May 20 as you entered The UBS Arena at Belmont Park, it felt as though you were in a time warp, sans teen angst, in the best way possible. The energy in the arena was as if no time has gone by at all since the audience had first heard the band. Every single person was excited and smiling with infectious positive energy.

The stage while massive has a simple setup — two mics, two amps, and one legendary drum kit. The light production that backed the band featuring Take off Your Pants and Jacket artwork and iconography added to the air familiarity and nostalgia.

The crowd went wild (of course) as blink-182 made their entrance and went immediately into “Anthem Part 2.” Before heading into the second song the band greeted the crowd and bantered with each other like teenagers before going into “The Rock Show.” The crowd’s volume easily competed with the music as when everyone screamed “Because I fell in love with the girl at the rock show!”

The chemistry between Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge, and Travis Barker was apparent all night as the trio were in good spirits and clearly having fun. Post “Rock Show” the band played “Family Reunion” complete with Polaroid artwork of photos over the years of touring and shows playing on massive screens spread across the arena.

Later in the set right before playing “Aliens Exist,” Tom poked fun at himself by saying “You’re not alone when you go to sleep there’s aliens that crawl up your legs” The LED screens light up with images of the headlines about him. The band seemed to have a positive take on that particular point in time.

When they played “Down,” Travis and his drum kit were raised on a platform above the stage where he shortly after “Down” did nothing short of an amazing drum solo, fingers wrapped and all.

Before heading into “Adam’s Song,” Mark faced the right side of the arena and took to the mic to address the crowd and then would perform from there. Hoppus mentioned that when he wrote “Adam’s Song” when he was in a very dark place in his life. He went on to talk about how that not too long ago when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma and could barely get up the stairs in his house, and how he thought of the song again. “Here’s to anyone going through a hard time, you will get through it” An emotional moment clearly felt by all as the crowd went wild.

blink-182 wrapped the show with their heavy hitters –“What’s My Age Again?”, “First Date,” “All the Small Things,” and of course, “Dammit.” I’ve never been to a show where the energy was so positive and infectious. The show felt like a time-wrapped fever dream in the best way.

Setlist (via setlist.fm)

Anthem Part Two
The Rock Show
Family Reunion
Man Overboard
Feeling This
Reckless Abandon
Up All Night
Dysentery Gary
Aliens Exist
Don’t Leave Me
Happy Holidays, You Bastard
Stay Together for the Kids
Bored to Death
I Miss You
Adam’s Song
Ghost on the Dance Floor
What’s My Age Again?
First Date
All the Small Things

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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