No one likes you when you’re twenty three
I am not even twenty three any more. I am thirty years old.
My current interests include couches, watching Community on Netflix, and feeling broody while browsing Buzzfeed animals. I have a mortgage, and the faintest scratchings of what people might describe as a career.
I am also in a strange state of arrested development. I spend my free time teaching karate, training to be a pro wrestler, and making YouTube videos about video games. Not the kind of pursuits associated with responsible adults.
It’s hard to reconcile these two opposing parts of my life, and not so long ago I decided simply not to. I like who I am, and I like that I like the things I enjoy.
It’s kind of like being a ‘functioning alcoholic’. I might be a shambles, but I do the things that my work and home life seem to want, so I assume exception from moral judgement of my activities.
With this in mind, I make no apologies for writing about Blink 182, a band that I am half of my lifetime past being able to reasonably listen to or care about.
The Rock Show
Here’s a quick recap of what’s been going on in Blink-ville, on the off chance an actual grown up is reading this.
Guitarist, vocalist, and founding member of Blink 182 Tom Delonge decided to leave Blink 182, again, with what seemed to be a certain amount of acrimony, again.
In response, the remaining members of Blink 182, bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker, recruited Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba as a live replacement.
The first gig with the new line up took place a few days ago, and things are sounding good. Musically everything seems pretty tight and in tune, and there’s no apparent crowd hostility towards Skiba. Blink 182 have never sounded as good live.
I find it very fucking strange, even unsettling.
It’s a commonly known fact that Blink 182 have never sounded even remotely competent live until now.
How long has it been since you listened to their 2000 live album ‘The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show’? It’s fucking awful, and yet it’s incredible.
The truth is that most people bought the album purely for the between song dick jokes, and I’ll admit that as a fifteen year old, I found it hilarious.
It might be crude, but it’s off the cuff, well meaning, and strangely endearing. It also goes on for nearly half an hour after the last live song on the album, and that’s absolutely fine.
All The Small Things
While the idea of Blink 182 evolving into a competent live act isn’t just one that scrapes against the membranes of everything I thought I knew about the band, it’s also a much larger idea than I had previously imagined.
We’ve established that this is probably the first time that Blink 182 have ever been able to perform their material live without it sounding terrible.
Think about this though. What if this is the first time a Blink 182 song has ever been played competently live, by anyone, living or dead?
I Fell Behind
Small, local bands have covered Blink 182 all around the world. This is a certainty.
Who are these bands though? Who would choose to cover ‘What’s My Age Again’?
Teenagers, that’s who. High School students.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you ever saw a high school pop punk band that could remotely play in time or in tune with each other, or even with themselves as individuals?
You haven’t. If you say you have, you’re lying. If you say that your High School band were great, you’re lying to yourself and you should let go.
Another question, how many times have you wandered into a guitar shop, and heard some half grown cave dweller murder the main riff from ‘Dammit’ over and over and over again?
Hundreds, maybe even thousands of times. If they made Wayne’s World today, they’d replace ‘Stairway To Heaven’ with ‘Dammit’ on the list of banned songs.
Face it, there’s a substantial chance that until a few days ago, Blink 182’s material had never been played live without it sounding terrible.
Blink 182 started in 1992. Twenty three years of awful history, gone.
I guess nobody really does like you when you’re twenty three.
I’ll leave when I wanna
While this change may seem like a good thing, the idea that Blink 182 can now actually play live is another part of my childhood to detach, dissolve, and float away.
I am getting older. I am growing up.
More and more, it’s a process that no longer requires assistance.