“Being up here is hot enough that it made me think of the Showcase Theatre in Corona. I don’t know if you guys remember that venue, but you used to walk out of there and just throw all your clothes away and burn them,” Mark Hoppus from Blink-182 reminisces. Well, you couldn’t even burn them because they were so wet that fire doesn’t even count.”
Blink-182 is such a huge band, that sometimes it’s hard to remember that they were once just some local Los Angeles dudes trying to come up in the music game. While the 300-person Red Bull Sound Space performance at KROQ was one of the most intimate gigs they’ve playing in a long time, Blink-182 used to be the sort of band that played small local shows. And because they didn’t break right away, they did it for a while.
Drummer extraordinaire Travis Barker recalled the first show Blink-182 ever played for the company he started in 1999 called Famous Stars and Straps. He didn’t have permits to open a store, so he just took over an abandoned building in Riverside, and called that his store. Blink-182 played after they shut down “the entire Van Buren Boulevard with no permits or anything.”
“The cops came,” recalled Barker. “It was awesome.” Like host Ted Stryker infered, Blink-182 are awesome because while they take their fans seriously and their lives as musicians people idolize seriously, they don’t take themselves seriously. Getting the cops at an illegal gig is just another part of the fun for a band like Blink-182.
Celebrating the 10 year anniversary of their Untitled album, Blink-182 cherishes that album because it was the first time in their careers where they could just do what they wanted in the time that they wanted.
“We really just didn’t care about much it might cost to record a piece of art,” recalled Tom DeLonge. “Usually, before that, we were always very frugal. We had to be. We were around for a long time before our band got popular so going to the studio was a privilege. We would have to record everything like an assembly line.”
However, for Untitled, the band got a house and went as long as they wanted. They let themselves go down the “rabbit hole” with ideas, and tragically passed producer Jerry Finn (who DeLonge said the world was “poorer” for not having today) was there to help them take a departure from their normal environment. “It was a really healthy exercise,” said DeLonge.
Speaking of healthy, DeLonge was playing the show sick, but did so without the same energy we’ve come to expect from Blink-182.
“What I do is I come and give it my all and I f**king break through those obstacles,” said DeLonge. “I just deliver. “
No one in the audience full of excited super fans could argue with that.
- Feelin This
- I Miss You
- Dammit / Family Reunion
–Nadia Noir, KROQ