Blink-182 Get ‘Enema’ Ready to Re-‘State’ at Secret Tour Rehearsal
Twenty years is a long time in the rock world, but some music just sounds great no matter what the era. With Blink-182 about to return to the road this summer, the band got in one final rehearsal, this one with an invite-only crowd, where they got to run through the entire Enema of the State album for its 20th anniversary. They also threw in some fan favorites for good measure.
If there was any doubt the night was a celebration of Blink's past, that was set aside quickly walking into the Galen Center on the campus of USC, where tarps featuring their California artwork, their self-titled album art, Blink's iconic bunny and more draped over the seats, leaving the floor for the crowd with a what amounted to a Warped-size indoor show.
With symphonic walk-on music playing, the trio emerged on a set designed to look like a variety of moveable speaker stacks that would also illuminate visuals throughout the evening. Matt Skiba, decked out in a Misfits t-shirt and a hat, took the lead as the band jumped right into "Dumpweed," the opening song from Enema of the State. The high energy track was met with delight from the crowd, kicking off the night on a high note.
Mark Hoppus, sporting glasses and his black octopus t-shirt, fended off a mass of steam from all sides, leading the band through "Don't Leave Me" and offering an emphatic "You will be fine" to end the song. Up next, came "Aliens Exist," with the band doing their best to elicit the joy of the initial song with cool visuals and a mixture of blow up alien and female sex dolls being tossed about the crowd like beach balls. Drummer Travis Barker, wearing a Geto Boys t-shirt likely in honor of the recently deceased Bushwick Bill, reached full intensity on the track, matching the fervor going on in the audience.
Fittingly for the environment, "Going Away to College" came next, with Barker standing to salute the crowd, while Skiba later delivered one of the night's first solos. Addressing the crowd, Hoppus had a little fun with a recent scandal asking about how many parents had paid for USC and trying to figure out who made the crew team.
In front of a crowd awash with visible cell phone taping, the band then dug into the initial hit from the album, "What's My Age Again?," proving that the song that is currently 20 (not quite yet 23) has stood the test of time. Shouting "Let's get fucking depressed," Hoppus appreciated the response for one of the night's most well-received performances, "Adam's Song.”
Teasing the crowd that their next song was big on the Alvin and the Chipmunks soundtrack, as well as Now That's What I Call Music 10, Hoppus and his bandmates hit on the Enema of the State high point, "All the Small Things."
Eventually wrapping up the album with performances of "The Party Song," "Mutt," "Wendy Clear" and "Anthem," Blink then pulled off one of the show’s major theatrical moves, drowning the trio in smoke and steam, leaving the stage empty by the time it all cleared. But just a minor amount of time passed before Hoppus and Skiba emerged at the back of the venue, sporting acoustic guitars for the first portion of their encore. Skiba took the lead on "Down," while Mark Hoppus got a little nostalgic over the Cheshire Cat favorite "Wasting Time."
Given that this was technically a rehearsal, there were still some kinks to work out, with some down time as the two musicians traveled to the main stage during what was supposed to be a Travis Barker drum solo. But the remainder of their set proved to be a more upbeat, feel good celebration even if they didn't have what would likely be some killer, space-filling beats from Barker.
Keeping the Blink touchtones intact, Hoppus started the encore on a pink guitar while Skiba's was neon green, mirroring a past color scheme. They rocked through "Feeling This" and "Bored to Death" before giving the new song "Blame It On My Youth" its live debut. Skiba offered a "Blitzkrieg Bop" intro before transitioning into "First Date," and "Rock Show" provided the night's first pyro display, which caught Hoppus a little off guard as heat radiated from the stage. The band also debuted a punk-infused, under a minute-long new track titled "Generational Divide," before finishing out the evening with the classic sing-along, "Dammit."
The Thursday rehearsal was the final step before the real thing this summer. Blink-182 will be revisiting Enema of the State in its entirety, while also filling out their set with some long-running fan favorites. They're teaming with Lil' Wayne and Neck Deep on dates, with the first show coming June 27 in Columbus, Ohio. See all of the band's tour stops here and check out our photo gallery from the USC Galen Center show below.
Blink-182 Secret Show at the Galen Center, Los Angeles