Blink 182 (Travis Barker, Mark Hoppus and the recently added Matt Skiba) set out with A Day to Remember and All Time Low for their 2016 North American Tour in support of their new album “California” featuring their new hit single “Bored to Death.” The tour led them to the First Niagara Pavilion, just south of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, on Sunday August 28th for an inevitably sold out show. A few days prior to the show taking place it was threatened by typical weather for the area with storm warnings and percentages of rain increasing as the date approached, but as luck would have it the rain held off and didn’t make Blink 182 and their fans victims of a canceled show like some had already been this year. With dry skies and warm summer temperatures an amazing night was set to be had.

 

    First up was All Time Low, a band who undoubtedly had a bit of influence from Blink 182 when they were in high school still forming the sound that their band strives off of to this day. All Time Low played a fair mixture of new and old tunes which included fan favorites “Dear Maria” and “Somethings Gotta Give”  and a new song titled “Missing You” which was just recently nominated for a VMA. Although their performance for the evening was far from their best ever it was still quality entertainment from Jack, Alex and the rest of the band. Following ATL was the self proclaimed “Worlds Heaviest Pop-Punk Band” hailing from Ft. Lauderdale Florida, A Day to Remember. As Advertised ADTR took the stage in their typical ‘Balls Out’ fashion of beach balls flying across the crowd making it and instant enjoyment for everyone, especially those up close. Jeremy McKinnon and the gang opened with one of their many hits “Downfall of us All”  followed by “All signs point to Lauderdale”  and tissue paper streamers. After a few more songs full of heavy riffs and action packed breakdowns Jeremy invoked a Pittsburgh tradition by getting the fans to wave shirts, towels, or anything cloth-like over their head like it was a “Terrible towel” before they played their most recent single “Paranoia.” After a few more heavy, up tempo songs the band did a quick equipment swap which included some acoustic guitars as Jeremy played their hit with the ladies called “Have Faith in Me.” The last highlight of the evening for ADTR was them closing with an oldie that you don’t hear them play a lot, and maybe one of their heaviest jams ever, “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle.”

 

    Then, finally, with clouds still in the night’s sky and humidity so thick you could cut it with a knife the time came for the reason everyone was in attendance and the reason the place was a shoulder to shoulder sold out show. Blink 182 came out and as the curtain dropped and voices went crazy as screams echoed through the valley when everyone heard the first chord of the classic punk hit “What’s my age Again.” Blink started off the show with some of the older hits which included “Girl at the Rock Show” and their most emo tune “Miss You.” “Miss You”  was a track wrote long ago before Matt Skiba (formerly Alkaline Trio’s frontman) joined the band in place of Tom DeLong and hearing the song live without Tom’s voice just didn’t seem right. Not taking anything away from Matt’s talent, but it just didn’t have that subtle drone that you’re use to hearing. The next song was either a coincidence or a perfectly placed song in case “Miss You” didn’t go as planned; after Travis Barker’s little drum solo they led into their new song “Bored to Death” which sounds excellent with Matt’s voice given he helped write and record it on their newest release “California.” After the next couple songs Mark takes a break from playing and jokingly tells the crowd they have a technical difficulty, yet reassures everyone not to worry ‘they are professional musicians’ and know how to handle the situation. His solution, ask everyone if they’re having a god time, and the crowd roars with laughter. Note to Mark: If you decide to step away from music, maybe you have a shot with stand up comedy. After the joking is over its back to business as they jam though a barrage of hits and lesser known songs. Then the time comes that they give thanks and exit the stage… but wait… they didn’t play two of their biggest hits, “All the Small Things”  and “Dammit.” As you would expect they grant the cheers of encore requests and come out pouring their heart and souls into the songs and call it a night. Another great show by one of the best punk bands of the 2000’s if you have missed this tour, I’m sure they’ll be around another time but a missed opportunity it was because they always play their best night in, and night out.

 

Photos by Logan Rendulic

 

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