Blink-182 with special guests The Front Bottoms and Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls, performing at The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Tuesday 4th July 2017.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Blink-182 have evolved from a punk rock band from Southern California to a glossy stadium machine and it was a packed Motorpoint Arena that was there last night to witness it for themselves. During the late 90s and early 2000s they were one of the biggest bands in the world when the release of their 1999 album, Enema Of The State propelled them to super stardom.

And now it was the turn of Nottingham to welcome them back to the UK. But first up was American indie rock band, The Front Bottoms. With opener Skeleton, from their 2013 album, Talon Of The Hawk, they were very well received. New songs from their latest album, Back On Top, included West Virginia and The Plan (Fuck Jobs) both of which seemed familiar, before they finished their set with the fabulous Twin Size Mattress.

Up next was Frank Turner and his band, The Sleeping Souls and for a large portion of the crowd, they alone were well worth the ticket price. A stalwart of the music scene, his 2,000 concert was played before a sold out Nottingham crowd in December 2016, and so it was great to see him hold his own on the Arena stage.

His ten song set featured high energy, up tempo numbers such as Recovery and Four Simple Words from his latest album offering, Tape Deck Heart. The aptly named Out Of Breath had the crowd whipped up into a frenzy before he invited a girl up on to the stage to play a harmonica solo during Dan’s Song.

Blink-182 appeared on stage with a massive pyro explosion that spelt out the word Fuck behind them and they wasted no time getting nostalgic as they opened their set with Feeling This. Having been proclaimed one of the most influential bands of their generation, Blink-182 has had an eventful history over the course of the last 25 years.

With their most recent album, California, seeing Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio, stepping into the fore as the group’s guitarist and co-vocalist following the departure of founding member, Tom DeLonge; this marks a new chapter for Blink-182. With songs like First Date and Down previously being heavily dependent upon DeLonge’s vocals, Skiba fitted the bill perfectly and the crowd instantly warmed to him.

The Rock Show and Reckless Abandon sounded as incredible live as always, whilst they threw in What’s My Age Again? surprisingly early, which just went to show how many songs they have. And as expected there was a strong focus on songs from their latest album, California. Cynical, Bored To Death, and She’s Out Of Her Mind had the Arena bouncing hard and singing along with Skiba and Hoppus, whilst drummer Travis Barker was in his usual excellent form.

Whilst the pyrotechnics didn’t really add much, they did deliver an impressive graphics and light display show, which just served to show that they have moved on from the gimmicks that they used to rely upon and let their music do the talking.

Blink-182’s encore consisted of All The Small Things, Brohemian Rhapsody and concert closer, Dammit which are undoubtedly some of the fans favourites. It was a great way to end the show with a bang whilst leaving the fans wanting more. And they did exactly that; delivering a Blink-182 show that was filled with stage banter, a playfulness and most importantly, some really great pop punk.