Photos by Michelle Pelissero
Fall is in the air as of late. It’s a time of change, and a time to reflect on past memories. And whether you have just headed back to classes or got back from vacation, the reality of responsibility has set in. Then it’s no wonder so many people decided to venture out on a Tuesday night for the 10th anniversary of the Honda Civic Tour, featuring Blink-182, My Chemical Romance, and Matt & Kim.
The atmosphere was festive and carefree to say the least. We arrived just as opening act Matt & Kim started to play their 1st song, “Block After Block”. I have been a huge fan of the indie pop duo for the past two years, but previously hadn’t been able to see them live yet. I missed opportunities to see them both in Dallas and Austin this year, so I was thrilled when discovering they were on this line up. It was a huge vote of confidence for the hard working Brooklyn couple to earn this opening slot on a tour of this caliber. Their normal high energy set would have some obstacles to overcome however, to play an arena and audience this size. And for the most part, they generally succeeded. Highlights of their enthusiastic endeavors included passing out balloons, Kim crowd surfing, and even a cover of Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend”.
During the 2nd or 3rd song, they started tossing out Matt & Kim balloons to the crowd. Everyone was encouraged to blow them up and then pass them around. It was a creative idea for participation and interaction, but only worked for those up front underneath the roof. The lawn was simply too far back to reach, but for fans lucky enough to be near the front seemed excited. Their stage setup was simple enough: just her drums and his keyboards. They were two projector screens, one on each side of them. Most of the time, the cameras were just displaying one of the members at a time. Occasionally this would change and both would be on screen at the same time. The rest of their performance included many of their most popular singles from all three of their records including “Yea Yeah”, “Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare”, “Cameras”, “Daylight”, “Grand”, “Where You’re Coming From”, and “Red Paint.” It was a really good show, although it was evident from the beginning whom everyone came to see.
Next up was My Chemical Romance (MCR), to promote their latest effort from last year, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. This was my 2nd time to see them live, the 1st being four years ago in 2007. I was surprised how many in attendance were there to see MCR. I should have remembered the multicolored hairstyle group still has a large fan base. They opened their set with a video and then the song “Na Na Na”. They then played “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”, “Planetary (GO!), and concluded later with fan pleasers “Helena”, “Teenagers”, and “Welcome to the Black Parade”. I counted a total of a dozen songs before they called it quits. The other item worth mentioning is that MCR had a new drummer, Jarrod Alexander, with them. The 6 piece had to recruit someone new just a few weeks before, since the former Michael Pedicone was caught stealing from them.
I probably don’t have to tell you that the majority of the 10,000 or more who came out were there to see the re-united Blink-182. The Southern California based trio reformed in 2009 and promptly went on tour. What makes this one so special was that it was in support of Neighborhoods, their 1st new album in eight years. And even more unique was that the new record was also released the same night as the concert. Thankfully the rebellious rock stars have matured and started on time—lame videos that reeked of corporate ignorance were being played before hand instead of great music. Probably the same suits who made the decision not to have the record for sale at the merch tables.
align=”RIGHT”width=”196″ height=”300″ />Screams and shrieks flooded the venue as Blink took the stage. As the lights finally came on, any fears and doubts concerning their skill were quickly dissipated. They kicked off their highly anticipated set with “Feeling This”, and sounded amazing—much better than you would imagine. They continued with “Up All Night”, “The Rock Show”, “What’s My Age Again?”, “Down”, “I Miss You”, and then, “Stay Together For the Kids”. They pulled from nearly their entire catalogue, pleasing fans from all points of their career. There is no doubt, Blink-182 sounded incredible. Sure, they may not be taken serious since they make penis jokes, goof off, and sing about crude subject material. However, make no mistake, this doesn’t take anything away from their musical prowess or ability to connect with a crowd. The thirty somethings still seem to be on top of their game. The visuals, including incredible lights and stunning software, also helped the group appear almost larger than life.
If there is one thing this tour stop proved, it’s that some things do get better with age. From the opening note of Matt & Kim’s 1st song, to all of the younger fans still obsessed with MCR, to the final encore of Blink-182’s set, this was a great night. It proves that whether a band is up and coming, has made the leap from indie to commercial, or has split up and re-joined, they can still find success in today’s ever changing musical universe.
You can view the rest of the pictures here.
Up All Night
The Rock Show
What’s My Age Again?
I Miss You
Stay Together for the Kids
Heart’s All Gone
Ghost On The Dance Floor
All the Small Things