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Review: blink-182 return with faultless energy

The band rounded off their UK dates with two shows at London's O2.

Fears that blink-182 might have lost that special “something” with the high-profile departure of alien-hunting Tom Delonge are immediately quashed as the adapted anglophile band logo drops to launch a flawless chemistry between founding members Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus, and Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba.

From the outset, the hits are delivered at a quick-fire pace. Opener Feeling This already has the crowd cheering, not least due to a rousing support set by veteran folk (although entirely punk) entertainer Frank Turner. Leading into The Rock Show offers an exhilarating one-two. Far from getting the heavy hitters out the way early to focus on new material, they just keep coming.

What’s My Age Again? glides into First Date in surprise early appearances. Dumpweed into Reckless Abandon. Even as the tempo slows, it’s to allow space for fan-favourites I Miss You and Down, both of which place Mark Hoppus at centre stage.

New material is carefully placed within the set. Bored To Death, their comeback single of sorts, still sits seamlessly next to their classic material. Their tongue-in-cheek bravado is also on display, Skiba effortlessly slotting into the band’s comedic turns. The infamous vulgarity remains, with Family Reunion providing an opportunity for many to relive their teenage rebellion. There’s nothing serious in these moments; it’s always been a bit of fun.

Enjoyment is something blink-182 deliver by the bucket load. Closing with an encore of All The Small Things and Dammit, the entire venue is on their feet with smiles from ear to ear. For the most part, it’s fast and frivolous. And with Skiba in tow, they still brilliantly define a pop-punk generation.

There are no blink-182 UK live dates just yet, but follow the band on Ticketmaster.co.uk to be one of the first to know as and when they are announced.

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