Blink-182 shows Denver its rock face
Battling back from artistic differences, drug addiction, the death of pal DJ AM and a plane crash that left their drummer in a burn ward, Blink-182 returned to Denver Sunday as the same band they always were. Which is to say crude, deliberately unprofessional and a whole lot of fun.
During the show at Fiddler's Green, the group reeled off almost two hours of pop-punk radio hits and less-famous songs, some of which are, perhaps surprisingly, approaching 15 years old. The buzzed-about musical differences between the band's co-lead singers, Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge, were evident throughout the show. Hoppus stuck primarily to his regular, hard-charging rock delivery, while DeLonge injected Morrissey-like croons and arms-wide-open emo gestures at every opportunity. His new style didn't trump Blink's trademark silliness, though: DeLonge mentioned several times that he wanted to "do it with John Elway" and traded "your mama" jokes with Hoppus between most songs.
Drummer Travis Barker, who was nearly killed in a private jet crash in 2008, was as fearsome as ever, at one point hammering out hip-hop beats while his drum platform spun through the air on hidden cables and flipped until it was almost vertical, driving the crowd into a frenzy. His extensive body art appeared to be intact, in spite of the multiple skin grafts he was forced to undergo.
Supporting act Weezer likewise brought the house down with cult hits ranging from 1994's "The Sweater Song" to 2008's "Troublemaker." Frontman Rivers Cuomo, as always, resembled a rock god as played by Woody Allen. Taking Back Sunday rocked on valiantly in the face of persistent sound problems, while openers Chester French jammed on guitars, tambourines and triangles with equal enthusiasm.