Most people would take any concert over sitting at home at this point, but blink-182 aren’t making the wait any easier. With rumors of an eventual reunion with Tom DeLonge swirling around at the most frustrating possible time, imaginations and shaky live footage are the only things fans have to remember the pre-distancing era.
For now, we can only fantasize about our dream setlist when the world, and blink-182, revert to normal.
“All The Small Things”
Say it ain’t so, “All The Small Things” first on the list? While even the most superficial music fan has likely heard it on repeat on their local alternative-rock station, it must be given its due respect. It’s the song everyone knows and effectively blasted blink clear through the mainstream ceiling. Besides, find one person who doesn’t immediately drop their disdain as soon as the opening riffs crash through.
It’s not a stretch to view Neighborhoods as the beginning of the end of the DeLonge era. Between the gravitational pull of Angels & Airwaves’ influence and the clearly contrasting sound of the album to follow, California, Mark Hoppus and DeLonge’s creative minds were once again at odds. Despite this rift, the trio delivered their most transformative work since their Untitled release, resulting in a record that’s aged far better than many expected.
blink have been spinning this one since the ’90s, and we’ve seen that they haven’t slowed down too much over the years. With all the pent-up energy following quarantine, it may be the most energetic blink show since the “Carousel” days.
“Give Me One Good Reason”
You won’t remember until after the show, but you’ll be really bummed if they don’t play “Give Me One Good Reason.” It has all the makings of a classic blink song. DeLonge sassily spits venom at adults, parents and society, then wraps it up with a soaring chorus. What more can you ask for?
“The Rock Show”
“The Rock Show” was undoubtedly the theme song for a new generation of Vans Warped Tour attendees, becoming the “Bro Hymn” of the early 2000s. DeLonge rejoining his bandmates last summer would have been an unbelievable reunion story, but finally seeing the original trio perform this Take Off Your Pants And Jacket staple would hopefully give us the closure we need. Well, probably not.
“Anthem Part Two”
Can a song still bring back your teenage angst if it’s performed by rock dads? There’s only one way to find out, and the answer is probably yes if it’s “Anthem Part Two.” DeLonge hasn’t made a habit of screeching out his gritty, peak-blink vocals since taking a melodic direction with AVA, but here’s hoping his pipes can still handle a tour or two.
“I Miss You”
One doesn’t need to know much about the situation behind DeLonge’s departure to see the symbolism here. All outside forces aside, “I Miss You” remains one of blink’s most popular tracks and one of the best examples of the melodic synergy between DeLonge and Hoppus.
“Bored To Death”
Imagining blink-182 without DeLonge seemed unthinkable, yet now the idea of the band’s original guitarist returning to Matt Skiba-lead tracks seems strange in itself. Letting DeLonge take the reins for the band’s first return track without him would only be fair. Otherwise, perhaps adding an unprecedented second guitarist could mark an entirely new era of blink.
“Emo/On Some Emo Shit”
If you’re talking possible songs for a four-man blink lineup, playing both of the band’s sad kid-inspired tracks back to back would ensure neither guitarist gets left at rhythm. Bonus points if DeLonge brings back the lip ring.
“A New Hope”
Yet another testament to the lasting influence of Star Wars is blink’s 1997 retelling of Episode IV through song. Hoppus has already made his love of The Mandalorian (or more specifically baby Yoda) quite clear, so dusting off the space-age song is easily in the realm of possibility. Although originally performed by Hoppus, convincing DeLonge to sing more about aliens shouldn’t be difficult.
It’s amazing to imagine the difference in crowd size between the first time “Dammit” was performed and a potential reunion tour crowd. blink’s breakout track was an introduction to the obnoxious trio for many, and even if he wouldn’t be taking vocal duties, hearing those nostalgic chords played by their original guitarist makes everything feel right in the pop-punk world.
There’s no shame in still jamming to “First Date” before a big night, right? While it’s likely one of the two songs most people came to see, even the purists waiting for Cheshire Cat deep cuts may actually have fun for a little bit. The only downfall? You’re humming the chorus right now.
It’s been several years since DeLonge played live with blink and even longer since he belted out “Dysentery Gary.” Fans should be eager to hear if he can still handle the song’s machine-gun chorus, but it’s not like any of us actually knew what he was saying anyway.
“Stay Together For The Kids”
The main determiner in whether or not the crowd actually sheds tears, “Stay Together For The Kids” is yet another fantastic example of blink’s versatility between tone and subject matter. Also, it may be the only time in your life where you’re drying your eyes while someone makes a dick joke.
If there’s one track in blink’s illustrious discography that showcases their lyrical prowess, it’s the deep cut “Family Reunion.” Just kidding, it’s an excuse to yell dirty words. Is anyone complaining?
DeLonge scratches the limits of his vocal range with “Obvious,” showcasing why so many are eager to see him return to the live lineup. If he can capture the same energy behind the nearly howled chorus, it’ll be worth the price of admission on its own.
While Hoppus and DeLonge have a knack for making eyeliner run with their duets, “Feeling This” showcases the power of the duo. The way the two vocalists trade angsty choral blows makes hair stand on end until you realize you really shouldn’t have been listening to this song at such a young age.
It’s not a true blink classic, but the only track featuring all three bandmates on DeLonge’s one-record project is well worth a true live rendering. Aside from featuring some of the two blink vocalist’s best duet work, “Elevator” has plenty of past drama behind it as well. The Box Car Racer track’s first live rendition with Hoppus would serve as perfect symbolism to squash the beef.
Whispers of a reunion have undoubtedly made for some notable headlines, but that’s something DeLonge has made a habit of the past few months. Being involved with the release of government UFO footage proves that DeLonge’s alien research is legitimate and now raises further questions about the validity of onstage banter often leading into “Aliens Exist.” Was DeLonge actually abducted and probed? Do we really want to know the answer?
First penned as a farewell to original drummer Scott Raynor, a newfound double meaning to the track’s deceivingly fast-paced verses arose following DeLonge’s departure. Hopefully, the possibly imaginary bad blood behind the hiatus can finally be left in the past.
Which song do you need to see Tom DeLonge play with blink-182 again? Let us know in the comments below.