August 25, 2016 Blink-182 Surge At Jones Beach, NY 8-13-16 w/ A Day To Remember, All Time Low, & DJ Spider
Much ado was made when Blink-182 Co-Lead Vocalist/Guitarist Tom DeLonge departed from the band in early 2015. A messy situation, many fans opted to stay neutral amidst the situation and were happy to see Blink-182 carry on. Carry on they have with the permanent recruitment of Alkaline Trio Guitarist/Vocalist Matt Skiba to join forces with Bassist/Vocalist Mark Hoppus and Drummer Travis Barker. So, with the legalities put to rest, Blink-182 prepared to write music again, and that final product came in form of the July 1, 2016 album, California. Marking their first album to debut at #1 in over 15 years, Blink-182 are the toast of the Pop Punk world in 2016, and what better way to celebrate then with a full-blown summer tour.
Announced way back in April, the big news hit that Blink-182 would be teaming up with The All-American Rejects, All Time Low, and A Day to Remember for an extensive summer tour that would flow all the way into the fall. Immediately, tickets began to sell like hot cakes, and fan could not wait for this killer lineup to hit their city. That being said, on Saturday, August 13th, the tour touched down at Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre in Wantagh, New York. Amidst a heat wave overtaking most of the northeast, even the excessive heat did not curtail the excitement of spectators piling into the amphitheater.
With the sunset casting a deep orange hue on the stage, DJ Spider was welcomed with enthusiasm by the ever-growing crowd. That wondering what happened to opener The All-American Rejects, the tour has alternate shows where DJ Spider takes their place as opening support. With focus on Electronica and the special event circuit, DJ Spider is a native New Yorker who has been in the scene since 2006. Known for his creative mash-ups and unique mixes, his reputation precedes him as a party starter and excellent entertainer.
Gracing the stage with a smile, DJ Spider wasted no time to delve straight into one of his mixes, the ebb and flow of the music pulsing through the venue, causing many to get out of their seats and dance. Taking a second to greet the audience, DJ Spider thanked them for coming early, and though his time on stage was short, he made a great impression, leaving the venue electrified for the next act out.
The second performer of the night was Maryland Pop Punk sensations All Time Low. Formed in 2003, at the peak of Pop Punk hype, All Time Low has become one of the most successful bands in the genre with six studio albums, including their 2015 effort, Future Hearts. Currently signed to Hopeless Records, the band is made up of Lead Vocalist and Rhythm Guitarist Alex Gaskarth, Lead Guitarist and Backing Vocalist Jack Barakat, Bass Guitarist Zack Merrick, and Percussionist Rian Dawson. All original members, they are joined by touring players; Rhythm Guitarists Bryan Donahue and Matt Colussy, and Backing Vocalist Matt Flyzik. With a list of chart-topping hits to their name, it was evident by the hoard of spectators, sporting All Time Low t-shirts, that they had their own dedicated fanbase in the house.
Eager for their set to begin, once the cartoonish skull and cross bones insignia with the band name draped across stage, everyone clapped and cheered in anticipation. Shortly after, All Time Low took to the platform with immense energy, waving back to the audience and taking their places. Forever inappropriately hilarious, Lead Singer Gaskarth addressed his bandmates, stating, “Holy shit, I am aroused guys. Let’s sing a song about being aroused,” to which he was met with peals of laughter from the crowd. In the dimming light, All Time Low introduced themselves, asking Jones Beach how they were feeling. The result was hooting and hollering, causing all band members to laugh and dive into their first song of the night, “Lost in Stereo.” With the stage dowsed in purple lights and the setting sun lighting up the audience, they continued with the catchy “A Love Like War,” followed by “Dancing With a Wolf,” and “Kids in the Dark.” Ever the entertainers, they went on to re-introduce their band as The All-American Rejects, and in homage to their summer tour mates they played an opening chord from hit song “Move Along.”
Continuing to be playful, they said, “We’re also A Day to Remember and Blink 182. We’re your favorite cover band! We were made in a lab to be their genetic superiors. Feel bad for us, we have no parents!” Provoking more laughs, the band plowed forward through the rest of their upbeat, yet emotionally invocative set list, playing “Backseat Serenade,” “Something’s Gotta Give,” and “Missing You.” Arousing the audience, in a musical way, they rounded out with hit song “Weightless,” and ended it off with iconic “Dear Maria, Count Me In.”
Still cracking jokes to the end, they said, “That last song was about a stripper we went to high school with,” before thanking the audience and saying good night. Unadulterated fun, All Time Low deserved all the wild cheers they received as they exited a now much fuller venue.
With the sun now completely gone and stars emerging overhead, the amphitheater was almost at capacity as A Day to Remember was set to come out. Originating in Ocala, Florida, which is a theme in many of their most well known songs, A Day to Remember is best described as a firecracker with a short fuse that can explode at any moment. Breaking away from the genre theme of the night, A Day to Remember is much more Metal leaning and their heavier sound is amplified by their adrenalized stage presence. The band is currently comprised of Vocalist Jerry McKinnon, Rhythm Guitarist and Backing Vocalist Neil Westfall, Bassist Joshua Woodard, Lead Guitarist Kevin Skaff, and Drummer Alex Shelnutt, boasting five successful studio albums. Going for number six come September 2nd with Bad Vibrations, the buzz surrounding A Day to Remember has been through the roof.
Ready to go, many long-time fans were prepared as large screens were being assembled on stage, and seemingly in an instant in the wake of anticipation, the entire stage blacked out and the audience went wild. With an introductory track playing and screens blaring static, the band walked out, hands high in the air. Then, without warning, McKinnon shouted, “Douchebags” as a call to arms, before the band delved into “Downfall of Us All.” Head-banging began immediately as the large screen bared the band logo, volleyballs soared across the venue, as the bassline blared heavily as Woodward led into “I am Made of Wax Larry, what are you Made of?” Then “It’s Complicated” was directly followed by “2nd Sucks” and “Right Back at it Again.”
Having everyone’s heads spinning with their tireless stage antics, a man dressed as a hot pepper walked out with a t-shirt gun, shooting t-shirts into the frenzied crowd, as they took time to dance wildly and catch tees in between each song transition. Then, dialing it down a notch, they went into “Have Faith in Me,” bringing the intensity back with “All Signs Point to Lauderdale,” “Paranoia,” and “All I Want.”
Taking a brief moment to thank the audience, A Day to Remember showed even more stamina, especially in the heat, pushing forward with fan-favorite “If It Means a Lot to You,” promoting the entire audience to light up the place with their phone lights. Deciding to end off strong, the band rocked hard with “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle” while the majority of the packed house sang along, word for word. Saying goodbye with much sentiment, A Day to Remember bid adieu to a much-deserved resounding applause for a lively and fantastic performance.
With the penultimate hour at hand and the stars out, every seat in the house was filled for the arrival of Blink-182. An OG Pop Punk legend formed in Poway, California back in 1992, Blink-182 has an enduring history, litany of records, and hit songs. With a reputation that precedes them, no time was to waste; it was time to get the show on the road.
Coming out to a fiery display, the word “FUCK” proudly emblazoned in live flame, Blink-182 needed no further introduction as they opened with “I’m Feelin’ This,” spearheading into “What’s My Age Again,” “Family Reunion,” and “The Rock Show.” A monstrous opening, casually they said, “What’s up Jones Beach? We’re Blink 182, how are you doing tonight?” The response naturally was deafening and, with not much chatter, the band went straight through into “Cynical,” “First Date,” “Down,” the iconic “I Miss You,” and new song, “Bored to Death.”
Known for their endurance on stage, Blink-182 lived up to their name, dishing out a whopping twenty-four songs, with other notable ones being “Dumpweed,” “Reckless Abandon,” “Stay Together for the Kids,” “The Only Thing that Matters,” “Not Now,” “Violence,” “Kings of the Weekend,” “Dysentery Gary,” “Happy Holidays, you Bastard,” and “Carousel.” Soaking in the applause after a riveting performance that included fireworks, colorful animations, confetti explosions, and a large amount of expletives, Skiba confessed that they were done, claiming he did not care for their boos. Then in an amusing turn of events, he claimed the audience was stupid because they had four more songs: not because of applause of booing, but because of contractual obligation. As the entire venue erupted into laughter, Blink-182 made a point to leave the stage and walk back out to wrap up.
Streamlining through their encore, the guys played “Los Angeles,” mega hit “All the Small Things,” “Brohemian Rhapsody,” and ended officially with rather fitting “Dammit” as more confetti flew through the air. As a final hurrah, Barker blasted out one more incredible drum solo before Blink-182 officially said goodbye.
Overall, the performance value was spectacular; from DJ Spider opening, to All Time Low bringing the noise, A Day to Remember riling up the crowd, and lastly, Pop phenomena Blink-182 raising hell. Suffice to say, this seems to be a new era for the band, bringing in old fans and new ones alike. A beautiful thing to see generations unite, be sure to catch the tour prior to its final bow on October 1st out in Los Angeles.Photos by: ML Schoen Photography