Blink-182 @ American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

Words and photos by Scott Rowe
This show felt like déjà vu. Let me explain. Back in 1996, KISS performed on July 5th at Reunion Arena in Dallas as part of their Reunion Tour. Reunion Arena was the American Airlines Center of the time, housing both the Mavericks and Stars and hosting concerts and the like before everything migrated to the actual American Airlines Center in 2001. Before the exodus to the AAC, I caught one more show at Reunion in December of 1999, the KDGE Christmas show featuring a trio that went by Blink-182. Can you see where this is going? Fast forward 24 years and I'm seeing a reunion of that same band, but not at Reunion Arena, but at the American Airlines Center on, you guessed it, July 5th. Isn't it fun when life likes to throw coincidences like this at you? Regardless of how I got here and the similar circumstances that I just mentioned, Blink-182 took on the AAC with Tom DeLonge in tow to put on one hell of a show.

As the Blink-182 logo was emblazoned on the the giant LED screen behind the stage, the sold out crowd at the AAC hit fever pitch, as the trio of Mark, Tom, and Travis finally took the stage and jumped into "Anthem Part Two". With pyro and flames flashing, you knew the production for this show was going to spare no expense. But even without the flashy production you'd expect of an arena show, you would have enjoyed the music and the onstage banter between Mark and Tom. Seriously, it was like amateur hour at the local comedy club, if the jokes were told by teenagers. But this is what Blink shows have been missing since Tom left the band back in 2015. I distinctly remember these same sorts of jokes when I first saw Blink at the 1999 edition of Edgefest and the aforementioned show at Reunion Arena. Their chemistry onstage is wholesome and they try to make every effort for the crowd to enjoy the show. As much as Mark and Tom ran the show, it only took a simple 'yo' from Travis to make the crowd roar in approval.

Even without his commentary, Barker's footprint on the evening's performance could not be overstated as his abilities behind the kit are beyond phenomenal. From the intro of "Violence" to the extended outro of "I Miss You", Travis puts on an absolute clinic in drumming and it's amazing to see in person. The entire show is an homage to the band's fantastic catalog of pop-punk, drawing at least one song from 1997's Dude Ranch all the way to last year's release, "EDGING". While the show wasn't labeled as a greatest hits show, you could easily make the conclusion that it was since it was sprinkled with hits such as "The Rock Show", "Feeing This", "Stay Together for the Kids", and "I Miss You". Just before "Adam's Song", Hoppus gave a very moving speech about how this song and the two guys onstage, helped him get through his cancer diagnosis and subsequent chemotherapy treatment. Out of a night of toilet humor, it was a touching moment that hit a lot of fans in the feels. But with a handful of songs remaining on the setlist, the band saved the best for last as the final four songs were triumphant exclamation point to the evening, as they powered through "What's My Age Again?", "First Date", "All the Small Things", and "Dammit". It was an amazing show, full of nostalgia and great music, and the smashing performance made for another great memory for me to look back on.

Photos of the show are below:

Blink-182 @ American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX Blink-182 @ American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on July 07, 2023 Rating: 5
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