Live Review: Blink-182 - Utilita Arena, Birmingham
14th October 2023
Support: The Story So Far
Words & Photos: Tim Finch
It was a night of nostalgia as the crowds headed to the Utilita Arena in Birmingham. I’m sure Blink-182 don’t see themselves as a nostalgia band, but that was all the talk from the fans queuing to get in… a throw back to their youth when Blink-182 ruled the airwaves.
To kick things off The Story So Far delivered a blistering performance that set the scene for an unforgettable evening. They stormed the stage with 'Keep This Up,' immediately grabbing the audience's attention with their infectious energy and heartfelt lyrics. As the set unfolded, 'Roam' and 'Nerve' incited a fervour within the crowd. The band's cover of Millencolin's 'No Cigar' was a delightful surprise, showcasing their versatility and paying homage to punk-rock predecessors. The apex of their set arrived with 'Proper Dose,' an anthem that resonated deeply with the audience, leaving them in high spirits and eagerly anticipating Blink-182's performance.
The Story So Far's performance was a thrilling prelude to the main act, and their high-octane performance, combined with emotive storytelling, demonstrated their prowess as a standout band in the punk-rock scene. Their set left the audience brimming with excitement and primed for the nostalgia-laden onslaught that Blink-182 had in store.
It was now up to Blink-182 to take the arena by storm in a night that will undoubtedly live forever in the memories of those of us in attendance. Opening with 'Anthem Part Two,' the crowd erupted into a frenzy, setting the stage for a whirlwind of punk-rock energy that would leave a lasting imprint. Classics like 'The Rock Show' and 'Man Overboard' had the audience singing along in unison, reaffirming the timeless appeal of Blink-182's music. The band's performance was an unceasing wave of enthusiasm, with tracks like 'Feeling This' and 'Up All Night' delivering an avalanche of euphoria and nostalgia all in one.
The show was a remarkable journey through the band's extensive back catalogue, spanning from the iconic 'Aliens Exist' to the emotionally charged 'Stay Together for the Kids.' Each song evoked a different facet of Blink-182's music, from the nostalgic 'All the Small Things' to the raw emotion of 'I Miss You' and 'Adam's Song.' The encore, featuring ‘One More Time', was the perfect climax to the evening. Blink-182's performance was a testament to their enduring popularity and mastery of the punk-rock genre, leaving fans old and new with a concert experience they'll cherish for years to come.