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Blink-182 Celebrate 20 Years of Enema of the State

Blink-182 Lil Wayne Neck Deep Xcel Energy Center September 12 2019 tour
Blink-182 by Katie Ahrens

This past week, Green Day announced a dream tour with Fall Out Boy and Weezer. With the price of concert tickets these days, it is safe to say that line-up is everything. So, when Blink-182 announced they were touring with Lil Wayne, fans weren’t exactly thrilled. 

Last night, Blink-182 brought their tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of Enema of the State to Saint Paul. While Blink delivered a memorable performance, I need to address the elephant in the room. Fans of Blink-182 did not want to see Lil Wayne, and the turn out for this show made that fact clear. 

I’ve been to dozens of shows at the Xcel. I usually come early for all the acts and the crowds are typically a pretty good size for the openers.

However, when I entered the venue for this one, I had never seen such an empty arena show, which was pretty devastating because the first opening act was 100% worth jamming out to. 

Welsh pop punkers Neck Deep performed their hearts out. With the arena so empty, it was easy to see their die hard fans. My photographer Katie was probably going harder than anyone else in the room. 

Neck Deep Super Fan Goes Hard
Photographer Katie Ahrens giving Neck Deep the respect they deserve.

Despite being used to playing in mid-sized rooms, Neck Deep was able to inject some much-needed energy into this Saint Paul crowd. They absolutely won over their fans and made some new ones along the way. I’ve seen them live once before, and it was really dope seeing them take control of an arena stage. 

Apparently The World’s Greatest Rapper?

Blink-182 Lil Wayne Neck Deep Xcel Energy Center September 12 2019 tour
Lil Wayne by Katie Ahrens

Following Neck Deep’s performance was a 20 minute countdown clock ticking away for Lil Wayne. Once the clock hit zero you would think he’d come out. Wrong.

Instead, fans were “treated” to a DJ who felt it was appropriate to use a ton of gun sound effects in the middle of the shitty songs he was playing. Seriously, that shouldn’t be allowed for a number of reasons. 

After about 15 minutes of headaches, Lil Wayne anticlimactically took the stage. I’ll be honest: he was pretty okay. He had a rock band backing him up and there was plenty of pyro and stage production. He is an entertaining performer who genuinely surprised me. 

There were fans there just for Lil Wayne (let’s call them Wayners?). However, for every Wayner there were twice as many Blink-182 fans wishing it was over. After awhile his act got old and unenjoyable. 

I know every other music critic has bashed the show for having Lil Wayne as support for this tour, but it’s just the elephant in the room. I don’t want to be overly negative, so I will just let this brilliant photo Katie took do the talking. 

Blink-182 Lil Wayne Neck Deep Xcel Energy Center September 12 2019 tour
Unamused Fan During Lil Wayne by Katie Ahrens

Pop Punk Glory 

Blink-182 Lil Wayne Neck Deep Xcel Energy Center September 12 2019 tour
Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 by Katie Ahrens

Finally, Blink-182 hit the stage. The trio performed their 1999 album Enema of the State front to back. Even though they no longer have founding member Tom Delonge performing these tracks, they were still able to please all the die hard fans, myself included. 

Taking a brief break from Enema of the State, the group debuted a new song off their upcoming album Nine and filmed it for Monday Night Football. They played a collection of old and new hits following the conclusion of Enema.

From hearing classics like “All The Small Things” and “I Miss You” to modern hits like “Bored To Death,” I had the best time at this show.

A highlight was the humor and personality of frontman Mark Hoppus. Performing hilarious tracks like “Family Reunion” and “Built This Pool,” it was clear he still loves performing after over 20 years. 

Demanding we stop having fun during the emotionally charged classic “Adam’s Song,” Hoppus led the crowd through emotions of angst, nostalgia, and more. 

Real talk: Mark Hoppus is the funniest person on earth and everyone should follow him on Twitter. The funniest moment was when an ominous voice on the PA said, “please rise for Hell’s National Anthem.” A sing along to “All Star” would commence. 

Blink-182 Lil Wayne Neck Deep Xcel Energy Center September 12 2019 tour
Travis Barker of Blink-182 by Katie Ahrens

Another highlight was drummer Travis Barker doing an epic solo in a hamster ball. Performing upside down (Tommy Lee style) and not even missing a beat, he wowed the Saint Paul audience. 

The stage production was incredible and the sound mixing was excellent for an arena show.

Overall, I feel that Blink-182 gave their best Minnesota performance to date. This was my second time seeing them live and probably my favorite set of theirs. 

Having the chance to hear deep cuts off Enema live for the first time was a total treat. Additionally, I am a huge fan of their new stuff. I’ve heard an early release of their upcoming album Nine and it is Blink at their very best.

If you think these guys are in their greatest hits era you are mistaken. Blink-182 are still performing in their prime. Although their support act of Lil Wayne left a bad taste in fans’ mouths, the group gave a flawless performance that was totally unforgettable.

Blink-182 Lil Wayne Neck Deep Xcel Energy Center September 12 2019 tour
Blink-182 by Katie Ahrens

Setlist:

1. Dumpweed
2. Don’t Leave Me
3. Aliens Exist
4. I Really Wish I Hated You (filmed for Monday Night Football)
5. Going Away to College
6. What’s My Age Again?
7. Dysentery Gary
8. Adam’s Song
9. All The Small Things
10. The Party Song
11. Family Reunion
12. Mutt
13. Wendy Clear
14. Anthem
15. Down
16. Wasting Time
17. Drum Solo
18. Bored to Death
19. Build This Pool
20. I Miss Your
21. Darkside
22. First Date
23. Dammit

Dylan Novacek
Author: Dylan Novacek

Graphic designer and photographer from Saint Paul, Minnesota. Fan of mid 2000s emo, late 90s boy bands and everything in between. Recent graduate from Concordia, Saint Paul. Check out my work: https://dylannovacek.myportfolio.com/

Written by Dylan Novacek

Graphic designer and photographer from Saint Paul, Minnesota. Fan of mid 2000s emo, late 90s boy bands and everything in between. Recent graduate from Concordia, Saint Paul. Check out my work: https://dylannovacek.myportfolio.com/

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