Live: Blink-182 and My Chemical Romance at Cruzan Amphitheatre, September 23

With My Chemical Romance and Matt & Kim
Cruzan Amphitheater, West Palm Beach Friday September 23, 2011

See a slideshow of the Friday's show here.

Better than
: Reminiscing about how awesome your MySpace was.

Ah, the smell of teenage angst in the waning heat of South Florida's summer was alive and well Friday night as hoards of Volcom-clad youth and Generation Y cohorts just off from work descended upon the Cruzan Amphitheater to see Matt & Kim, My Chemical Romance and Blink-182.

The three bands brought together in the Honda Civic Tour blended surprisingly well, despite their different styles. With slap-happy smiles, Matt & Kim started the night with an upbeat tempo rousing the crowd (well the bowl of the amphitheater at least) to their feet as massive balloons rained down upon them.

To keep the crowd more or less entertained between sets, three massive screens played promotional clips of MCR and Blink-182 pimping out Honda gear while live tweets from the audience scrolled below. Crowd favorites included "Been an MCR fan for 7 freakin years and proud of it!!!!!!!" and "Scream if youre not wearing undies!!"

An Asian woman appeared on screen repeating incomprehensible phrases as the crowd scratched their heads in confused anticipation of My Chemical Romance. The band hit the stage, opening with a single from last year's Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, the annoyingly repetitive named "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)." While it wasn't the gangbuster opening some in the crowd were expecting, things picked up once the band launched into their hits "I'm Not Ok (I Promise)" and "Helena."

Ditching black nail polish for wedding rings, MCR's set was relatively tight, but lacked any ounce of showmanship. Frontman Gerard Way stomped around the stage heaving one knee-high booted foot in front of the other as guitarist Frank Lero supplied the audience with ample head banding and not much else. The end of their set came as a relief. After MCR exhausted all of their popular songs, the audience was getting antsy for the act they came to see.

Then for the third time, the lights of the amphitheater went black -- this time the crowd went, for lack of a better word, bat-shit. Still rocking high-top Chuck Taylors and potty-mouthed personalities, Blink-182 took the stage with carefree fervor. Older, but no more mature then they were 13 years ago, the boys of Blink launched into "Feeling This" and never let up.

They followed up with their newest single "Up All Night," a song that combines the hard guitar riffs of Tom DeLonge's solo project Boxcar Racer and the sweeping melodies of Angels and Airwaves -- another one of DeLonge's side ventures. While the crowd was lost when it came to the lyrics, they put up a good front.

From there, Delonge, Mark Hoppus, and Travis Barker stuck to the oldies but goodies, although they did managed to sprinkle a few new ones into their set with Hoppus screaming emphatically, "NEW SONG! NEW SONG!" But even with the new melodies, everything still seemed the same (including the majority of the new stuff), like we were time-warped back to 2001 and were still pissed off at our parents.

"LASER BEAMS!" DeLonge shouted after an elaborate light show of gushing spotlights during "Down." He then went into an elaborate description on how one's penis sweats in order to keep the body cool, which is essential in the South Florida heat.

"It feels like Satan is jacking off on me. It's so fucking hot," he said before moving on to something about how the heat "severs the connection from the testicles to the urethra." His anatomy lesson was (fortunately) abruptly ended by Barker's emphatic intro to "I Miss You."

Crowd surfing was sparse and moshing was kept to a minimum, save for the lone guy standing next to me who felt it necessary to frequently conduct a one-man mosh pit (it worked just as well as you think it did). But that all changed once Blink closed out their initial set with "Josie" and "All the Small Things."

While Blink's set was fun and energetic, it was also formulaic. This is, until the curtain went down at the beginning of the encore to reveal Barker banging out "Give the Drummer Some" on a massive drum crane hoisting him up out and above the audience. The crowd, again, lost their shit.

At the start of the night, ticketholders were hungry to relive the days of yard parties and makeshift half pipes in the neighborhood cul-de-sac. And as DeLonge sang out the closing lyrics at the end of the night, many walked away with fresh reminisce of summer nights at Warped Tour.

"Shit piss fuck cunt cocksucker motherfucker tits fart turd and twat. I fucked your mom!"

Yes, those were the days.

Critic's Notebook:

Overheard: Guy next to me: "Oh my God you're loud." Girl behind me in response: "THIS IS MY SHIT!"

The Crowd: Teenagers with their parents, parents who've lost their teenagers, and adults trying to relive their teenage years.

Personal Bias: My AIM screen name in high school was hummergurl182 because Hummers were my favorite car and Blink-182 was my favorite band. Just sayin'.

Blink 182 Set List
Feeling This

Up All Night

The Rock Show

What's My Age Again?


I Miss You

Stay Together for the Kids



After Midnight

First Date

Fuck a Dog

Heart's All Gone
Happy Holidays
You Bastard

Man Overboard

Ghost on the Dancefloor

All the Small Things


Flying Drum Solo / Give the Drummer Some

Family Reunion

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Adele Hampton
Contact: Adele Hampton