Review: Blink-182, Lil Wayne bring nostalgia to the Xcel Center

Review: Blink-182, Lil Wayne bring nostalgia to the Xcel Center Photo: Joe Lemke

Updated: September 13, 2019 08:50 PM

Travis Barker celebrates his 45th birthday next month. 

On stage at the Xcel Energy Center, he endured his routine of a grueling 80-minute cardio workout of beating the heck out of his drum kit as he and his Blink-182 bandmates played all 12 tracks of their 1999 breakout album, "Enema of the State."


The venerable pop punk trio took to the stage during Samuel L. Jackson's recitation of Ezekiel 25:17 from the classic film "Pulp Fiction" and led straight into the show opener "Dumpweed." 

A half-full room was kind of a bummer for the Lil Wayne / Blink 182 collaboration that has received mixed reviews since kicking off in June in Hartford, Connecticut. Lil Wayne forged on through rumors he might quit the tour, which wraps up on Monday in Cincinnati.

The co-headlining tour is in support of Blink-182's forthcoming ninth studio album, and also celebrates the 20th anniversary of "Enema of the State". Wayne's previously released twelfth studio album, Tha Carter V dropped in 2018.

UK pop-punk band Neck Deep kicked things off. Next up was Lil Wayne's DJ T. Lewis. He kept fans entertained for 20 minutes with beats so loud it made your whole body shake until Lil Wayne showed up.

Wayne sang 1 verse of most of his own songs like "Lollipop" and "A Milli" but added covers from familiar artists like Drake's "I'm Goin' In" and "Steady Mobbin'" by Young Money. He ended with "Uproar" before thanking fans and closing his set.

As for Blink 182, favorites with big responses were chart-toppers "All The Small Things," "What's My Age Again?" and "Adam's Song". Older fans of the band - anybody old enough to remember listening to punk rock on the way to high school in the 90s - enjoyed deep cuts like "Wendy Clear" and "Anthem."
"Don't mind the cameras, we're filming for Monday Night Football" Mark Hoppus said as the band launched into "I Really Wish I Hated You" off the new album.
 Hoppus' joked with the crowd about millennials liking avocado toast, vaping and not owning property. 
 A warm moment that had Hoppus bring a fan stage to join them in playing "All the Small Things" nearly backfired.
 Asked to state his name and where he was from, the young guest announced "Jake from Green Bay", touching off a storm of boos from an obviously Vikings-flavored crowd. A "Skol" chant also broke out before guitarist Matt Skiba realized the situation and shared the laugh saying "Don't worry, the Vikings are gonna kill them anyway."

The show also included an acoustic version of "Wasting Time." 

At times, Matt struggled a bit with songs Blink charter member Tom DeLonge originally sang, like "First Date." 
 Travis Barker, quite simply, is insanely strong. 
 Toward the end of the set, he strapped into what looked like a ride from the Minnesota State Fair - a dome that rotated and flipped upside-down while Barker did his thing during a throwback drum solo.

Nostalgia plays a huge factor, as both Lil Wayne and Blink-182 are acts whose peaks may have come a couple decades ago. Fans in their late 20s and early 30s probably saw the original Blink-182 crew while they were in elementary or middle school. Later, Lil Wayne soundtracked rides to high school in the mid-2000s.

While the X may only have been half-full, nostalgia-seeking Blink and Wayne fans who filled the floor and lower level got what they came for in a lighthearted, blast-from-the-past sprint.

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Sarina Long

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