The reunited Blink-182 were at MSG last night, but Saturday they played the cozier Borgata Events Center in Atlantic City, a carpeted function room used primarily, one assumes, for sports memorabilia conventions and casino-workers union meetings. The band split in 2005 (mostly because co-front man Tom DeLonge “couldn’t contain his shit”) and re-formed after four years of fruitless side projects, which hasn’t left enough time off for a critical re-appraisal. But we like them!
And so do a bunch of other people, obviously, both young’uns who grew up with Blink-182 as their Clash, and O.G. fans now just a touch plumper in the mid-section. Other than the pre-show spectacle of seeing that overly-gelled, lip-pierced set mingling amidst the chain-smoking A.C. lifers, Saturday’s gig was no different than what you might’ve witnessed before their break. The band looks the same (Mark Hoppus, age 37, even broke out the extra-long Dickies shorts), makes the same dumb jokes (Hoppus: “This song is about love! This song is about love! … this song is about fucking!”), and has the same old sound. No resentment was evident among the members, and there were no surprises on the satisfying singles-heavy set list (although they skipped the traditional encore charade). We could wrap things up with a little critical re-appraisal ourselves, but instead, we’ll just ask you to give “Dammit” another listen.