Concert review: Blink-182 and My Chemical Romance with Matt and Kim at 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, Tampa

click to enlarge Tom Delonge, Blink-182 - Mike Wilson
Mike Wilson
Tom Delonge, Blink-182

For the 10th anniversary of the "Honda Civic Tour," organizers welcomed back Blink-182, an appropriate selection as the punk pop vets played the inaugural tour in 2001. My Chemical Romance joined the bill as co-headliners. Each band has their own widespread mass of dedicated supporters, both proving their legacy of damn near world domination, the distinct MCR "killjoys" in the crowd clad in red bandannas, leather jackets and lots of black eyeliner brushing up against Blink fans from an earlier generation wearing old school Blink tees. [Text by Valerie, photos by Mike]

Energetic Brooklyn pop-synth duo Matt and Kim opened the show with lighthearted jams off 2010's Sidewalks as well as old favorites like "Yea Yeah" of their 2006 self-titled debut and "Daylight" from 2009's Grand. Matt Johnson's awkward charm was a nice foil to Kim Schifino's beaming grin and animated enthusiasm. A couple songs in, Kim commented on Florida's ridiculous humidity, "You guys think sweaty balls are bad? Sweaty boobs are even worse!" She proceeded to strip off her bra as all eyes in the front row lit up and the whistles and hollers of encouragement followed. The crowd really lost it when Blink-182's Mark Hoppus graced the stage to throw balloons into the crowd, sparking a full out dance party. The duo added a funky hip-hop vibe to their set that included an impromptu cover of Biz Markie's "Just A Friend." At the end of their set, Kim danced on top of the crowd, walking across wobbly hands holding her up over their heads.

Next up, New Jersey natives My Chemical Romance kicked off their set of anthemic alt rock with "Na Na Na," the first single from their 2010 LP, Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys, and everyone in the amphitheater surged to their feet, jumping and singing along. There is something extraordinarily theatrical about the way frontman Gerard Way commands the crowd's attention as the dynamic ringleader of this massive rock and roll machine. On this night, his vocals were raw and unforgiving as he continually urged us to jump, clap and participate throughout. Lead guitarist Ray Toro's skilled solos blended flawlessly with guitarist Frank Iero's passionate rhythmic accompaniment as Mikey Way, Gerard's younger brother, pulled everything together with his pounding basslines. Touring keyboardist James Dewees (The Get Up Kids) performed in a full-on vampire costume, complete with a cape and mask as he backed up the band's piano-heavy jams. One-time touring drummer Michael Pedicone (The Bled) had been kicked out of the lineup for betraying the band a few weeks earlier and his replacement, Jarrod Alexander (A Static Lullaby) impressively held his own for someone who'd learned these songs in such a short amount of time. Their performance kept the energy level up and the setlist drew from all four of their albums and included "Our Lady Of Sorrows" from their debut, 2002's I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. They closed out their set with the haunting balladry of "Cancer" off 2006's The Black Parade.

Eager chants for Blink-182 filled the amphitheater spanning from the pit up to the lawn, and cheers erupted as bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus, guitarist/vocalist Tom DeLonge and drummer Travis Barker finally hit the stage, kicking off their set with "Feeling This," the opening track off their 2003 eponymous LP. DeLonge's first words to the Tampa crowd: "It's a little warm but it's okay because I'm not wearing underpants. Actually I'm wearing women's underpants." Hoppus replied, "Because they fit your genitalia better."

The dirty joke banter between Hoppus and DeLonge was plentiful throughout the set, Hoppus playfully referring to DeLonge's guitars as "weapons of mass erection." They played a new song next, "Up All Night" From their new album Neighborhoods, which dropped September 27. The trio blew through their most popular tracks throughout the majority of the rest of the set while throwing in the occasional nostalgic ode for the fans that appreciate their older tunes. When they played the punchy, fast-paced "Happy Holidays, You Bastard" from 2001’s Take Off Your Pants And Jacket, the pit exploded into a high-speed dancing circle pit, kids screaming along to the extremely vulgar lyrics ("I'll never talk to you again, unless your dad will suck me off"). Hoppus showed off his badass bass skills with his solo in "Carousel" (from their 1994 first, Cheshire Cat) and later in the set, Kim from Matt and Kim joined them onstage for an intense booty shaking competition. Her dance moves were tough to beat, though DeLonge's attempt was no match for Hoppus, who shamelessly gyrated up and down against his mic stand as the crowd ate up every minute of the hilarious spectacle. During the encore, Travis Barker played a solid drum solo as he floated over the crowd on a hovering platform, undeniably the highlight of the night. Blink-182 closed out the night of music with "Family Reunion," a song made up entirely of curse words and a fitting, if hilariously inappropriate, end to the energetic Saturday night show.

Setlists:
 
My Chemical Romance
Na Na Na
I’m Not Okay
Planetary (GO!)
The Only Hope For Me Is You
Mama
Helena
Our Lady Of Sorrows
Teenagers
Famous Last Words
Welcome To The Black Parade
Encore:
Cancer
 
Blink 182
Feeling This
Up All Night
The Rock Show
What's My Age Again?
Down
I Miss You
Stay Together for the Kids
Dumpweed
Always
Violence
After Midnight
First Date
Fuck a Dog
Heart's All Gone
Man Overboard
Ghost on the Dancefloor
Happy Holidays, You Bastard
All the Small Things
Josie

Encore:
Flying Drum Solo / Give The Drummer Some
Carousel
Dammit
Family Reunion

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