Words by Martin Halo | Photos by Nicole Mago

I want to talk shit about Blink 182, but it would be nothing more than an indulgent rant of rock n’ roll preeminence. This industry is an amoeba, morphing throughout the decades as much as the music. What it means to be successful and respected is all in the eyes of the generations. As Blink 182 walked into the spotlight of Montclair’s Wellmont Theater, both band and venue spoke a tale of survival.

For Blink 182, their SoCal pop punk roots sustained a rise to mainstream success in 1999 as Tom DeLonge [guitar/vox], Mark Hoppus [bass], and Travis Barker [drums] reached millions of living rooms with the video for “What’s My Age Again?” – the MTV staple which depicted the group running naked throughout Los Angeles. The LP, Enemy of the State [1999], went on to sell 5 million copies at MCA Records.

After a split in 2005, Mark Hoppus didn’t fade. He went on to land a rock show at FUSE TV interviewing the likes of Noel Gallagher and the Allman Brothers, while at the same time DeLonge started Angels & Airwaves. Travis Barker embarked on solo work as well before surviving a horrific airplane crash in South Carolina during the fall of 2008. The future of the band remained in doubt. As Barker began his recovery and given a second chance at life, the Wellmont Theater was experiencing a resurrection of her own.

In a tucked away corner off Bloomfield Ave, a renovated movie theater was servicing Montclair’s thriving arts community with national billings of music and comedy’s elite. After a four year stint [2008 – 2012], a bookers’ retreat gave way to a new chapter. As the lights grew dim on September 6 , Blink 182 stepped into the spotlight as band engulfed in national touring, after a 2011 reunion. Alongside their promoter, LIVE NATION, they christened an arrival to the Northern New Jersey suburbs.

A busting general admission floor filled with crowd surfers and mosh pits as the band trekked through staples, “The Rock Show”, and a fully clothed “What’s My Age Again?” Hoppus was in fine spirits, interacting and talking with the crowd throughout. Back-to-back ballads of “Down” and “Miss You” echoed the choruses of a singing audience. The sweaty set focused on new material off the outfit’s 2011 release of Neighborhoods. “Ghost on the Dance Floor,” “Up All Night,” “After Midnight,” and “Wishing Well” were scattered through the set.

Be sure to check out upcoming shows at the Wellmont including The Fray and Brian Wilson and Jeff Beck.

1. Feeling This
2. Up All Night
3. The Rock Show
4. What’s My Age Again?
5. Dogs Eating Dogs
6. Down
7. I Miss You
8. Wishing Well
9. Disaster
10. Dumpweed
11. Always
12. Violence
13. After Midnight
14. First Date
15. Heart’s All Gone
16. Man Overboard
17. Ghost on the Dancefloor
18. All the Small Things
19. Josie

20. Carousel
21. Dammit
22. Family Reunion



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