Blink-182 World Tour 2023

Blink-182 World Tour 2023 Cover

The known Blink-182 trio (Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge, and Travis Barker) have reunited after DeLonge took a sabbatical from 2015-2022. The three part California-based rock band ventured out to Houston, TX, performing at the Toyota Center (home of the Houston Rockets) as a part of their most recent World Tour. It appeared to be a completely sold-out show; I did not see a single empty seat from the area I was in, whilst looking around the colossal-sized stadium. Additionally, despite DeLonge’s hiatus, the band feels incredibly synchronized musically as well as relationally. The group is impressively conversational with its audience (and strikingly bold too; saying numerous outrageous provocative remarks, all in good fun).

Despite being in their 40s/50s, the pop punk group exudes exorbitant youthful rebellion and teenage angst that was entertaining to revisit as a 31 year old fan who listened to their music as a 14 year old. The target audience when Blink-182 rose to fame was young emo-Hot-Topic-band-tee-shirt wearing teenagers and now all of those teenagers have grown up and most can afford to attend a concert that they may not have been able to when they were younger, which means there’s a wonderful older group of fans who are ecstatic to experience nostalgia by finally being able to see one of their favorite adolescent icons (as a fan from the small town of Corpus Christi, I couldn’t convince my parents to travel for a concert when I was a teenager). However, it is evident that Blink-182 is still capturing the hearts of younger audiences; in fact, one of the highlight moments of the night was when an enthusiastic 13-year-old named Hudson was invited on the stage and was given one of Tom’s guitars (what a memory that kid will have for the rest of his life!).

The stage is simple, yet effective with one giant screen behind the band and two vertical screens on the sides of the band. Despite a small stage, the production team makes several songs have a unique atmosphere, by utilizing a video background that is unique to that song, inflatables, laser lights, fire, fireworks, and even Travis/the drums being suspended in mid-air! “Aliens Exist” has a psychedelic video of a UFO spaceship with strong blue UFO-looking laser lights. “Stay Together for the Kids” has a background of a kid finding solace with music and playing guitar. “Bored to Death” was dedicated to the corner left of the stage section as they “waited until the last bloody moment to get tickets” according to DeLonge and I particularly found his statement to be quite humorous, as I saw this section of seats open up the day of the show. “What’s My Age Again” had a ginormous rabbit-holding-a-carrot inflatable that sticks out from above the middle section of the center screen.

The energy from the crowd was dynamically exuberant, passionately singing along with every track. From the floor, to the lower bowl, and to the upper bowl: most of the crowd stayed standing for the almost 2 hour performance (that started at 9:30 PM and ended at 11:10 PM), featuring 25 outstanding greatest hit songs. Most songs were from popular albums, "Take Off Your Pants and Jacket", "Enema of the State", and their self-titled album, "blink-182".

Let’s take a look at that setlist…

  1. Anthem Part Two
  2. The Rock Show
  3. Family Reunion
  4. Man Overboard
  5. Feeling This
  6. Reckless Abandon
  7. Violence
  8. Up All Night
  9. Dysentery Gary
  10. Dumpweed
  11. EDGING
  12. Aliens Exist
  13. Cynical
  14. Happy Holidays, You Bastard (with lights off)
  15. Stay Together for the Kids
  16. Always
  17. Down
  18. Bored to Death
  19. I Miss You
  20. Adam's Song
  21. Ghost on the Dance Floor
  22. What's My Age Again?
  23. First Date
  24. All the Small Things
  25. Dammit 

Turnstile and KennyHoopla opened for Blink-182. Although they delivered fantastic performances, the seats did not fully fill until the headliner hit the stage and unlike Blink-182, the atmosphere was more laid-back and chill; most patrons were seated during these performances (the songs were most likely not as familiar as Blink-182 songs but I found some enjoyment from these artists, as we all anxiously waited for Blink-182). 

To see more Blink-182 tour dates, click here.
To see more Toyota Center events, click here.
Ticket prices range from $39-$199

Final Verdict:The trio feels incredibly synchronized musically as well as relationally.