LAS VEGAS — On Thursday night, [artist id="783"]Blink-182[/artist] returned to the stage with a thoroughly raucous, incredibly profane, genuinely thrilling performance at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Kids cried, older dudes moshed, and Blink guitarist Tom DeLonge weaved an incredible tapestry of onstage boner jokes. In other words, it was just like old times.
On Friday — some 18 hours removed from the show — DeLonge, bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker were still slightly hoarse and somewhat bleary-eyed from it all ("We battled our nerves the only way we know how," DeLonge laughed. "We got drunk.") They were officially one sold-out show into their massive reunion tour, and, to be honest, it was going to take a couple more gigs before they realized that this was all really happening.
"It's really strange, because somehow breaking up for five years and going through all this heartache and animosity and everything else — somehow that was the best thing that ever happened to our band," Hoppus laughed. "And I don't know how that is, but ... it's really gratifying and strange and humbling to think that right now, it's really cool to like Blink-182. We've always existed outside that reality, and loved that, but now to come back and have our tour sell like this, I think it's strange for all of us. I'll speak for all of us here, OK?"
DeLonge and Barker nodded in agreement. To them, the sold-out first night of their tour (which continues Tuesday night in Vancouver) was some sort of bizarre dream come true. They said they didn't know how fans would react when they announced they were reforming back in February and that they organized a tour not knowing if people would care. After all, there was no new album to promote, no new single to work into the set (much-discussed new tune "Up All Night" isn't ready yet). The success of their tour rested firmly on Blink's formidable back catalogue.
"It's so humbling to think that, going away for five years, then coming back, that the shows are selling as well as they are and so many people are excited," Hoppus laughed. "We didn't know what was going to happen when we reformed, we just wanted to play music some more. And to have all these shows sell out and have the response be what it is, it's just crazy to us."
And while the tour was only one show old when MTV News sat down to chat with Blink (a second, Friday-night show at the Hard Rock also sold out), you could tell that, though the early success was surreal, it was also emboldening. Which means that, if Blink haven't rolled through your city yet, consider yourself warned.
"We're only going to play a couple of places with other bands ... like festivals and stuff. I think that, um, I wouldn't want to be in any of those other bands at this point," DeLonge said. "I think we're willing to do or say anything onstage. It's one of those things where I'm almost nervous about what we're going to say or do on this tour as we progress, because what we've always done is we push each other further and further to see what kind of obscenities [we can say]."
"Raising the bar," Hoppus interjected, smiling. "We're raising the bar."