On Tuesday night, during [artist id="783"]Blink-182's[/artist] show at General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Travis Barker finally unveiled the full version of his much-hyped, gravity-defying, head-spinning drum solo.
Needless to say, it was pretty epic. And worth the wait.
A week earlier, during a "friends only" warm-up gig at the Forum in Los Angeles, Barker had done the routine — which features his drum riser levitating, swinging from side-to-side and turning upside down — and shaky camera-phone footage of the stunt quickly began to make the rounds. Barker did a stripped-down version of the solo during Blink's first two shows in Las Vegas, as the venue was too small for the full routine.
So, finally, on Tuesday, with some 15,000 Blink fans cheering him on, in a spot big enough to support his rigging, Barker gave the public what they were clamoring for: a three-minute, 360-degree drum clinic. Footage of the solo, which seems reminiscent of Tommy Lee's aerial drums solos in Mötley Crüe's heyday, has already flooded YouTube.
When MTV News was out in Vegas for the kickoff of the Blink tour, we asked Barker about the stunt. Turns out, he just sort of winged it. After all, he's been doing it for years.
"[The idea] happened like a month ago. Someone brought it up, like, 'What are you doing for the drum solo, Trav?' And I was like, 'Uh-oh.' But I was up for the challenge," Barker laughed. "The first [time I did a solo on tour], I was on fire, and the kit was rotating. The second time, I went upside down — and upside down is kind of the gnarliest thing you can do. So then, this one was like, 'How can you make me even more uncomfortable, or sideways, or fly me in the air?' So, I kind of just let [the stage techs] do their thing, and I go up there and play my drums."
"It's like Travis set a precedent for himself that he has to up the ante every single time," Blink bassist Mark Hoppus added. "He did it to himself."
And while the drum solo is undoubtedly one of the highlights of Blink's set, it wasn't the only anti-gravity act the band was planning. "I'll be honest with you, the drum solo wasn't even the first idea," guitarist Tom DeLonge said. "Remember the vocal solos we were gonna do, on that same rig?"
"Yeah, we were gonna spin around, go upside down, and just do scales, vocally," Hoppus answered, before breaking into a vocal warm-up. "You know, just strap in and sing."
Of course, Barker had to one-up them. And in the end, it seems like they all made the right choice.
For more Blink-182 reunion tour news, check out our report from the tour kickoff in Las Vegas, Blink fans' reactions to the show, what Hoppus, DeLonge and Barker think of their own performance and why they won't be playing new single "Up All Night" this time out.