Blink-182 Drive Kids Crazy With Potty-Mouth Punk

Trio tape San Francisco show for upcoming live album.

SAN FRANCISCO — Bad jokes, bare breasts and belching can mean

only one thing: Blink-182 are in town.

"We're artists — we paint on a tapestry of obscenities and sh--ty

music," singer/bassist Mark Hoppus told the sold-out crowd Thursday at

the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, where the band recorded its show for

an upcoming live album.

Using an excerpt of Samuel L. Jackson reciting Ezekiel 25:17 in the movie

"Pulp Fiction" as an introduction, Blink-182 took the stage and launched

into "Dumpweed" off their platinum Enema of the State (1999).

Nearly drowned out by Beatles-like crowd hysteria, singer/guitarist Tom

DeLonge returned the love, announcing to the throng of 7,000 teens,

preteens and their parents, "I wanna have sex with every one of you!"

The San Diego pop-punk trio mostly played songs off their new album, which

the audience seemed to be most familiar with. "This next one is for all

of you who knew us before Enema of the State — all three of

you!" DeLonge announced before playing "Pathetic" from 1997's Dude

Ranch.

DeLonge, wearing a white T-shirt, khaki shorts and a backward baseball

cap, spent most of the show stationed in front of his microphone. He

blamed his frequent belching on the many power drinks he had consumed.

Hoppus, in a red T-shirt and black shorts, danced and ran around when he

wasn't singing. He drew screams and upraised arms as he stalked along

the lip of the stage.

Rather than saving it for an encore, the band played its hit "What's My

Age Again?" (RealAudio

excerpt) midset, accompanied by a disco ball and purple and green

lights.

In addition to the occasional stagediver, there were also sporadic displays

of flesh, which received mixed reactions from the band.

"Put those away, you underage freak!" Hoppus admonished one girl.

But another flasher prompted DeLonge to admit, "I like to see the boobies

jiggle and dance."

The two frontmen used the time between songs to tell jokes, though the

duo's pure cheekiness drew more laughs than the jokes themselves. Much

of the humor revolved around sex, and some people weren't laughing.

"They should just try to play their music and not be cute," said Rich

Clarke of Redwood City, Calif., who brought his 13-year-old daughter and

her two friends to the show. "They were just disgusting. They need to

learn some words that aren't filthy."

Clarke said he didn't expect the risqué material because none of

the band's CDs has a parental-warning sticker.

In an interview shortly after Enema of the State was released,

DeLonge acknowledged that some people may be surprised by the band's

onstage schtick.

"Our albums are mostly relationship songs, growing up, dealing with your

parents — fairly serious," he said. "Kids will hear a song about a

relationship gone bad on the radio, they'll come to our show and we come

out cussing and talking about the gnarliest things — masturbation

and humping dogs and stuff — and I think they just go, 'Wow, what

is wrong with these guys?' "

Thursday's show included such musical interludes as a short country ditty

that begins "Take off your pants, dad," a simple tune built around the

words "It'd be nice to have a blowjob," and "Family Reunion," a half-minute

string of obscenities that appeared on the compilation Short Music for

Short People (1999).

The set-ending "Dammit" (RealAudio

excerpt) inspired chaos, as boys stepped up the moshing and girls

dropped their "I Love Mark" signs to jump and sing along. The screaming

continued until the band returned for an encore that included "Wendy

Clear," from Enema, and "Carousel," from 1994's Cheshire Cat.

Blink-182 protégés Fenix*TX kicked off the night with a

half-hour set of SoCal punk that would fit nicely in the Fat Wreck Chords

catalog between Lagwagon and NOFX.

Fenix*TX, managed by Hoppus, may be young, but they were well versed in

the ways of arena rock.

Singer/guitarist Willie Powers tossed out such tried-and-true lines as,

"Wave your hands in the air!," "Somebody scream!" and "Everybody jump!"

The kids ate it up like after-school treats.

Aussie rockers Silverchair followed with a more diverse set that ranged

from powerful grunge-rock stomps to moody ballads to a cover of the MC5's

"Kick Out the Jams."

Singer/guitarist Daniel Johns spent most of the show in Pete Townshend

mode, mimicking the Who guitarist's windmill strumming and finger pointing,

while bassist Chris Joannou mostly bobbed and paced forward and back.

The crowd came to life for the group's radio hit "Pure Massacre" from

Frogstomp (1995), but the band chose not to play that album's biggest

hit, "Tomorrow."

After unsuccessfully trying to get the audience to sing along with "Freak"

from 1997's Freak Show, Silverchair closed with "Anthem for the

Year 2000" (RealAudio

excerpt) off Neon Ballroom (1999) and found the response

they were looking for.