Staying Together For the Kids: Blink-182 reunion exceeds student’s expectations

We waited five months for it. And now it’s here.
I’ve had an insatiable love for Blink-182 since I was in the fifth grade. Their songs provided me with humor and insight that got me through these awkward teenage years.
And now they’re back. And they were within a mile from me.
Without Blink, I would have never met one of my closest friends, senior Cole Owen. Around the same time in our childhoods, we were introduced to the same band.
We grew up to their music. We grew to become close friends through the memorization of every lyric and the emulation of every song on our guitars.
As a city, we seemed to dodge a bullet with this concert as well. With the untimely death of Travis Barker’s friend, DJ AM, the band canceled all shows up to Sept. 4. — the night we had been dreaming about.
This is the story of the night I will tell my kids about.
The night that we will reminisce about every time we see each other as old men.
The best beginning to a senior year that I could have ever imagined.
2:30 p.m.
The rain let up as we walked through the gates.
We headed to the general admission section in the front of the venue. People started to file in as we watched the opening mainstage bands play.
During the performances by the Republic Tigers and Chester French, everyone kept to themselves.
But once Taking Back Sunday took the stage, it all began. The back of the crowd seemed to press forward against all of us in the front within a matter of seconds.
8:30 p.m.
Nearly everyone in the general admission section had the same goal: to get closer to the stage.
We pushed up as far as we could, and ended up about four people back from the front barrier.
I grew nervous for Blink to take the stage. Was it going to be what I expected?
Mark Hoppus’s guitar tech began throwing out his guitar picks from the nights before.
I made it my goal to catch a pick. I jumped up and hit it before it traveled farther, and scanned the ground to find it.
The chances of catching a guitar pick from your idol are slim to none. 9:00 p.m.
The sound tech began playing songs for us.
After some Tenacious D, he put on the classic “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” by Wang Chung. The crowd sang along to the ‘80s masterpiece until the final lyric.
Immediately after the song stopped, Travis chopped his high-hat three times and the curtain fell.
Goosebumps laced every single inch of my skin as the opening guitar line to “Dumpweed” was played, and the noise from the crowd was deafening.
This was it. The moment I had waited eight years for.
After four classics, Mark walked up to the microphone and gave an old classic a new meaning.
“This song is now about the three of us,” he said before playing “Stay Together for the Kids”, a song written about divorce.
Before the encore, they played my favorite songs, “Reckless Abandon” and “Anthem Part 2” as an ode to teenage recklessness.
The crowd moved furiously during the songs with everyone on the same young wavelength, no matter their respective ages.
After a brief walk offstage, the band returned with Mark playing the bass line to their oldest hit, “Carousel”.
At that moment, the true fans were defined.
The song, released before they ever appeared on radio or MTV, seemed a “thank you” to the band’s oldest fans.
And as they do with every show, they closed the night off with “Dammit”, arguably the most commonly known song the band ever wrote.
Confetti shot out of huge cannons on both sides of the stages as nearly everyone in attendance smiled from ear to ear.
“We’ll see you next time!” Mark said.
I finally realized that my favorite band wasn’t going anywhere. by AJ Barbosa.