I will be the first to admit that when the tour was announced combining pop-punk founders Blink-182 with hip hop leader Lil Wayne, I didn’t get it. I know I was not the only one. What did these two pillars of their genres have in common? Why are they planning on sharing a stage?
Then there was Bristow, Virginia. Lil Wayne said it “might be his last night” but changed his mind by the morning. Fans were more dubious.
A week later fans braved 100+ degree heat indexes to fill Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. As we gave a middle finger to Mother Nature, we saw why the lineup made total sense.
UK’s Neck Deep ignited the crowd with its brand of neu-pop punk. This is a band that cut its teeth on Warped Tour in years past, so the heat was no problem. The band played its new song “She’s a God” as well as fan-favorite “In Bloom” among others.
Lil Wayne played eleven songs and it became clear why he is on this lineup: Wayne is a rockstar through and through, as well as a bit of a punk. He enjoyed a blunt on-stage and rocked out with the help of a full band through “6 Foot 7 Foot,” “Lollipop,” and “Can’t Be Broken” before finishing with “Go DJ.” Lil Wayne has the flash, swagger, and style that excited the crowd as the sun went down.
The sky exploded with lightning as Blink-182 took the stage. A quick shower damped the crowd on the lawn, but not spirits (neither did the threat of a severe storm later). The band started with “Dumpweed” as it played through Enema of the State. Later bassist Mark Hoppus announced, “This one’s for Tom” as the band slid into “Aliens Exist;” as they did, green, blue, and purple inflatable aliens crowd-surfed over the audience in the pit. The band appeased fans’ lust for the hits with “What’s My Age Again?” and “Adam’s Song,” before Hoppus and guitarist Matt Skiba jumped into the crowd for “Down” and “Wasting Time.” Drummer Travis Barker was not to be missed–it helped that he was positioned at the center, equidistant to Barker and Skiba on stage. Barker’s drum solo stunned before the trio wrapped with “First Date” and “Damnit.”
All in all the show was a sweaty punk rock spectacle from start to finish–more artists and bands should consider making the leap, joining forces, and rocking out.