Blink-182, Emily’s Army, The Wiltern, November 11, 2013
Emily’s Army, a new and upcoming punk band from Oakland, California is on a path of greatness if they keep going the way they are headed. I was honestly shocked at the energy emitted from the 4 kids on stage. Consisting of Cole Becker on Vocals/Guitar with Travis Neuman also playing Guitar, Max Becker on Bass and Joey Armstrong on Drums, they are a group of kids that are here to keep the punk scene alive. Starting off with a very energetic Part Time Burn, the fast paced acceleration of their music never stopped until the last note they played. What I really enjoyed is the fact that they are all friends and the chemistry on stage was evident as they all smiled at each other during their entire set. The diversity of their music will never become old and the classic punk rock/garage band style, that is the backbone of the music scene, is also very prominent in the music. I really enjoyed the performance and I am very excited to see where these dudes go.
Everyone has heard of Blink-182. Nobody can resist singing their songs when they come on the radio. I know I can’t. Well, Mark, Travis and Tom have reached a milestone that many bands don’t even stay around long enough to come close to. After years of touring, albums and a small break, in 2003 a new side of Blink-182 was released by the name of, well, there is no name. Which adds to how special the album is. Often referred to as “The Untitled Album,” it has been 10 years since the release. To celebrate, the band did a number of shows in Southern California to celebrate. and they would be playing the famous album in its entirety.
When I arrived at The Wiltern for the first night of the shows, the line was like nothing I’ve ever seen. It literally wrapped around an entire block. Entering the venue the vibe of the place was electrifying. Right when everyone’s anticipation was about to go overboard the lights went off and a huge backdrop with the “untitled” album cover dropped behind the stage. The crowed erupted when the band came on stage and dove into what would be an unforgettable night. Going right into the first track “Feeling This” the audience was screaming so loud the band had a run for its money in the loudness factor. Of course since the album was being played in full we got to hear favorites such as “I Miss You”, “Always”, and “Down” while also hearing the entire album.
Drummer Travis Barker also got a drum solo that showed his skills in full. I’ve grown to respect this band because no matter what has happened in the past they come together to give the fans what they want, and from what it looks like, enjoy the hell out of every second of it. Constant smiles from Mark (bass) as the songs were being played. I go to a lot of shows but this one was different. After the “untitled” album was played completely, we got a very special treat when they came out and played 5 more of their greatest hits from other albums starting off with “Not Now” and playing my personal favorite song “Going Away to College”. From what Mark said, they hadn’t played that song in years so to me it was a very big deal.
Ending with probably their greatest hits “Dammit” and the comedic “Family Reunion” the band walked off stage with grins on their faces like nothing I’ve seen before. However, Mark stayed on stage and just kind of watched everyone while his bass was sitting on the amp still ringing. He put his bass back on and started pumping up the crowd while talking in a classic announcer voice “AREEE YOU READDYYYY FOR THE GRAND FINALEEE!!” After the top was about to blow off of the Wiltern he stood in the middle of the stage and strummed his Bass while holding up the legendary rock horns! This made for a very comedic end to the unforgettable acts that had just taken place. I’ve been jamming Blink-182 non-stop since the show and I cannot wait to see them again. I’ll definitely be there and you would be a fool not to be there yourself!
(Review and Photos by Edward Brandon)
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