Blink-182 and Lil Wayne An Effective Combo

I like the idea of blending music genres when it comes to stadium tours. It gives people the opportunity to discover music outside of their normal rotation and experiencing it live is the best introduction. This mash-up concept was a good fit this time around for blink-182 as they are out on tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of “Enema of the State” with Rap extraordinaire, Lil Wayne. The Punk Pop fixtures did perform their pivotal album in its entirety, but also have an upcoming release to support “Nine”, which is due out 9/20. The excitement behind both offerings seemed to fuel the band to a level of performance a notch higher than what I expected. The spotlight was clearly on drummer, Travis Barker who powered through the set with flash and enthusiasm. Mark Hoppus (bass) and Matt Skiba (guitar) sounded good on their shared vocal responsibilities and were both dialed into their roles.

The stage backdrop was creatively packed with blocks of speakers also functioning as light panels that projected a myriad of colors. They also cleverly mixed in a number of special effects including cryogenic smoke, flames, streamers, confetti and a bunch of inflatable extraterrestrials for the crowd to bat around during “Aliens Exist”.  St. Paul also got to be the lucky audience as the Xcel Energy Center was the chosen venue for a live filming of “I Really Wish I Hated You” for ESPN.

Although his set began with a pretty typical DJ warm-up, Lil Wayne did not just dial in his performance. He paused to let people know that he “ain’t shit without them”, which was nice to hear from an artist who has a little history of canceled shows in the Twin Cities. He had a good sized backing band who played their butts off and were entertaining to watch. Wayne himself had great energy and commanded the stage with attitude, smoking a good sized blunt for effect. He rapped with precision and was expert with his crowd interaction.

I was pleased to observe that there was no noticeable influx of people showing up late only to see blink-182 or leaving early after catching Lil Wayne – so in addition to great night of rock and rap, each of the artists probably welcomed a few new fans into their camps.

blink-182 set-list
Dumpweed
Don’t Leave Me
Aliens Exist
I Really Wish I Hated You
Going Away to College
What’s My Age Again
Dysentery Gary
Adam’s Song
All the Small Things
The Party Song
Mutt
Wendy Clear
Anthem
Acoustic Drum Break
Bored To Death
I Miss You
Darkside
First Date
Dammit

Review and photos by Patrick Dunn