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All The Deep Cuts: 10 Lost Classics That Blink-182 NEED to Play Live

Tuesday, 29 August 2023 Written by Simon Ramsay

Short of trolling their audience for larks, pop-punk legends Blink-182 will always play those monster anthems every time they hit the live stage, so strap in for The Rock Show, First Date, All the Small Things, What’s My Age Again? and Dammit when they land in the UK next month. But, because we want more, obviously, we’d also love the reunited classic line-up of Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker to dive into their impressive back catalogue and freshen up the band’s set list with these 10 rarely performed treasures. 

Online Songs (Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, 2001)

If you search every last crevice of the internet looking for unheralded Blink bangers fans desperately want to hear live, Online Songs always features prominently. We can definitely understand the clamour to hear this Barker-propelled account of jealousy in the social media age. Boasting a peppy chorus and sublimely catchy, equally cruel ‘na-na-na’ outro, Mark cheekily described it as being “about Tom and how he hates it when girls break his heart.” That, folks, is Blink-182 in a nutshell.

Emo (Dude Ranch, 1997)

One of the band’s most underappreciated and misunderstood offerings, seeing as it was perhaps too early to parody the titular genre in the way some have claimed, depending on who you believe this cut has either never been played live or was regularly bashed out during those halcyon mid-90s, pre-cell phone days. Regardless, Tom and Mark’s harmonic interplay kills, the tension ramping intensity half way through slays and the pair’s vocal volleyball match enthrals. 

Sometimes (Cheshire Cat, 1995)

This blisteringly brief onslaught of scrappy angst epitomises everything about the earlier, punkier Blink-182. Bashed out at a breathless tempo and featuring DeLonge’s super-cool layering of slinky guitar lines atop crunching buzzsaw rhythms, there’s zero messing as Hoppus bemoans another head-spinning relationship meltdown.

Kaleidoscope (Neighborhoods, 2011)

You know how someone or something always becomes exponentially more attractive when it’s labelled with a big fat ‘no chance?’ The strongest cut on 2011’s marmite ‘Neighborhoods’, thanks to choppy Queens of the Stone Age riffing and cleverly drawn existential angst about America’s pandemic of ageing slackers, Mark recently revealed that, although he loves it, Blink-182 will never perform Kaleidoscope live. Which only makes us want to hear it more, right? 

When I Was Young (Dogs Eating Dogs EP, 2012)

Knowing they’d perhaps fumbled the ball on ‘Neighborhoods’, Blink headed straight back into the studio and, with focus restored, bashed out a cracking EP that appeared to herald a bright new dawn. Never played live, When I Was Young represents a sonic evolution that’s basically classic Blink-182 sporting sweet new gear. Revisiting disproportionate youthful melodrama with bittersweet perspective, it’s a tragedy DeLonge exited before they could fashion a whole album in this vein. 

TV (Buddha and Cheshire Cat, 1993)

A sub two minute onslaught of scrappy lo-fi punk abandon, this satirical shitkicker feels more resonant than ever than in today’s streaming service utopia/dystopia. Perfectly encapsulating the vapidity of both couch potato culture and inane, manipulative content, lines like “I can’t even come up with my own views, I’m taught how to think from the evening news” remain on point.

Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over (Take Off Your Pants and Jacket Bonus Track, 2001)

After ‘Enema of the State’ turned our beloved underdogs into goofy MTV superheroes, the trio were clearly on a roll. Bashing out far too many great songs for a single album, tracks like this DeLonge-fronted colossus were somewhat buried in the deluxe edition dust of ‘Take Off Your Pants and Jacket’. An irrepressible party of glossy hooks and sneering attitude, courtesy of producer Jerry Finn’s mastery of great tone, Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over is basically the smash hit that got away. 

Apple Shampoo (Dude Ranch, 1997)

Only played twice this millennium, Apple Shampoo is a battering ram of punk-fuelled catharsis from the connoisseur's favourite Blink record. Unleashing a poignant account of a breakup, Scott Raynor’s jet-propelled, hammering beats drive its rapid-fire blend of garage band furiosity and empathetic pop smarts as Tom and Mark’s aching harmonies bleed from the emotional turmoil. 

Fentoozler (Buddha and Cheshire Cat, 1995)

Criminally ignored since 1996, there’s more than a whiff of early Green Day about this snarky little kiss off. Mark’s brutally familiar tale of despising someone you’re intertwined with sounds as deceptively happy as any of Blink’s most scorned numbers. Hell, it even features an actual guitar solo we’d love to hear DeLonge bash out live.

Alone (Flyswatter demo, 1993)

Taken from Blink’s first super-lo-fi demo, which was recorded in Raynor’s bedroom, this potentially dynamic beast is itching for revivification and a little refinement. DeLonge’s booming mid-tempo riff is a drop-tuned step away from Metallica’s Black album while the “don’t talk to me, don’t notice me” chorus could, given the right harmony-enhanced treatment, absolutely soar.

Blink-182 Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri September 01 2023 - GLASGOW OVO Hydro
Sat September 02 2023 - GLASGOW OVO Hydro
Mon September 04 2023 - BELFAST SSE Arena Belfast
Tue September 05 2023 - DUBLIN 3Arena
Wed October 11 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Thu October 12 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Sat October 14 2023 - BIRMINGHAM Utilita Arena
Sun October 15 2023 - MANCHESTER AO Arena
Mon October 16 2023 - MANCHESTER AO Arena

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