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Honda Civic Tour

Blink 182, My Chemical Romance and Matt & Kim

Cruzan Amphitheatre

West Palm Beach, FL

September 23, 2011

While driving to the Cruzan Amphitheatre is always the most daunting of tasks, Friday’s trek to the bowels of West Palm Beach was not as wholly unpleasant as it usually is. The journey began like all concert pilgrimages, jamming to the artists that are about to be worshiped, cooped up in a car too small for its occupants, anticipation of the night’s festivities, and of course people watching. Two hours and a gas station sandwich later I had arrived.

The line-up for the concert had drawn a healthy mix of show-goers, from ill-informed teeny boppers guilty of the cardinal sin of concerts (wearing the t-shirt of the band you’re going to see) to a very interesting geriatric gentleman who donned (from head to toe) questionable apparel supporting Lady Gaga, and all manner of people in between.

First up on the show bill was indie power-pop duo Matt & Kim. When I found out that they were playing the show, the $20 price tag for a ticket seemed a mere pittance. They performed a mix of songs from all three of their full-length albums, really engaging the crowd and kicking the party off in a big way. Although the undercard act, there were some (like myself) who were genuinely excited for them, and Matt & Kim did not disappoint. Their set was full of life and energy, their song choices were spot on (including their breakout hit “Daylight”), their sound was excellent (a special thanks to the sound tech at the venue), and it didn’t hurt that Kim is very easy on the eyes. All in all, this was shaping up to be a well spent 20 bucks.

I chose my vantage point carefully as waves of anticipation and nostalgia enveloped me like a warm blanket. The sea of 20,000 screaming fans became a tidal wave of cheers as Blink took the stage.

Next up was My Chemical Romance. While I’m not traditionally a fan of this band, call it prejudice or elitism or just not digging the sound, I must admit I had a better time than I thought I would. They played a jumble of songs from across their five full length albums including such crowd pleasers as “I’m Not Okay,” “I Don’t Love You,” and “Welcome to the Black Parade.” And while I’ve always seen them as being the height of mediocrity, I must admit their stellar performance has swayed me somewhat and I must award credit where credit is due. Good song selection, good sound, and a fantastic seizure-inducing light show came together seamlessly in what was a pleasantly surprising 50 minutes.

Finally the time had come for Blink 182, I chose my vantage point carefully as waves of anticipation and nostalgia enveloped me like a warm blanket. The sea of 20,000 screaming fans became a tidal wave of cheers as Blink took the stage. While I was hoping for a set that included only their older stuff, I made my peace with their mixed song choices from all of their albums. Playing crowd favorites such as “Rock Show,” “Anthem,” “What’s My Age Again?,” and my personal favorite “Carousel” they exhibited why they are still relevant after almost 20 years. The show climaxed after a faux finish and a traditional announced encore, with drummer Travis Barker being suspended above the crowd on a moving platform showing off his technical skills. Finally in typical Blink 182 fashion they closed their set with the Dude Ranch classic “Dammit,” as confetti exploded into the air and the crowd cheered in a fashion rivaled only by an erupting volcano. Simply put, they brought the house down.

Review by Zach Westall
Photos and Video courtesy Right On PR

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