Blink-182 announced yesterday that they’re going to perform their 1999 LP Enema of the State straight through on their summer amphitheater tour with Lil Wayne. This may seem like a sweet gesture to their longtime fans and a great way to celebrate the albums 20th anniversary, but this tour was announced in early May and begins in just three weeks. A quick glance at Ticketmaster shows oceans of unsold tickets at many shows with seats even in the back of the pavilion going for over $100 in certain markets. In all likelihood, this move was designed to help move tickets that were probably priced a little too high to begin with.
Selling out sheds wasn’t an issue for Blink after Enema of the State exploded back in 1999. The success of “What’s My Age Again?,” “All the Small Things” and “Adam’s Song” introduced the group to a mass audience and suddenly they were a new Green Day for a slightly younger generation. In fact, they were so massive by 2002 that Green Day opened up for them on their summer tour. That would have been absolutely unimaginable just a few years earlier, though Green Day responded two years later with American Idiot and their days of opening up for anybody were over forever.
Here’s video of Blink-182 performing “What’s My Age Again?” at the Reading Festival in 2000. They were placed under Stereophonics, Placebo, Slipknot and Rage Against the Machine on the bill, but as you can see here they had the crowd going absolutely insane. When they came back 14 years later, they topped the bill. Nobody in the audience knew that night they were watching one of their last shows with Tom DeLonge.
One reason they’re probably struggling a bit to sell tickets on this tour is the absence of DeLonge, who left the band in 2015 and was replaced by Matt Sikba of the Alkaline Trio. DeLonge’s absence has allowed the band to tour and record with much greater freedom than than they had during his final years in the band, but it’s also meant not having one of their two lead singers on stage every night. For a certain segment of their fanbase, that’s a deal-breaker.
The good news for OG Blink fans is that DeLonge recently told Rolling Stone that he’s open for a reunion at some point in the future. “I think there will be a time, absolutely, that we play together,” he said. “We all love each other and care about each other.” In the meantime, two-thirds of the Enema of the State lineup are playing the album all over America and there are plenty of seats still left.