As the colossal black sheet cascades in an instant, pop punk heroes Blink 182 spring into ‘Feeling This’, followed seamlessly by ‘What’s My Age Again’ as the crowd erupt with excitement.
It is already clear that the closing set of Reading festival 2014 is going to be a real gem, but it is also clear that it’s not one to take your Nan to. With more expletives and genital synonyms than you can shake a stick at, the show is also an educational experience for festival-goers, learning words no one even knew existed until tonight.
Nostalgia hits ‘Rock Show’, ‘Miss You’, ‘Always’ and ‘First Date’ are met with the most enthusiasm- newer tracks are gratefully received all the while. It’s remarkable how well the band play; Travis Barker’s drums being the beating heart of the performance, pounding relentlessly through each song. Thomas DeLonge, ever the wordsmith, guffaws, “We like Reading festival. Leeds was fucking shit!” as the rest of the band chuckle in agreement.
The trio abruptly leave the stage, and after milking the encore for as long as possible, Blink 182 return and begin playing ‘Violence’ during which the word ‘FUCK’ burns in flames behind Barker accompanied by sporadic fireballs fromeither side of the kit. The night ends with ‘Dammit’, featuring the refrain “so this is growing up”, rather appropriately perhaps as no amount of titty jokes can hide the fact that this band are no spring chickens, they are hitting the middle age mark pretty fast. Not that this matters- the wonder of Blink 182 is that for ninety minutes, everyone is seventeen years old.