Blink-182, Bad Religion, Fenix TX, Frank Erwin Center, May 16
Blink-182, Bad Religion, Fenix TX
Frank Erwin Center, May 16 What's my age again? In calendar years, it's exactly between Blink guitarist Tom DeLonge (23) and bassist Mark Hoppus (27), and none of us are in a big hurry to grow up. "Do you guys ever touch your weiner a lot?" Hoppus asked by way of introducing "Voyeur," which appropriately contained a lengthy solo from drummer Travis Barker. "You may touch my balls, man, but you're not my dad," DeLonge countered a few songs later. Yes, they may write songs called "Dick Lips," "Shit Piss," and "Blowjob," but still they came across as ... wholesome. Good boys. It could have been the Fifties aura of their drive-in-and-Cadillacs stage set, or perhaps DeLonge's wide-eyed glee at catching a fan's brassiere, but it was probably the songs: jet-engine blasts of adolescent heartache/bliss with more hooks than an East Texas tackle shop. True, they didn't date back much before the Offspring, NOFX, or Green Day, but neither did the delirious throng of pubescent Austinites screaming themselves hoarse as the trio tore through its bristling 1999 ear-candy notebook Enema of the State: "Dumpweed," "Don't Leave Me," "Aliens Exist," "Going Off to College," "Mutt," and the chart-conquering ode to ADD, prank calls, and general immaturity, "What's My Age Again?" Hoppus knew these kids can't live without their radios, crooning a few bars of Christina Aguilera's "Genie in a Bottle" before Blink's 1997 name-maker "Dammit" and the brilliant chainsaw riffs and Hallmark sentiments of finale "All the Small Things." Middle band Bad Religion likewise played to the audience, with singer Greg Graffin dressed as a Scoutmaster and a set list of Nineties radio successes "21st Century Digital Boy" and "Infected" spliced around material from their just-released The New America. The agit-punk veterans' stridently political lyrics could have been a bit much for the WB/Skechers set, but were inaudible in the band's muscular backwash of drums and guitar. Not so for openers Fenix TX, brazenly puerile and perfectly 'N Sync with the crowd. Capped by their magnificent fit in G major, "All My Fault," the Houstonians' program consisted of, in their own words, "a fuckin' metal song," "a song about having sex with two people at the same time," "a song about how much money we're making on this tour," and "a song about smoking marijuana until you fuckin' can't remember your own name." God, it's great to be young.
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