Blink-182 / Fall Out Boy / All-American Rejects Saddle Dome, Calgary, AB July 30

Blink-182 / Fall Out Boy / All-American Rejects Saddle Dome, Calgary, AB July 30
From the trailer park to the tanning salon, a collective cry of joy was heard when Blink-182 announced their reunion at last year's Grammy's. The band, who imploded during their last world tour, soon announced a 52-date jaunt across North America, complete with a star-studded supporting cast.

The show opened with radio-friendly power-poppers the All-American Rejects, but whatever sweetness their catchy radio singles possess was made a little creepy by their singer's overt rock-star posturing. In many ways, it was like watching Mick Jagger perform for a junior-high pep rally.

Fall Out Boy were next, and fell utterly flat. Live, they sounded like a muddy cassette tape, with only Patrick Stump's bleating voice rising above the muck. The whole thing was made more embarrassing by Pete Wentz's faux-humility, delivering lines like "We were really nervous to play for you guys," and "Some of you probably don't know who we are." Whatever, Mr. Ashlee Simpson.

To most of the world, Blink-182 play neutered pop punk, with a wealth of dick jokes but no real balls. But if you grew up with the band, you know that gives them four bar chords and some retarded lyrics, but also some pop-song gold.

And in their reformed state, the band unleashed hits from their entire catalogue, including stand outs from Buddha and Dude Ranch. Guitarist Tom DeLonge has seemingly retired the embarrassing "artist" persona he developed during Angels and Airwaves, instead reverted back to the unbelievably childish banter that was once his calling card. It made for a mix of so-bad-it's-good and just straight-up good, which kept faces grinning from start to finish.

The encore involved Blink's Travis Barker performing a solo on a flying drum kit before a mini-set that closed the night with a confetti-aided version of "Dammit." Yes, if you're too cool, Blink-182 is low-brow pop music played by juvenile adults cashing in on teen angst. But if you choose to swallow your pride, it's easy to get lost in the fun. After all, who doesn't want to be a teenager forever?