Imagine if groups of junior high school boys decided to have punk rock bands. If your brain can muster such an image, than you've gotten a glimse of Monday night's Blink-182 and Less Than Jake double-header. "I'm a vagina, nice to meet you. Glad to have your support," Blink-182 pronounced loudly on stage. By the end of the night it wasn't about music, but who was more obnoxious.
"San Diego sucks? Have you seen where you guys live?" Blink-182 responded to a very anxious Oberlin audience, more than ready to get the show on the road.
The band represents the safer side of punk: relatively clean-cut looking boys who even pose for pictures. They gave pop-punk everything it should have: quick guitar, even quicker one-two drum beats and whiny vocals. There were songs about girls, masturbation and even jokes about semen.
As a matter of fact, Blink-182 is the largest patron of fooling around instead of playing a song, and they admitted it Monday night. "We're sick of playing songs, we just wanna hang out," stated guitarist Tom Delonge.
Verses of an improvisational hillbilly song with lyrics like "Take off your pants sister. I'm gonna take my weiner and pop your ten foot blister," popped up everywhere toward the end of the set. It seemed that Blink-182 didn't want to say goodbye. And by the time another diversion came in the middle of "Dynamo," causing a two minute comedy break, it had lost its charm. At least it was their second-to-last song.
Luckily, poppy ska-punk heroes Less Than Jake cleaned up the mess of their predecessors. Complete with two trombones and a saxophone, Less Than Jake used their happy ska appeal to get everyone in the audience a-skankin' immediately into their first song.
Many of you may remember them from this summer's dull comedy, Good Burger. But don't judge them as Nickelodeon soundtrack material. Their stage presence redeems the music with pure energy. They were equipped to give Oberlin students what they wanted most: a chance to skank on a Monday night.
But the boys still needed their fun. A Warrant cover, a Guns N' Roses guitar riff, and a young woman on the bar kept a gap between songs that lagged as the clock headed towards one a.m. Surprisingly few people minded the wait and had plenty of energy left to yell along during Less Than Jake's last song, "Jen Doesn't Like Me Anymore."
It seems as if a good punk show is usually worth the wait. And maybe mediocre ones deserve tolerance. And, if the 'Sco-goer decides to be really generous, Blink-182 and Less Than Jake can have it.
Copyright © 1997, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 126, Number 5, October 3, 1997
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