DON'T BLINK, PAY UP
While blink-182's Wednesday concert at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre sold out in one week, tardy fans without tickets might still be able to get in — if they're willing to pay enough.
One seller on the Web site craigslist.com was offering three third row center tickets for the show for $150 each (a markup of $243 over the three tickets' original combined face value) late last week, while another craigslist seller was asking $50 each for two $20 lawn tickets.
But those are bargains compared to the $282 for an eighth row seat offered on ticketsocial.com or the $640 for a pair of fifth row seats on StubHub.com .
Still, you may have better luck if you wait. The closer it gets to a concert date, even a sold-out one, the more likely it is that prices might fall.
blink-182, with Weezer, Taking Back Sunday and Asher Roth
When: Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre, Chula Vista
Tickets: Sold out
Phone: (800) 745-3000
LOS ANGELES — Humility doesn't come easily, or often, for many rock stars, especially when they're soaring high in one of the biggest bands in the world.
But for the three members of blink-182, who split up under bitter circumstances in 2005 and reunited early this year, turning away from their collective stardom turned out to be a very good thing indeed.
“I found a lot of good in the split,” said blink singer-guitarist Tom DeLonge, 33, a Poway native. “It was a great thing for people to become humble again, myself first and foremost, and kind of have everything stripped (away) from you. I guess that's superficial — the fame and all that kind of stuff — when it comes to life, so it was very grounding not to have it (after blink broke up).”
Seated at a table next to DeLonge after a Fuel TV taping at a Los Angeles soundstage, bassist-singer Mark Hoppus nodded in agreement.
“I definitely feel the split allowed each of us to grow individually, then come back together and really be able to enjoy what we do, playing music and touring and having fun,” Hoppus, 36, said.
“And it's really incredible and humbling that so many people want to come to the shows, given that so few bands have an opportunity to even have success in the first place. So, for us to go through a very acrimonious breakdown and come together four years later and have this tour sell as well as it is selling now is beyond a blessing.”
But the biggest blessing is that blink's third member, Fontana native Travis Barker, is even alive, let alone drumming up a storm again with the band. Blink performs a sold-out show Wednesday at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, the group's first area gig since 2004.
Barker, 33, was one of only two survivors in a South Carolina plane crash last fall that killed the pilot, co-pilot and two other passengers. The only other survivor, Barker's musical partner DJ AM, was found dead in a New York apartment on Aug. 28. (No official cause of death for AM — real name: Adam Goldstein — has been determined, but he had reportedly ingested eight pain pills).
Barker suffered second- and third-degree burns from his feet to his waist and on both hands. His near-death experience brought blink's members back together and provided the impetus for them to settle their past differences.
“I like to think this is something positive (coming) out of something very tragic,” DeLonge said. “The fact that the three of us can get together, for whatever the reason, means a lot to a lot of people, especially ourselves. It's always good to mend those broken fences.”
DeLonge grinned. “Is that a real saying?” he asked.
“I don't know,” Hoppus replied. “I think it's something about socks. Let's darn the socks.”
A penchant for silliness has long been a blink trademark. Ditto the band's frequently scatological stage patter at its concerts. In person, the trio's members are notably more introspective, in particular the soft-spoken Barker, who prefers to let his bandmates talk to the media.
“Everything, absolutely everything, means more to me now,” the lanky drummer said in a separate interview after blink's Fuel TV performance.
“It drove me crazy not being able to drum. After I recovered, I was able to drum, then I had more surgeries. I had about 12 weeks off until I was back at it again. Playing the drums is my favorite place to be.”
With a healthy Barker back in the swing of things, Hoppus and DeLonge are as energized by blink's return as the drummer. The trio's 2005 breakup, all now agree, was the result of personal and creative tensions coming to a head.
“Our biggest differences at the time were just (about) communication and about what we needed in our personal lives,” said DeLonge, a married father of two young kids. “So, it wasn't so difficult once we got back together. Once the music is being created, it seems like it's a pretty easy, fluid thing.”
“I feel the same way,” Hoppus, a married father of a young son, said.
“Our greatest strength is in the push and pull the three of us bring to the music for an idea that one of us has. If Tom comes up with an idea and then I work on it and Travis works on it, there's something the three of us bring to the table that each of us, individually, might not think of.
“The combination of the three is greater than the sum of its parts — when you mend the fence and darn the socks.”
Hoppus grew a bit more serious as he recalled getting back together for two heart-to-heart talks with Barker and DeLonge following the plane crash.
“There really wasn't a lot of rehashing of the past at all,” Hoppus said. “Once we started hanging out again, I mean, we're dudes, so we kind of like ”
“Sweep it under the rug ” DeLonge interjected.
“And pretend it never happened,” Hoppus concluded.
For blink's ongoing tour, there will be at least some audible musical ingredients occurring under the rug, the better to beef up the band's live sound and add dimension and texture.
“There will be lots of different (electronic) triggering mechanisms on stage,” Hoppus said. “I guess the way we're approaching it is like every other big band does. Like in U2, if Edge is playing guitar, he can't play the synth part, unless he triggers it.”
Might a greater reliance on technology hamper blink's ability to veer off on a tangent, musical or spoken, at a moment's notice in concert?
“The technology is amazing, but it doesn't have to be an exact science,” DeLonge said. “It's very interactive and it allows us to have those dynamics and (high) fidelity. So, if we choose to stop a song and go into a rant where Mark or I do something nutty, we can. At the end of the day, people want to escape, especially with our band. We're hoping this whole thing will be like a revival of our youth.
“But I just don't know if I agree with how Mark wants to do an interpretive dance in the nude, because I don't think that's the way to really engage the audience.”
Without a blink, Hoppus was ready with a comeback: “I agree that the nude part is absolutely inappropriate,” he said. “But the interpretive dances I have are going to blow people's minds.” ****NAD BUG