Reading Festival: Blink 182

A wonderful weekend ends on an unexpected low note...

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With arguably one of, if not the best back catalogues of hits of any band playing this weekend, and thousands of people here to see them it would be very difficult for Blink 182 to mess up their headline set closing Reading 2014. However mess it up is very much what they do.

While Mark Hoppus delivers everything you’d hope and Travis Barker remains ridiculously talented, making every drummer in attendance green with envy, unfortunately it is all let down by Tom DeLonge. He looks out of it for the duration of their set, which results in his guitar playing being shoddy, while his vocals are both dire and bizarre. DeLonge even jokingly references his poor performance at one point, and while some might giggle at the band’s crude humour, there is nothing funny about DeLonge’s dreadful embarrassments, especially when you consider people are paying upwards of £200 to be here.

There are a few glimmers of hope in an otherwise awful set. Songs where Hoppus takes the lead and minimises the damage such as Man Overboard and Dammit offer some joy, while the crowd themselves drown out DeLonge’s vocals on All The Small Things. In a world where the same old headliners get booked year in, year out, a band like Blink 182 being recognised as a headline worthy band is a great thing, but it’s such a terrible waste when the songs we grew up loving are delivered to us at such a second rate standard. Not only is this terrible showing a disgrace to the band’s legacy, but also a slap in the face for all the fans who deserve a much better close to their weekend.