The Beatles were fine and all, but every generation deserves its own band. Nine times out of 10, that group will come from the most formative years of your life–high school. For all of us in our 20s and 30s, that band is Blink-182. Quite honestly, the band’s longevity is amazing (hiatuses aside). Hell, even as their tattoos fade and their livers begin to weaken, they’re still cranking out music that makes everyone turn up the radio. As a litmus test, just put on “All The Small Things” at the next party you’re at and if every single person in that place doesn’t instantaneously synchronize with Tom DeLonge’s angelic voice, I’ll personally buy you drinks for life.
What has really made the group so popular for so long is that almost every single song they’ve ever churned out is attached to the minds and hearts of each and every one of their listeners–usually from an important part of life. Full disclosure: I still play “First Date” almost every single time I’m driving to pick up a girl, and I know you all do, too. Between all of their other quintessential party songs, like “Dammit” and “Feeling This,” you can’t go to a party or a bar in the new millennium without at least a couple of the band’s greatest songs coming on. And that’s why we all love them; they got you through the toughest four years known to mankind, and they sure as hell are going to get you through the next fifty, give or take a few.
First Dates: I mentioned it before, but the song “First Date” is so great it still deserves its own spiel. The guys hit the nail right on the head with this one, accurately describing essentially every single thought that goes through your mind on a first date, from the inability to pick out an outfit to the mind-numbing anxiety over that first attempt at a kiss–which (as they point out) will almost assuredly end up poorly. They say hope springs eternal though, and this song is probably the leading reason as to why you still get excited at the prospect of a date.
Love: You definitely played “The Rock Show” somewhere between one and two thousand times after your first date. The lyrics are probably a perfect example of your pre-college pickup line game. I don’t know if it’s more so the fast-paced and upbeat sound or the spot-on linguistics that perfectly represent that whirlwind few weeks or so, but what I do know is that everyone played it on loop after someone uttered those three little words.
Every Dumb Thing You’ve Ever Done: Remember that time you and your friends thought it would be funny to steal slurpees from the local 7/11? Remember when you ordered your cap and gown and immediately proceeded to freak out that you were “growing up too fast”? That’s when you immediately put on “What’s My Age Again,” realized age is really just a number, and then proceeded to sneak onto the football field at 2 a.m. with some beers and friends.
Breakups: Roughly 90 percent of the band’s songs could probably apply to this category, but the most notable is definitely “I Miss You.” Of course, I’m assuming this was probably your first major breakup. Chances are it was by the significant other you had dated since last semester (your soulmate) and it left you in a crippling state of despair. Seriously, Shakespeare couldn’t understand your pain, never mind your 16-year-old friends. “Always” most definitely also falls into this category. Let’s be honest–we’ve all looped the two together during a good mental breakdown or two.
Going Away To College: In the end, those four years led to the one day you had been looking forward to for nearly half a decade: graduation. The funny thing is that as soon as the idea of leaving your hometown became a reality, you panicked more than Ray Rice in an Atlantic City elevator. Insert “Going Away To College.” If you didn’t have every single word memorized by the second week of your senior year summer, you must not have lived on this planet.
And so ends the journey down Nostalgia Lane. From first loves to saying goodbye to friends and everything in between, Blink-182 will always have you covered. There are obviously countless other classics to choose from and they all mean something different and special to each and every one of their listeners. Some listen fondly upon “Josie,” while others still lose their proverbial minds every time “Not Now” comes on. Blink’s songs, like their messages, are classic. Tom, Mark, and Travis, we salute you. Not just for the music you have made, but for the memories they will always be linked to.