The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show- Blink-182

File:Blink-182 - The Mark, Tom and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!) cover.jpg

Release Year: 2000

Rating: 8.5/10

Though live albums are supposed to provide listeners with a concert experience, most of them are only good for completing a collection. Luckily, that’s not the case with Blink-182. This release has a solid setlist that pulls songs from their first three albums and of course, they sound better than the record. But what makes this live release stand out from the others is it includes the stage banter and jokes from the guys. Though nothing beats seeing the band in person, the mini conversations they have between shows almost makes you feel like you’re right there with them.

Part of what makes the album so good is the setlist itself. There isn’t a single song you want to skip. It includes some of their biggest hits like, “All the Small Things” and “What’s My Age Again?” but it also has their best tracks from the previous albums. Seeing as how this came out after Enema of the State, it actually does a good job of pulling songs from their previous albums, with the oldest song on the setlist being “Peggy Sue.” This is really a treat for Blink fans since it’s not always performed live. It also has “Pathetic,” “Voyeur,” and “Dammit” from their second album Dude Ranch. Though each song is great to hear live, there are some that stand out from the others.

One of my favorite tracks is “Family Reunion.” It’s short, simple, and classic Blink-182. For any fan that doesn’t know the song is nothing but “Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits, fart, turd, and twat” repeated over and over. In other words, it’s something you don’t play around your family. Still, it’s one of their funniest and oddly catchy songs in their catalog. Another highlight is “Carousel.” This is one song the guys often perform live and they always do it well. Something about hearing that opening bass line makes you go wild with excitement. They also have so much energy when performing that’s it hard not to get into it. “Alien’s Exist” is another favorite only because the song ends with Mark singing “Tom has sex with guys,” which is how I always end the song no matter what version is playing.

What really makes this live album great are the in between song jokes. Most of the time stage banter comes off really awkward on live recordings, but here it perfectly displays Blink’s brand of humor. It also let’s first timers know just what to expect from one of their shows. Since the guys like potty jokes the best, a lot of the banter deals with who is gay, awkward sex, shouting “Boobies!” a lot, and rallying up the audience to say obscenities with them. Surprisingly, they make you laugh every time you hear them. Once the album ends, there are even more jokes that didn’t fit anywhere else. All them are less than a minute and while they’re still funny, they do get tiring after a while. Luckily, they’re each treated as their own tracks, so they’re really easy to skip. But it’s at least something you don’t mind hearing every once in a while.

Another treat for Blink fans is the inclusion of the single “Man Overboard” on the release. The song, said to be about original drummer Scott Raynor, was recorded for EOTS, but was never included. It finally finds a home here and it’s one of their best songs. It’s catchy, fast, loud, and a burst of energy. There’s something about Tom’s singing and the melodies here that are so perfect. It’s a classic Blink song all the way. Speaking of Tom’s singing, I can’t get enough of it here. He just sounds so good on every track. In no way is he a professional singer, but his punkish, bratty vocal style comes through best here. And though I still like Tom’s voice, I prefer his classic sound.

Overall, the album gets 8.5/10. Not only is this live release a great addition for your Blink collection, it’s one of the best live albums you could ask for. The band sounds awesome, the setlist has a bunch of fan favorites, plus their biggest hits, and the humorous stage banter completes the concert vibe. The album is so good, it makes you wonder why the guys haven’t released a live DVD (hopefully it’ll come in the future). This release shows how great Blink-182 are live. They may not be best live band out there, but they are surely one of the most entertaining.



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