NEPA Scene Staff

Blink-182 cancels Bethlehem show and fall tour due to Travis Barker’s medical issues

Blink-182 cancels Bethlehem show and fall tour due to Travis Barker’s medical issues
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From a press release:

California pop punk band Blink-182, featuring vocalist/guitarist Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio, announced today that they must cancel their fall mini tour, which included a stop at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center on Saturday, Sept. 22. Ticket refunds are available at the point of purchase.

Medical issues have sidelined drummer Travis Barker. Suffering from blood clots in both of his arms, the 42-year-old musician was ordered by his doctors to refrain from any activity that may cause further damage or cause the clots to travel. Barker’s medical team anticipated that he would be well enough by the fall to tour, but after recent checkups, they were not able to clear him in time for the scheduled run of dates, which were scheduled to kick off on Sept. 8 on their way to headline Riot Fest in Chicago.

The band was forced to postpone part of their Las Vegas residency back in June due to these issues. On July 13, Barker’s car was hit by a school bus, but thankfully no one was hurt in the crash. No children were on the bus at the time, and Barker was not at fault for the accident.

Barker says, “The past few months have just sucked, as I have been sidelined just waiting for my doctors to clear me so I could get back on the road and perform with my band. Unfortunately, the risks associated with drumming are still too great. I am doing everything I need to do so I can get back on the road as soon as possible. I want to thank my fans, family, friends and bandmates for all the love and support.”

Unfortunately, Blink-182 will also be canceling their Surf Ranch Pro appearance, a World Surf League event presented by Hurley that was also part of the tour. The event in Central California featuring the world’s best surfers will be held on Saturday, Sept. 8 with Southern California punk rock icons Social Distortion taking over as headliners.

Riot Fest will be replacing Blink-182 with Weezer, Run the Jewels, and Taking Back Sunday. They will be announcing their long-awaited final wave of artists this week. The band still plans to headline Riot Fest in 2019 in celebration of the festival’s 15th anniversary.

Since their humble beginnings 25 years ago when they started playing in a San Diego garage, Blink-182 has sold over 50 million albums worldwide and rocked audiences from Adelaide to Zurich, having become one of the defining rock bands of their generation. They combine high-energy dynamics with an artistic ambition that transcends any genre.

Now with Matt Skiba as singer and guitarist, the group has entered a new chapter. Skiba debuted with Blink-182 in March 2015 with a live performance at the MusInk Tattoo and Music Festival. “It was the best they’ve sounded in over a decade,” the OC Weekly raved about the band’s set.

Early in 2016, Skiba finally entered the studio with bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker. Although the band had written over 30 songs in the months before the sessions, once they started working with producer John Feldmann, they soon discarded all the old material.

“We hit the ground running so hard that we just kept writing and writing,” Hoppus says, “and suddenly we realized that we had written more than 20 new songs, and they were all really great.”

Blink-182 already racked up more than their fair share of platinum records and blockbuster singles, and their seventh studio album, “California,” continued that legacy when it debuted at No. 1 in the United States and, for the first time ever, in the United Kingdom. It was the group’s first domestic chart-topper in 15 years with hit singles “Bored to Death” and “She’s Out of Her Mind.”

“This is the next step for us – it’s not a stopgap and we’re not punching a clock,” Hoppus emphasizes. “We’re not just a greatest hits band, although we will play the hits. Blink is alive and well, and we’re excited about doing cool new stuff. It feels just like the old days, spending 14 or 16 hours in the studio until 2 o’clock in the morning, blasting the latest rough mix of a song as you drive home excited and exhausted, waking up and the band is the first thing you think of in the morning and then working all day on it. Every day in the studio has been a lot of fun.”

According to the New York Times, “No punk band of the 1990s has been more influential than Blink-182.”

The members of the band still have other projects: Hoppus produces, scores films, and also has “Hi My Name is Mark,” both a podcast and curated lifestyle clothing line/website. Barker is a member of the Transplants, proprietor of the Famous Stars and Straps clothing company, and the author of the bestselling autobiography “Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums Drums Drums.” Skiba remains the lead singer of Alkaline Trio, but when the three members of Blink-182 come together, they leave aside their other interests and collaborate fully.

“I’ve never joined a band before; I’ve started every band I’ve ever been in,” Skiba says. “It’s a crazy dream-come-true feeling, but it feels organic. I spend a lot of time pinching myself.”

“We had a great chemistry with Matt right away,” Barker adds. “We’ve been friends with Matt for the past 17 years, so it was a real natural fit for him to come on board.”

Blink-182 are boldly facing the future, and Hoppus sums up their partnership: “I love our band – I’ve loved every single step along the way. I’m glad that we’ve continued to write music that we love and that connects to people 20 years later, and that we still feel like we did when we were playing garages back in San Diego in 1994.”

See NEPA Scene’s review and photos of Blink-182 playing with A Day to Remember and All Time Low at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton back in 2016 here.