Mark Hoppus of blink-182
Mark Hoppus of blink-182

It’s nights like Tuesday night at The Satellite in Silver Lake that top the list of reasons that I love Los Angeles.

Having just returned from two weeks in the South for Shaky Knees and Hangout Fest – also spending a night in the Charlotte airport when a delay caused me to miss my connecting flight to LAX – I was pretty wore out. I got an e-mail from Sandy, our fearless leader at Grimy Goods that Mark Hoppus of blink-182 would be performing a surprise set with Whitmer Thomas and Jonah Ray of Power Violence – calling themselves Snake Plisskin and the I Thought You Were Deads — and if I would like to go. I decided sleep could wait.

The show kicked off with some comedy – first from the Power Violence trio, then later hilarious stand-up sets from Pete Holmes, Kyle Kinane, and Kate Berlant. If you grew up a blink-182 fan, most of the humor in the stand-up sets lined up pretty nicely with the humor that pops up on the band’s live album The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show in between songs.

Mark Hoppus, Jonah Ray, Whitmer Thomas
Mark Hoppus, Jonah Ray, Whitmer Thomas

When Thomas and Ray came back onto the stage, they asked if anyone in the crowd could come help out musically. It was at this point Hoppus emerged from the back of the crowd, grabbed a bass from the back room, and joined them on stage. The tables that were setup for the comedy were quickly moved out of the way so people could get closer.

In middle school, blink-182 was one of my favorite bands. I didn’t get to see my first concert until high school, and growing up on an allowance that broke down to being paid my age per month ($15 a month at 15 years old, etc), I could never really afford to go to shows. Alas, I missed out on seeing blink-182 live during their prime years.

On Tuesday, the eighth-grade version of myself came to the forefront. The set kicked off with some cover songs – The Vaselines’ “Molly’s Lips” (more famously done by Nirvana), Ramones deep cut “Pet Semetery” among them.

Whitmer Thomas
Whitmer Thomas

It was then that Hoppus discussed how he came to be friends with Whitmer Thomas – after being directed to a video of Thomas’ stand-up where he pokes fun at blink-182’s singing on “I Miss You.” Then, Hoppus (bass), Thomas (guitar), and Ray (drums) tore into the blink-182 classic. When it came time for recently disposed blink-182 member Tom DeLonge’s memorable verse, Thomas did an epic job recreating the unique vocals.

Ali Koehler of Upset joined the band on-stage for the vocals to “Dammit,” the song that first made me aware of blink-182 all the way back in the ’90s teen classic Can’t Hardly Wait. I got goosebumps as a mosh broke out and I looked around, realizing that a lot of the people around me probably had similar nostalgia for the days that this band was on top of the world, when they opened the floodgates for pop-punk to become as mainstream as it did. What made the experience even more memorable was being there with a friend who I’ve known since middle school.

Ali Koehler of UPSET
Ali Koehler of UPSET

As I got home, I found that old blink-182 live album on my computer that I listened to over and over when it first came out. Memories from those all those years ago came flooding back. There will always be bands and songs that you will link to certain times in your life, and blink-182 is one of those for me.

With the news this year that DeLonge is out of the band, I may never get to see the original lineup live and in person. But on Tuesday, I was thankful that The Satellite, Hoppus, and Los Angeles allowed me to get a little taste.

Words: Mark E. Ortega

Photography: Will Tee Yang

mark hoppus

Jonah Ray

mark hopes

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