Nov. 9, 2002
Box Car Racer is Not Blink-182 Cover Band
By Randy J. Klodz
Box Car Racer took the Aragon stage Nov. 9 in front of a sold-out crowd and
made sure to demonstrate one thing: Though Box Car Racer is comprised of two-thirds
the punk-pop band Blink-182, these bands hold very little in common.
That’s right, Tom Delonge (guitar and vocals) and Travis Barker (drums)
front Box Car Racer (that’s Blink-182 sans bassist and vocalist Mark
Hoppus) while Anthony Celestino (bass) and David Kennedy (guitar)—also
a member of the punk outfit Over My Dead Body—complete the lineup.
Though half of Box Car Racer participates in the usual shenanigans of Blink-182,
only two songs played on Saturday night remotely resembled the usual flatulence-laced
jokes and short songs about teenage misadventures that Blink fans are used
to. The songs “My First Punk Song” and another new, yet untitled
song were the only songs that could be mistaken for Blink-182, complete with
fast guitars and gutter-mouth lyrics.
For the most part, Box Car Racer let the music do the talking. Gone was the
hilarious stage banter between Delonge and Hoppus. Before the hit single “I
Feel So,” the band had some equipment problems, during which Delonge
said to the crowd “I don’t need to hear myself, I just need to
hear you guys.”
Delonge was short on his crowd contact, but made sure to be his usual comedic
self when he did have something to say. Right before starting the mellow “Letters
to God,” Tom asked some happy members of the crowd “What, are
you guys dancing? I haven’t even started yet,” that left half
the Aragon crowd in a chuckle.
Box Car Racer played a tight set, comprised of all 13 tracks off the self-titled
debut in addition to the new, untitled track. On the album, the track “Cat
Like Thief” has guest vocals by Tim Armstrong, the front man for punk
band Rancid, and “Elevator” had Blink-182 cohort Mark Hoppus adding
his voice to the track. Obviously, Armstrong and Hoppus are not going to be
part of the Box Car Racer tour only to lend their voice to one track each,
so it was interesting to see how these tracks would be performed live.
Delonge simply took over all vocal duties, and made for a flawless transition
between guest vocals and live vocals. Other key songs that Box Car Racer played
include “Tiny Voices,” “There Is,” and “All
Systems Go” among others.
The show was opened by short sets by up-and-coming punk/pop bands Taking
Back Sunday and H20. Box Car Racer is scheduled to be a part of Q101’s
annual “Twisted Christmas” event, scheduled to take place on Dec.
15 at Allstate Arena. Box Car Racer will be supported by a cast of bands such
as Disturbed, Jimmy Eat World, 3 Doors Down and Moby, among others.