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blink-182 fans, get ready to love Boxcar Racer

Boxcar Racer, H2O, The Used

Crystal Ballroom

1332 W. Burnside


Nov. 18

7 p.m.

$20 general admission

All ages

A portrait of Tom DeLonge: the man, the myth, the musical mystery-o. The guitarist and part-time vocalist for the popular powder-punk band blink-182 leads his side band, Boxcar Racer. Monday at the Crystal Ballroom, Boxcar will surely delight all fans of blink, as Boxcar’s line-up contains two of the three members of blink-182. (Travis Barker, blink’s drummer, bangs away with the band while DeLonge writes the songs, and plays guitar and bass.)

Blink’s music historically follows repetitious patterns of basic hit-making riffs and juvenile lyrics, excepting songs dealing with adolescent pain reveled in throughout songs about suicide and divorced parents.

Boxcar Racer also features Dave Kennedy from the band Over My Dead Body playing rhythm guitar. Occasionally, Mark Hoppus lent vocals to the group for tracks on their album. DeLonge explains, “Mark is really supportive (of Box Car), and having his vocals on it means a lot to me.”

Ultimately, Boxcar is pretty much just blink-182 with Kennedy guest starring. If you like blink, you will most likely like Boxcar the exact same amount unless you are one of those girls dead gone for Hoppus and his pretty blue eyes.

DeLonge says, “This record is directly influenced by the bands that mean the most to me: Fugazi, Refused and, of course, blink-182. It’s a tribute to the music that made me want to be in a band in the first place.”

Citing a band DeLonge himself belongs to as an influence seems a bit arrogant, but undeniably, blink-182 is a hit machine.

The concept of a band doing a side project with the exact same members seems inane, but maybe they just feel like breaking the monotony of playing under the same name for years. Jerry Finn, producer of the last three blink-182 albums, is also producing Boxcar’s record. Nonetheless, Boxcar Racer is sure to be exactly what you expect.

H20 is opening the show for the pseudo-blink band. This New York City band is promoting its upcoming fifth full-length album, All We Want. According to their record label, MCA, H2O is one of NYC’s “premiere melodic hardcore punk acts.” For little over five years, they have been touring steadily, playing an average of 200 shows a year. They have opened for Pennywise, No Doubt, The Misfits and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. H2O has gained fans all over the world in the past half-decade.

Should you go see Boxcar Racer? If you would see blink-182 in concert and enjoy it, then yes, you should go see Boxcar. Maybe they will surprise you with unexpected contributions from rhythm guitarist Kennedy and you will be happy you had the chance to check it out.

You will definitely have to wait awhile for blink to come back to town; you might as well catch them (minus one member) now. As for H2O, have high expectation for the live performance of a band with such a thorough tour history. You’ll know if you want to go.