BLINK 182, BAD RELIGION AND FENIX TX, at the E Center, June 28, 7:30 p.m.; one performance only.

They came like a whirlwind and left a wake of nearly shattered ear drums and happy faces.

Blink 182 and Bad Religion, with a little help from Fenix TX, settled in at the E Center for a couple of hours Wednesday night.

The mayhem on stage could only be equaled by the body surfing, moshing and body slamming that was happening on the main floor. In fact, there was so much action during Blink's set, the band had to stop while paramedics came to the aid of an injured fan in the middle of the arena.

It was strange to see these modern-day musical punks play a larger venue than Saltair. But, to the delight of the audience and surprise of the few adults in the crowd, the bands held their ground.

The audience was primed and ready for headliner Blink 182 by the time Bad Religion left the stage. BR cranked out a tight set that ran much like a frantic sentence with no use for punctuation marks, except perhaps a line of exclamation points.

Although the main floor shook to the music, the fans in the bowl seats just stood and gawked at the melodic punk outfit — vocalist Greg Graffin, bassist Jay Bentley, drummer Bobby Schayer and guitarists Brian Baker and Greg Heston.

But there wasn't a lack of energy from the band, which blasted on stage and roared through its set, including "It's a Long Way to the Promised Land," "New America" and "You've Got a Chance," from the new album "The New America."

But it was clear the audience was there to see Blink 182.

Taking its cue from a drive-in movie theater, guitarist/vocalist Tom DeLonge, bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus along with fill-in drummer Damon Delapaz shot out tunes such as "Untitled" from "Dude Ranch" and, of course "Adam's Song" and "All the Small Things," from the new album "Enema of the State."

Blink's mix wasn't as clear as Bad Religion's, but Delapaz, who is the guitarist for Fenix TX, played ailing drummer Travis Barker's parts well.

Too bad the in-between stage banter relied mostly on incest and bodily functions. The bratty and juvenile conversations got old real quick, and they also got in the way of the music.

Still, Blink 182 and Bad Religion proved they could handle a good-size venue. But if it was a competition between the bands, Bad Religion won. It relied on music, while Blink 182 occasionally hid behind the large stage props — the tail of a classic Cadillac, a huge movie screen set up behind Delapaz's set and a vintage drive-in marquee.


E-MAIL: scott@desnews.com