It’s Alright to Tell Me What You Think About…Blink

On August 13, 2011, four excited 18-year-olds travelled 130 miles to see three guys in a rock band.
On August 11, 2016, two excited 23-year-olds travelled 60 miles to see three guys in a rock band.

I was both one of the excited 18-year-olds and one of the excited 23-year-olds. I missed the rest of our posse’, but I was glad to not make the drive out to Hershey for the night. Hello, Camden and HELLO BLINK 182!

In 2011, this Blink show was a huge deal for many reasons: We had just graduated high school and in a few weeks, we’d be going away to college. A final hurrah! This was just my second time at the Hershey stadium, and the very first time I was seeing Blink 182. I told my parents, “THIS IS LIKE YOU GETTING TO SEE QUEEN!”

It seems that I’m exaggerating. Here are some quotes to support my statement.

“When it comes to having inestimable influence, Blink-182 might well be contemporary punk’s version of the Beatles”, Scott Heisel, music editor at Alternative Press magazine, said back in 2009 in the cover story, “Back Together for the Kids”.

Jon Caramanica of the New York Times said, “No punk band of the 1990s has been more influential than Blink-182,” back in 2011 in , “Not Quite Gone, A Punk Band Is Coming Back”.

So growing up, I sang along to “What’s My Age Again?” in the backseat of our family van. I also annoyed my sister (six years older than me) by yelling, “It’s the YED song!” when “I Miss You” came on. That was the extent of my Blink knowledge until I reached high school. (I’m not alone on this. Urban Dictionary defines yead as, “The way Tom DeLonge pronounces the word, ‘head’ in the blink-182 song, ‘I Miss You.'”)

I fell in love with a band back in 2007 and they call themselves All Time Low. I needed to know everything about them, from their dogs’ names to the town they grew up in. I admit, I was a full-blown fan-girl. For years. Every teenager has their obsessions, mine just happened to be a pop-punk band. All Time Low started back in 2003 doing Blink 182 covers. I had to see the guys who inspired the guys I adored so much. AND Blink had just (okay, in 2009, but they were touring now!) gotten back together. So we bought our tickets for the Honda Civic Tour with MCR and were on our way.

The significant memory I have of this night is this:


Flash forward to 2016.

When the tour dates were announced, my friend (the other 23 year old mentioned above) sent me the image and said, “WE’RE GOING I DONT CARE WHAT YOU SAY” and i met her with just as much enthusiasm. All Time Low, A Day to Remember AND Blink 182?? I’ll discuss the concert in more detail at a later time, but wow. What a dream come true.

Five years ago, I saw Mark Hoppus, Tom Delonge, and Travis Barker. That night I saw Mark, Travis and Matt Skiba. I was anxious to see how well Matt worked with Mark and Tom, and he exceeded my expectations.


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Flame-lit letters behind Blink 182


Despite it being over 90 degrees, Blink had incredible pyrotechnics including a flame lit “F***” and crackling sparks. They used the screen behind them to play videos, images, as well as mirroring the cameras on stage and in the stadium. 


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As a graphic design nerd, I loved this test shot. I knew exciting things were coming!


Everyone was so stoked! I kept glancing around me to see people jumping up and down, screaming the lyrics to every song. Shout out to the three guys in front of me, row S section 103. I loved your camaraderie and energy. And no shout out to the guy behind me that kept commanding us to yell louder and cheer, who kept saying, “let’s bleeping go! You are making me mad. LET’S GO”, as if he was hyping the team up to get ready to play some sporting event.

A few of my favorite moments:

Blink asked the crowd to all turn on their flashlights on their phones and asked the light guys to turn off the lights and started with, “ITS CHRISTMAS EVE…” I was so excited, I turned to my friend and started jumping up and down, singing as fast as I can.

Blink sang their infamous swear word song. It’s dirty and vulgar and singing it gives me the satisfaction I had at 16 saying those *bad words*.

When Mark put down his bangs to sing, Stay Together for the Kids.

Watching Travis Barker drum is one of the best things in life. He’s amazing.

Small rant: Nothing personal (shout out to All Time Low), but I am so sick of fake encores. It may excite the other fans, but I don’t see the point of it. I am all for the band taking a break if they need it, but keep the lights on. Don’t pretend to leave and “surprise” us coming out to finish off your set. The trick is to make the audience think that the show is actually over. But I am happy that Mark warned us.

“This is our last song no matter what, NO MATTER WHAT…except for four more because we’re contractually obligated.”

And another thing: Matt sang, “Don’t waste your time on me. You’re already the voice instead my HEAD”. My beloved Yed is gone. RIP.

The show closed with my fav track, Dammit. The confetti cannons exploded as they sang, “Well, I guess this is growing up”

And I couldn’t help but think, is it? Does growing up include confetti cannons, as we celebrate our achievements? Or is it the annoyance of picking confetti out of your hair, peeling it off your sweat covered skin? Is this what life is about, enjoying loud music with hundreds of strangers, sticky and content and exhausted yet satisfied? I think so.

I limped out of the show (still trying to break in my Vans) with my best friend by my side, craving a McDouble and an iced water (hey, it was late & I was hungry).

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Blink-182, Camden NJ, August 2016.

Thanks for a good time Blink. See ya in five more years *fingers crossed*.



Song in my Head feat. The Mowgli’s

DISCLAIMER: I’m using another song title to title this blog (shout out to Sherwood!).

I spend a lot of time streaming music. I choose Google Play (formerly Songza) over Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio. One of my favorite stations is “Uplifting Indie Motivation”, described as, “These upbeat and inspiring tracks from popular indie artists are just the ticket when you need a little sonic motivation to get you through the daily grind”.

I have listened to this station in many instances: working out, cleaning the house, singing in the shower, waking up and making breakfast, etc.

One morning last week, I was feeling unbalanced. I turned to “Uplifting Indie Motivation” for some help and I got a pleasant surprise by The Mowgli’s.

“I’m good, I’m good, I’m good, I’m good
Living life just like I should
Wouldn’t change it if I could
I’m good, I’m good, I’m good”

The twang of the guitar immediately gets my head bobbing. The layered vocals of “im good” and “hey” takes me to a party on the beach where everyone is having a good time. The song is light enough to remind me that everything is happening as it should, that I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff, that I should relax and enjoy the ride. It also says the long-hand version of YOLO and that makes me smile.

Thank you friends for this gift. I can’t wait to explore the rest of your album.



Chart Topping “San Francisco
Firefly Music Festival, 2014
Visit their website at
I was retweeted by the band last week. Check them out on Instagram too!

While you’re at it, check me out on Twitter and Instagram @nicolebattista1

Until next time,

And now I just sit in silence

This post first appeared on


I have these thoughts
So often I ought
To replace that slot
With what I once bought
‘Cause somebody stole
My car radio
And now I just sit in silence


I ponder of something great
My lungs will fill and then deflate
They fill with fire
Exhale desire
I know it’s dire
My time today

Sometimes quiet is violent
I find it hard to hide it
My pride is no longer inside
It’s on my sleeve
My skin will scream
Reminding me of
Who I killed inside my dream
I hate this car that I’m driving
There’s no hiding for me
I’m forced to deal with what I feel
There is no distraction to mask what is real
I could pull the steering wheel

I ponder of something terrifying
‘Cause this time there’s no sound to hide behind
I find over the course of our human existence
One thing consists of consistence
And it’s that we’re all battling fear
Oh dear, I don’t know if we know why we’re here
Oh my,
Too deep
Please stop thinking
I liked it better when my car had sound

There are things we can do
But from the things that work there are only two
And from the two that we choose to do
Peace will win
And fear will lose
There’s faith and there’s sleep
We need to pick one please because
Faith is to be awake
And to be awake is for us to think
And for us to think is to be alive
And I will try with every rhyme
To come across like I am dying
To let you know you need to try to think
This is an unusual post, I know. Song lyrics. What are you doing, you may ask. This is a lazy blog, you may say. But no. This song keeps coming back to me. And it speaks volumes.

There is so much noise around us. For example, right now, the radio is playing overhead. Students are chatting. Someone is singing with the radio. I have my phone next to me. I am typing on my computer with four other tabs open.
Maybe we should all lose our car radios. Instead of looking for music to listen to, a television show to watch, a new game to play, another blog to read, let your mind relax. “I ponder of something great. My lungs will fill and then deflate”.

There is no sound to hide behind. We’re all scared. Believe that things will be better. Believe that things will work out. Turn off the noise and the distractions and stop avoiding your fears. Stop avoiding life. “There’s faith and there’s sleep/ We need to pick one please because/Faith is to be awake/And to be awake is for us to think/And for us to think is to be alive”.

Go listen to Twenty One Pilots. Go see them perform, they put on a fantastic show.

Find me on social media: Instagram/Twitter: nicolebattista1

signing off,

Remember when We The Kings came to Misericordia University? Part One

WTK Leave Skyway Avenue for Lake Street

This article first appeared on

2014-04-29 NBattista WTK MU

Travis Clark, Nicole Battista and Coley O’Toole pose after a rockin’ show. Photo by Mary Bove.

Nicole Battista

Spring Weekend 2014 was rocked by the self-proclaimed “pop awesome, rock awesome, alternative awesome” band, We the Kings.

Opening acts included Dustin Drevitch and the Electric Gentle- men, a singer/songwriter/guitarist from Wilkes-Barre Pa., and A Fire With Friends, a rock and roll band from Scranton, Pa.

Travis Clark, lead singer and guitarist, described his band as fun. That is exactly how the atmosphere of the Anderson Sports and Health Center was Friday night.

Fans cheered as a recording came on, sounding like an old record.

“When the world falls into pieces, you will be the one voice of reason, when I cannot face all my demons, you are the one I believe in.”

On the words “believe in,” the band walked onto the stage. They began singing the first track on their fourth album, Somewhere Somehow, “Queen of Hearts.”

The band continued on to play 15 other songs from all four albums, We the Kings, Smile Kid, Sunshine State of Mind and Somewhere Somehow, including, “We’ll Be a Dream” and “Skyway Avenue.”

Clark instructed the crowd to perform two new dance moves, the “sorority squat” and “the inflatable arm man” during the song, “I Feel Alive.”

The crowd bent down just before the chorus came in, and when Clark sang, “I Feel Alive,” the crowd jumped into the air and waved their arms around.

Band members encouraged the audience to “put your hands up” throughout the night.

The band included a cover song in their set “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World.

Clark said that the song was the reason that the band was started. “I was at a show with Blink 182, Green Day and Jimmy Eat World. Jimmy Eat World was performing ‘The Middle” and all the girls in the crowd had that melting look on their faces. I went home and called my friends saying, ‘I want to start a band because I want a girl friend really bad. We have to start a band.’ We the Kings was started the next day.”

When asked why We the Kings have so many love songs, Clark said he was a hopeless romantic and that he writes what he knows. “I am in love. “

Fans sang and screamed and jumped around all night long.

The band closed with the popular hit, “Check Yes Juliet.”

Coley O’Toole, who plays keyboard and rhythm guitar as well as does backup vocals for We the Kings said that Somewhere, Somehow has more maturity than previous albums.

Clark, lead singer and guitarist of We the Kings said that Some- where Somehow “felt like it was perfect for the moment that we are living right now.”

The album includes influences of hip hop, rock, and pop.

The band created the album, Somewhere Somehow, through an Indiegogo campaign, similar to Kickstarter. The album was completely funded by donations.

The goal of the campaign was to raise $35,000 in 30 days. Clark said that the goal was reached in just one day. The band raised $150,000 for the new album.

The band has many plans for touring this summer. After Misericordia, We the Kings traveled to New York. They will then travel overseas to Great Britain, Japan, Singapore, and the Philippines before returning to the States to play the summer-long cross country festival, the Vans Warped Tour.

“We have a new album out so we just tour and tour and tour until no one wants to hear the new songs anymore,” Clark said. After that, the process starts again in working on brand new songs.

Clark said that the hardest part of being in a band is “maintaining endurance without losing sanity.” He used the Vans Warped Tour as an example, saying that the tour goes on for 28 shows/days with one rest day followed by 21 shows with three rest days afterwards.

“Your body wears, your voice goes, your muscles cramp, and you get dehydrated,” Clark said, explaining the physical exhaustion of tour.

O’Toole said that the exhaustion does not hit until they have a few days off to unwind.

“I go into hibernation for three days,” Clark said.

While it is important to catch up on rest, the band does constantly work on new material.

Clark said that if he could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, he would like to work with Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, George Harrison of the Beatles, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Bob Marley and Megan Fox.

The band loves pizza and Mexican food. O’Toole said that finding a good Mexican restaurant on tour is essential.

Both Clark and O’Toole shared the best piece of advice they have received and would like to pass on to their fans. The advice came from their fathers. O’Toole said to not let anyone try to hurt you.

“People will bully you in other ways. It is not necessarily bullying you because they can or they want to, but people try to control you when they see a weakness and you can’t let that happen in life.”

Clark said that his father told him to follow his own idea of success.

His father said that success could mean money and cars, fame and popularity.

“’If that is what you think you deserve, go for it. But if you have any of my blood, you will be just so happy with seeing the world and being with people you love.”

The other stuff came, you know, the fame came, being known enough to be able to do this, but what really made me feel successful was that I was happy.”

Clark said that happiness is a positive and powerful tool.

“No matter what happens in the world, if you are happy as you are right now, there is nothing that can bring you down.”

Check out We the Kings on Warped Tour this summer at the Toyota Pavilion in Scranton on Wednesday, July 9.

Special thanks to We the Kings, A Fire With Friends and Dustin Drevitch and the Electric Gentle- men for performing at the very first concert at MU.

An evening with Sir Paul McCartney

“I bet half the kids here don’t even know who he is…”
“Look, it’s the guy that Kayne West discovered!”

The first statement was uttered by my sister. The second, I’ve read on Twitter too many times to count. To live in the world and not know who Paul McCartney is…well, I can’t imagine.

I originally planned on not attending Firefly this year. I wanted to work the festival and things didn’t go the way I wanted them to, so I was okay about staying home this year. As fate would have it, I was gifted a four-day pass for my friend and I to attend. My sister worked the festival and hung out with us when she wasn’t salting pretzels or making pierogies. So, I got my fanny pack and camelback-like bag prepped and off I went to the festival!

*Do do do do dodo “THEY SAY IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY”

I immediately turned to my friend and started screaming the song at her. It was, after all, her birthday week.
I said to her, “Paul is singing to you!”
Well, he was also singing for himself. His birthday was just days before.
Every song Paul played brought a grin bigger than life to my face. Except one, which almost brought me to tears.

Cue “Hey Jude”.

Just before the opening piano chords, fireworks blasted in the sky for “Live and Let Die”. What a spectacular performance: the lights, the boom, the awe.

Back to the music. “Hey Jude” is my favorite Beatles track. Sometimes I sing it, “Hey Jul” because the song was written by Paul for John Lennon’s son, Julian. In a way, I see it as a sad song that makes itself better. It offers words of advice to “make it better”. I am also a sucker for songs with onomatopoeias in them so the “NA NA NA”‘s get me every time.

I turned to my friend and looked at my sister and smiled. This is a moment I’ll remember forever. This is one for the books.

Paul McCartney at Firefly

My friend captured this on her iPhone 5C, Paul McCartney on the big screen

Fireworks Paul McCartney

“Live and Let Die” Fireworks at Firefly

Nicole Battista Singing

Here I am, enjoying my favorite Beatles song, “Hey Jude”