Watch: the time Josh Freese sat in on drums for Blink-182 at Warped Tour ’99

Way back in 1999, Blink-182 were on their steep ascent from pop-punk brats, to worldwide rock stars. Third album, Enema of the State dropped on 1 June, and still-new drummer Travis Barker was about to become one of the best-loved drummers in contemporary rock. 

By the end of the year, Enema…would be well on its way to becoming a platinum-selling album, propelled by the band’s cameo and placement on the soundtrack to summer blockbuster, American Pie. But first, there was the small matter of Blink’s 30-odd scheduled performances on the US leg of that year’s Warped Tour to complete.

19 dates in, and Travis Barker had to sit out the band’s set at the Randall’s Island, New York date due to an unknown injury (although according to this Reddit thread, it was a problem with his finger). 

“It’s kind of an interesting show for us tonight.” says Tom DeLonge in an audio-only bootleg recording of the show (below, and definitely NSFW). Mark Hoppus adds, “Our drummer’s sick so we have fill-in drummers from four different bands playing tonight…wish us luck.”

Those drummers were Damon DeLaPaz (Fenix TX), Brooks Wackerman (Suicidal Tendencies), Byron McMackin (Pennywise) and Josh Freese (The Vandals). The night came full-circle, as Barker himself covered for an absent Josh Freese the year previous.

Luckily, Jeff 'Rhino' Neumann was on-hand with a video camera and captured multiple songs from the side of the kit, which have since surfaced via a Blink-182 fan account on YouTube

Travis Barker — clearly not unwell enough to miss the proceedings — looks on from feet away as the drummers and his bandmates smash their way through a short but sweet 10-song set comprising songs from Cheshire Cat, Dude Ranch, and five songs from Enema of the State.

Each drummer used Barker’s drums, and this being 1999 it’s an OCDP sparkle-wrapped blue/green/orange jellybean kit, Footage of Freese playing What’s My Age Again. Footage of Freese shows him blasting his way faithfully through two songs from Enema: mega-hit What’s My Age Again and Going Away to College. 

You can check out guest slots from the other drummers on the bill below. Meanwhile, Blink-182's classic line-up of Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker are currently on tour, having recently made their live return at Coachella ahead of a new album, expected later this year.

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.