Tag Archives: 2009

Green Day at the MTV Video Music Awards: Kill the Pyro!!! Kill the Pyro!!!

SweetVendetta at the GDA recently saw this MTV special on the backstage antics at the MTV Video Music Awards last September. Green Day held an impromptu performance after their rehearsal for the tired MTV crew. During the live performance, Billie and Mike dragged a bunch of people onstage without telling anyone that they were going to do it… and while all those people were engulfing the “about 5″8″‘ Billie, Tre couldn’t see him to end the song. The MTV crew had to “kill the pyro” before anyone from the audience was set on fire. The clip also includes the pyro that was supposed to happen in the song. I’m not quite sure why they had to kill the pyro since it was behind Tre… but… it was probably for the best!

It’s a funny clip, and also has a backstage view of Pink’s amazing high-trapeze performance as well.

Here’s the link to MTV’s October 13, 2009 Buzzworthy blog which includes other backstage videos as well.

You can see the clip of Green Day’s full performance here. You can read about my heading up to Radio City Music Hall since I was in the neighborhood and seeing GD leave rehearsal here. (And yes, I WAS JUST IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD that day…no. Seriously. I was!)

more about “Green Day at the MTV Video Music Awar…“, posted with vodpod
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BJ’s Blue Wishes You… a Merry Christmas… Ornament

UPDATE: Dorie Watts, who made this beautiful replica of Blue, asked me to hold off on her name due to the holiday season. Now that Xmas is over, thank you to Dorie so much for making this and sharing these wonderful photographs of the ornament as well!

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I cannot say at the moment who made this beautiful replica of Billie Joe’s guitar known as Blue (I’ll let you know after the Xmas holiday) but I can say that when I saw pictures of it I went, “oooooooh.”

It’s sweet.

And with that, I’ll see you on the other side of the frigging holiday.

And, Merry… Christmas.

BJ's Blue Christmas Ornament

BJ's Blue with Guitar Player Cover

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Green Day at the American Music Awards

Green Day changed gears last night and gave a subtle and subdued performance of the song, “21 Guns” for the American Music Awards this year from Los Angeles.
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9rVWqFogv4&NR=1]
Green Day accepting award for Best Alternative Band and giving a shout out to punk:
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBZEq96rlsI&feature=youtube_gdata]

Also, here’s a video where Billie Joe talks about when they are coming around again to the U.S. (posted at the GDC):

Below is a snippet of the press conference they gave behind the scenes. I hope to find a longer version of this when I have the chance. Thanks to greendaylove38 for the link!
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbFMDH5f8Bo]
Green Day Press conference – American Music Awards, 2009
(Holy moly, thanks to greendaylove38! :) )


Green Day at the European Music Awards

UPDATE: And HERE YOU GO, watch the videos that are no longer on Youtube here.

Scroll down the list of the above link and you’ll find a great interview at the EMA’s with Tre and Mike.

The BBC Video link below is still working.

Bummer, U2 wins over Green Day for Best Live Act. :(

Green Day wins for Best Cock… ur… Rock Award! Woot!

So, Tokio Hotel won for Best Group, but I think it’s because they are German.

Getty Images from the European Music Awards***

On the Red Carpet**

Know Your Enemy and Minority**:

 

Acceptance for Best Cock Award (with a bonus of David Hasselhoff looking a little drunk) and Stuff with Katy Perry*:

And here’s the cutest picture of Tre from backstage at the EMA’s yesterday.*** I’m glad, just like his fans, that he occasionally doesn’t listen about that picture-taking thing.

Backstage at MTV EMA's. I was just repeatedly asked to not take pictures. -tre

Backstage at MTV EMA's. I was just repeatedly asked to not take pictures. -tre

**hattip GDA/GDC

***hattip Green Day Twitter


Halloween King for a Day

I saw this video from Green Day’s Halloween show in Manchester. Billie is transformed into Frankenstein at one point and it’s pretty funny.

To all my Rocktober peeps who are seeing the Foxboro Hot Tubs tonight, have a great time! Wish I could be there!


The Audience

Green Day started their 2009 concert tour on July 3 in Seattle. So far, they have toured Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Fargo, and Minneapolis and have about 500 more cities to go before they finish up next year. I’ve made sure not to watch videos of the band playing for the most part until after I see them later this month in Albany and then again at the two Madison Square Garden shows. I’ve heard so much bitching and moaning about the setlist over at the Green Day Community from pre-AI fans and those who have seen GD’s stadium shows before this tour to last a lifetime — you’ll have to find out what the issues are on your own, if you care to know. So since I’ve only seen them live once at Good Morning America, I’ve decided to experience the band as the band would like to present itself… even if I would love to hear older songs and have the setlist sound a little more unlike the American Idiot tour than I think it may sound. Oh well. Cie la vie. Shit happens.

I’ve made a few exceptions for some special moments that more than likely won’t be repeated at subsequent shows, like this rare rendition of Billie Joe Armstrong singing “Minnesota Girl” in honor of his wife, who’s from Minnesota (and where they met) at last night’s show. I’ve also made it a point of watching videos of Green Day inviting members of the audience up to stage in order to have them try their hand at ‘being in the band.’

My two favorites so far happened early in the tour, the first in Seattle, and the other in Vancouver:

Kamran Inram plays Jesus of Suburbia – Seattle

Michael Aaron Keith bumps it with Billie Joe Armstrong on Longview – Vancouver

I’ve been to a lot of concerts in my life, but I have never seen a band do what Green Day does when it comes to the audience. While I have only seen them once, I’ve seen enough other GD concerts on tape (Bullet in a Bible, Live 8 in Germany, Rock AM Ring in Germany — full video no longer available on Comcast, where I saw it — and a bunch of pre-American Idiot stuff) to know that they have an amazing synergy with their audience unlike any band I’ve been privileged to see, except maybe for Gwar, but I think it’s the blood and costumes that gives Gwar that special something something. Ultimately, it’s got something to do with GD’s guts and courage — who else would even dare to bring an unknown factor into their stage show? I can’t even think of a band that’s done it before, though I’m sure… yes?… that there have been others?

Which brings me momentarily to the American Idiot – The Musical production coming up soon in Berkeley. The night and several-beers-at-the-bierhaus before I saw GD at at 8AM on GMA, I went to see a friend in a production of The Who’s Tommy performed live for the first time by the Gallery Players in Brooklyn. I had never seen a full production of the show before and I really didn’t know what to expect. I was completely and pleasantly surprised by the energy and dynamism of the cast. I’ve seen The Who perform a few of the songs from their album live and it was amazing, and the Gallery Players cast really nailed it — except that the audience wouldn’t move or tap their feet, which annoyed the shit out of me.

I’m trying to figure out in my head what rhetorical devices the cast of AI-TM will employ to bring that same existing synergy between GD and the audience to the live stage. GD songs scream to be sung to and shouted back… It’s going to be an interesting exercise, especially when (not if) the show comes to Broadway. I’ll tell you one thing, if AI-TM is good when I see it in New York, I’m not going to be sitting in the audience asking permission from New York theater snobs to bounce up and down in my seat… if that’s the way the director wants it.

Anyway, this is rambling now. I’m in a hotel in Baltimore after a family reunion and I haven’t been able to post anything in a few days since life is a bit hectic. I’ll fix this up later when I get back to NYC.


Soundcheck*

Chewy030 from the Vancouver thread at the GDA found this wonderful soundcheck photograph on Twitpic. From what I can tell the person who took the shot works at the Vancouver stadium where Green Day is performing tonight.

Green Day Sound Check by Kevinmiam on Twitter

Green Day Sound Check by Kevinmiam on Twitter

I remember when I used to do theater (God, how I miss it), and the rehearsals prior to a performance or warmup. There was always a sort of sacred vibe of being onstage in front of that empty and hollow space and knowing that in three or four hours, that space would be filled with living, vibrating people… all of whom are judging you and waiting for you to entertain them, move them. Just the thought of it reminds me of the fluttering sensation I always got in anticipation of what would happen when the space was filled with an audience. What a delicious, exciting, and terrifying sensation it is.

In theater, there are basically two kinds of rehearsals: the technical rehearsal and the performance rehearsal. The performance rehearsal primarily takes place prior to the audience actually showing up at the theater. It’s those long, grueling weeks or months where the lines are memorized, the director’s vision is melded onto the playwright’s words, the actors become the characters, the blocking (the actual steps or actions an actor takes in the course of the play) is set. The technical rehearsal usually only occurs a few times until the entire play is coordinated with sound and light cues. Once a play opens, there might be a few more performance rehearsals to tweak scenes here or there. However, unless there are drastic changes in the technical aspects of the show, there will never or rarely be another technical rehearsal.

The theatrical technical rehearsal is closest to the soundcheck in music. The biggest difference in music, though, is that the soundcheck occurs in every city or club that a band visits. When a play goes up and is running to par, there may not be another performance rehearsal after the initial previews.

I remember back in 1983 when The Police came to Cobo Hall, now known as Joe Louis Arena, in Detroit. I wanted to meet them so badly! I was studying theater at Wayne State University and was interested in both onstage and backstage aspects of the art. I had designed sound for a few shows, and I created this elaborate ruse (UPDATE!: and I was writing a paper!) to get backstage to meet the band… I was “on assignment” to learn more about concert lighting, so I went to the Arena with this elaborate story of wanting to meet the lighting director of the Police show. It kinda worked: I did get backstage and actually heard of bit of the Police’s soundcheck prior to my ass getting thrown out of the place. I’m glad I didn’t meet the Police. In retrospect, I have come to the conclusion that they are assholes (or at least Sting is) and it probably wouldn’t have turned out to be a pleasant experience meeting them! :)

Every band goes through the soundcheck, whether they are as big as Green Day or not. Bands have to make sure that the venue’s system works properly with the traveling equipment, that the sound levels are right, that the video equipment is coordinated properly, and that the massive soundboard works. Concerts on the scale of GD’s take an enormous amount of manpower, setup and breakdown. Theatrical productions, even those that play out-of-town are usually in one place for a number of weeks, not days, unlike bands. Bands can be in Albuquerque one day and Des Moines the next;
that’s a lot of setup, breakdown, and rehearsal.

At least a few things are consistent between theatrical rehearsals and music soundchecks, however, and it’s that feeling that this picture evokes to me: the performer onstage inside that hollow space, waiting for the audience to walk in and fill it up with their anticipation, their adoration, and their judgment. It captures that delicious, exciting and terrifying moment that few people outside of the world of performance know or think about, the time between rehearsal and performance. I remember that moment fondly, and miss it.

Thanks for the photo. Nicely done.

*This post was written a bit because it sucked and needed to be rewritte


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