The last of Green Day’s four United States tour shows that I attended (Albany and the two shows at MSG being the first three) occurred this past Sunday, August 9th in San Antonio. The show is a bit of a blur to me since I had flown in that morning to Austin and drove directly to San Antonio and stood in the hot Texas sun for a few hours. I was wiped out before the show started and by the end, drained.
Billie Joe Armstrong with my red hat and East Jesus Nowhere Kids - Green Day - AT&T Center, San Antonio, August 9, 2009
Photo by Chris Dugan, greenday.com
I remember Billie taking my silly red hat with the “13″ and the skull, and Sara’s wonderful turn in “Longview,” as well as her funny stage dive that was more like a “crowd hop” with the audience carrying her directly back to our spot at the front barrier afterward. I remember “Welcome to Paradise” and “No Pride,” and Tré’s turn in “Hitchin’ a Ride” and Mike trying to throw me a pic and missing, but really, everything else is a blur. Frankly, when the guitar of “Minority” began in the first encore and the drums kicked in and the confetti started flying, I had to force myself not to cry. I felt a bit stupid for tearing up, but it truly dawned on me then that another fantastic show (each of the four better than the one previous to it) had ended and more than likely, I would not see Green Day live again until the Summer of 2010.
It was quite overwhelming.
I was standing at the very front of the barrier that separates the stage from the audience, at the feet of Mike and Billie. We had very clear views of each other all night and I didn’t want them to see (not that they would have) any sadness or tears on my face after two hours of smiles and laughs and play. But really, I couldn’t help myself. The final acoustic guitar solos that Billie did that night, “Words I Might Have Ate,” “Last Night On Earth,” and of course, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t turn around to see Billie at the end of the catwalk during “Words I Might Have Ate,” and I couldn’t muster up a smile either. I just stared backstage and watched Mike and his wife, Brittney, and looked at the lights and the stage and the organ and the drums and tried to remember the pyro and all of the great stage moments that the band had given me over the course of four shows in two States.
And then, the last notes of “Good Riddance” were strummed, Billie turned around, walked up the catwalk with his guitar in the air toward backstage, and that was it. I let out a giant sigh, and turned to Sarita and J’net and the other GDCers and ICers that I was with and headed out. Truly, it had made me happy to see everyone so happy but now it was back to reality.
I am suffering from withdrawal and the proud remnants of a giant, Green Day handgrenade-shaped bruise on my upper arm.
Barrier Bruise - Green Day - AT&T Center, San Antonio, August 9, 2009
Luckily, I’m flying out to Berkeley to see American Idiot: The Musical next month, for the September 25, 2009 show. (Frequent flyer miles and friends that I can stay with, yah!) There’s an after-show discussion, probably just with the cast since Green Day’s European leg of the tour starts on September 28th in Barcelona. I picked the date so that I could listen to the cast and director talk about the vision and direction for the show. If Green Day shows up, well, it’s an added bonus, but truthfully, it’s ok if they don’t, too.
I’m lucky to have this one last event of the year, but, if I had the time or money, I’d head to England in a heartbeat and see the shows there. It may sound daft, but I’m saving every penny so that I’ll have more freedom next year to pick and chose to see them again in the United States and hopefully, England. I would love to go to South America to see them early next year, too. It’s always good to dream.
Thanks to Billie Joe, Mike and Tré (and Jason and Jason and Jeff), and the crew (especially Micah with his kitty ears), and the Verizon gang (Chris and Britton and the wonderful girl whose name I never caught) and the security (even if you were assholes sometimes, but at least you kept everyone safe), and Chris Dugan for the amazing photographs and all of the Idiot Club and Green Day Community fans that I met or talked with, for an amazing four nights of music, fun, punk, dancing, bruises, pyro, pranks, old songs and new ones, happiness and everything else in between. May the Lushie gods keep us all safe and rocking on until we see a Green Day show next time (which is quicker for some of you than others :) ).
Song of the Century
21st Century Breakdown
Know Your Enemy
East Jesus Nowhere
The Static Age
Before The Lobotomy
Are We The Waiting
Hitchin a Ride
Welcome To Paradise
Several Song Medley (Rock You Like A Hurricane, Master of Puppets, Iron Man, and a couple of others)
When I Come Around
King For A Day
Encore 2 (Acoustic)
Words I Might Have Ate
Last Night On Earth