Tag Archives: Setlist

Green Day Live Withdrawal: San Antonio Edition

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

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

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 :) ).

Set List:

Song of the Century
21st Century Breakdown
Know Your Enemy
East Jesus Nowhere
Holiday
The Static Age
Before The Lobotomy
Are We The Waiting
St. Jimmy
BOBD
Murder City
Hitchin a Ride
Welcome To Paradise
No Pride
Several Song Medley (Rock You Like A Hurricane, Master of Puppets, Iron Man, and a couple of others)
When I Come Around
Brain Stew
Jaded
Longview
Basket Case
She
King For A Day
Shout
21 Guns
American Eulogy

Encore 1
American Idiot
Minority
Encore 2 (Acoustic)
Words I Might Have Ate
Last Night On Earth
Good Riddence

About these ads

Green Day Takes New York, Pt. III: MSG2

========================================
This has been hard to write because frankly, it was perfect. How do you express perfect? Hmmm…well, perfect except for a few hiccups here and there, but nonetheless, perfect. Thanks, Green Day, for a great night!


New York, Madison Square Garden, July 28, 2009

When I left work early at 1:30 PM and took the F train the two stops from 14th to 34th, I had a giddiness of step that was lighthearted and single-minded: I knew I was going to have a good time.

And I did.

The Line

Through the members-only Idiot Club (how ‘elitist’ does that sound, bwhaaha), I was able to get GA tickets for this show when they were released about two weeks prior. I saw the email and I could not resist. I’m glad I didn’t.

Through the Idiot Club, Green Day Community and NothingWrongWith Me.com and a few other sites, I have met other like-minded Green Day fans from all over the world. I highly recommend checking these and other fans sites out if you are interested in following the band and the tour. (I’ll eventually add more links when I get a chance.) Just stick to Green Day and forget about any human friction that may take place. The people on these sites may have Green Day in common, but each site has a different flavor and unique participants. My motto through it all: I stick to Green Day if and when tensions break out.

From Albany and this second MSG, I met folks from Venezuela, Toronto, Albany, New Jersey, New York, and California and nearly missed one from Great Britain. It’s been so long since the band made an album or went on tour that there is a palpable electric current on the boards and at the shows.

I was especially happy to meet ChristhyneS from Venezuela. ChristhyneS and I had started a conversation in a MSG thread prior to new tickets going on sale as I was trying to find someone with an extra ticket that I could purchase. ChristhyneS emailed me when a new batch of tickets went on sale, and I quickly got home to purchase one General Admission ticket before they disappeared. I think I walked/ran the entire way from the subway to my door and computer.

ChristhyneS brought a Venezuelan flag with her for Billie to fling, which he eventually did. I believe this show may have produced the third Spanish/Hispanic country flag he’s had on the tour, if I remember correctly: Spain, Brazil, and at this show, Venezuela. This may be a partial list. I also had the opportunity to meet the lady in Albany who was selling t-shirts, Sweet Geraldine, and her friend BillieJoesEntourage, who had come in from Toronto. I’d like to also give a special shout out to Morgan, who caught one of Mike’s pics and gave it to me because she already had one. Thanks!

Soundcheck.

By any means necessary. Sometimes that’s just the way it is. I borrowed my bosses’ Verizon Blackberry in order to experience soundcheck.  I also left work early and got in line at 2:00. (Thanks, work!).

I wrote about the sacredness of rehearsal and soundcheck for the performer in an earlier post, so needless to say, I was quite excited that I was able to attend. However, the excitement quickly turned for the worse when we finally got into the empty Madison Square Garden to see the band. Two girls sitting directly in front of me kept taunting Tré about being in some video that they wanted to make, and generally were annoying. The Verizon people had said we could dance and interact a bit with the band, but they were so annoying that I felt constrained in my enthusiasm due to sheer embarrassment. I’m pretty sure that they annoyed the band, too.

Anyway, we were treated to “Murder City” (which they played at the show!), “Scattered,” a bit of “Macy’s Day Parade,” “21st Century Breakdown,” “King for a Day, ” a bit of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and “American Eulogy.” There was conversation about doing “Knowledge,” so it was not surprising to me when they did that at the show instead of “Longview.” (Doing “Knowledge” fulfilled audience-participation “requirements,” if you will, because we were treated to Billie himself playing and singing the majority of “Jesus of Suburbia” except for “Dearly Beloved” that night.) Shortly thereafter, we got kicked out. Billie started talking into a monitor mike that only the band could hear, and I knew we were about to get the boot. I don’t know how long the soundchecks last, probably not that long, but I had heard that the band interacted a little with the people, but they didn’t really say anything to us, though Tré gave a boy a pair of drumsticks, as usual.  I blame the girls, why not? We were escorted to a sports bar in MSG where we got food and a t-shirt (thank goodness, because I had no money for any of the t-shirts I wanted to buy), played games and generally waited for showtime. When they finally let us in, I stupidly got a beer instead of heading straight to the rail, so I ended up being in the second row of bodies at the barrier. Stupid, stupid, stupid. But damn, did I need that beer!

Soundcheck Buddies

Soundcheck Buddies

The Show

Hands down, this was the best concert I’ve ever been to. It rivaled the massive pranking and physical energy of Albany and overwhelmed my sense of disappointment at MSG1′s lousy seats in the 300s section at MSG1. I was in the second row at the barrier, a little to stage right of long-legged Mike with a great view of Tré’s drumming and facial expressions. A good spot, despite the beer. Thanks to those who saved me this spot!

The most unexpected surprise of the night came when they played “A Quick One While He’s Away” by The Who for the first (and probably the last) time, “Tell Me When It’s Time To Say I Love You,” (an unreleased AI record that some people mistook for “Olivia,” which I’ve never heard), “Stuart And The Ave./ Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?“, “Going to Pasalacqua,” and “When I Come Around.” They did only a snippet of “Stuart” since lyric guy forgot the words, and they had played “When I Come Around” at MSG1. They finally broke out a new song from 21st Century Breakdown, “Murder City,” which made me extremely happy. (They also played this in San Antonio.) I was hoping to hear at least one more song from the new album particularly “Peacemaker,” or one of the album’s two “Glorias.” Come on guys, you can do it, I know you can!

I very much enjoyed “A Quick One,” but there was a reason why Billie said it was their first and last time doing it: it probably sucked the energy out of the room on the upper levels and for those who had no clue what the hell was going on. “A Quick One” is one of four iTunes bonus tracks from 21st Century Breakdown (the other three: Social Distortion’s “Another State of Mind,” Arthur Crudup’s “That’s Alright Mama,” and Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”) and while I don’t listen to the four covers on this edition very often, I do enjoy them every once in a while. “A Quick One” has several tempo changes and is a melodramatic song, right up Green Day’s alley. But at 7:58, it rivals “Jesus of Suburbia.” I think at least one of the bonus iTunes should be played, though I’d rather hear Social Distortion’s “Another State of Mind.” What I would really like to hear are the two bonus tracks from the CD version of the new album, “Hearts Collide,” and “Lights Out” in particular.

“A Quick One While He’s Away”

I can’t remember exactly when Billie started playing a snippet of “Stop, Drop, and Roll” from the Foxboro Hot Tubs, but the band looked at him like he was crazy for a second and then he started laughing and broke out an “Eye of The Tiger” riff. This was preceded by a strong performance of “Welcome to Paradise,” which made me break once again into a manic dance and followed by a song that I wanted to hear live and had made me deeply regret not going to the Hartford show: “F.O.D.”

This song is somewhat a motto of my life. It starts out very innocently and coyly, with Billie breaking the bad news to an unknown entity (friend, lover, parent?) that their time together has been some sort of ‘fun,’ but it was now time to cut off their relationship. First, he has to get something off of his chest: “You’re just a fuck… I can’t explain it ’cause I think you suck… I’m tak… ing pride…in telling you to fuck off and die.” Of course, I think Green Day would say this to someone’s face, but me, I’ve often thought of it, particularly when it comes to politicians and religious leaders. I was pleased to hear this song live at least once, since they didn’t play it in San Antonio, either.

At MSG1, Billie relinquished his guitar for “Jesus of Suburbia” to the amazing Mademoiselle Stephanie. There is no question that she rocked the song hard on Monday night, prompting Billie to scream “I fucking love you,” particularly after she added her own flair to the final guitar riff. Billie also relinquished his guitar for “Jesus of Suburbia” at Albany, and I was happy with that as well. At Good Morning America, Billie played the entire song and let an audience member sing “Dearly Beloved.” At MSG2, Billie put his foot down and informed the crowd that “he” was going to play the song that night, and frankly, I’m glad he did. He again let a woman from the audience sing “Dearly Beloved” but it was a pleasure to hear him perform the song and not have to coach someone else while he’s pouring his heart out at the same time. To me, this was a special treat and one of the moments I take away the most with this show. “Jesus of Suburbia” was not on the setlist for San Antonio.

For MSG2, I was slightly stage right of long-legged Mike and had a great view of Tré’s drums. I love Tré’s drumming, as well as Mike’s wicked bassline. When both of these guys get into their grooves they cannot be beat. They are a tight machine and have amazing accuracy of sound between an album and a live show. I particularly am fond of watching Tré drum, and I’m pretty sure I made him laugh hard at one point. I was standing next to a girl with long, stringy hair that she had down. It felt like a ton of wet spiderwebs and kept clinging to my own wet, sweaty skin. At one point, pieces of it flew into my mouth, and I have a bad hair-in-the-mouth gag reflex. All of a sudden I started clawing at my tongue trying to get it out and get her hair away from me at the same time. I looked up at the stage and Tré was looking directly at me, laughing with a look of “what the hell?” on his face. I don’t remember if I pointed to her hair or not, but it took half the song to get it out of my mouth, it was that wispy and gross. I finally told her during the show that the next time she came to a concert in close proximity to people, she should put her hair up. I wanted to say, “cause it’s a fucking pain in everyone’s ass,” but I restrained myself. F.O.D. came to my mind, but we were at a concert, enjoying it, so I restrained myself again. Wonderful Mike bounced a pic off my chest (there was no other way I was going to grab that tiny thing), and I made every one stand back when it hit the floor at my feet so that I could pluck it from the ground.

Billie Joe Armstrong - Madison Square Garden, July 28, 2009

Billie Joe Armstrong - Madison Square Garden, July 28, 2009

“King for a Day” is always a classy… um…. song, and tonight’s edition was no different. My favorite “King for a Day” that I’ve seen this tour would be from Albany, as Billie and Jason Freese on sax were joined by two members of The Bravery, one of whom had on very short shorts and a plaid shirt tied at the waist and the other a frilly little skirt and parasol that went well with his full beard. Billie usually gets all kinds of frilly things from the audience during the show and tonight at MSG was no different. There were several pairs of sunglasses (one white pair that was mine, excellent throw and catch, I must say), two pairs of heart-shaped glasses, an exceptional baseball cap (that no one got a picture of, boo), a leopard print scarf that I brought, a blond wig and a fabulous pink boa. He looked like a hot mess, particularly with the kazoo.

Billie Joe Armstrong at Madison Square Garden during King for a Day. Photo by Naomi Lir

Billie Joe Armstrong at Madison Square Garden during King for a Day. Photo by Naomi Lir

As mentioned earlier, the band also played a previous staple from past tours, Operation Ivy’s “Knowledge” at MSG2. I’ve never seen them completely interchange the band live with audience members before, but I have seen video from Bullet in a Bible as well as Germany’s Rock AM during the American Idiot tour. Since they had mentioned it during soundcheck, I was pretty sure that they would do the song that night, and was not too surprised when Billie announced it. The audience band was pretty good, with the drummer attempting to break out into riffs and Tré popping him upside the head every time he did it, and a young (maybe 14) bass player who boldly went down the catwalk and screamed out “Thank you Madison Square” at the end of the number. He was so good that Mike gave him a bass that night, the first time I’ve seen them on this tour do that. The female guitarist that Billie picked caused a bit of a brouhaha when she got on stage and grabbed Billie’s face in a kiss and didn’t let go. The audience got kinda of silent and it looked as though Billie lost himself for a split second and seemed to kiss her back, something he does all the time with guys, though maybe not for that long. It was a bit awkward as a light went on in Billie’s head (hey, he is a guy, afterall) and he pulled away. The next day the Boards were harsh in regards to the young lady, and even I thought it was a bit untoward when I thought about it that night. She fought back hard and noted the hypocrisy of the commentators, who cheer on the boys when they stick their tongues down Billie’s throat and scream about inappropriateness when it comes a girl who is bold enough to do it, too. She had a legitimate point. I finally wrote: you go, girl, you go.”

Billie Joe Armstrong receiving a request from an audience member

Billie Joe Armstrong receiving a request from an audience member

Set list:

A word about the setlist that I’ve noticed over the shows, and that’s how they seem to break them up into distinct acts, as Green Day is always into the theatricality of their performance. The setlist, to me, is broken up into the largest chunks by decades, those songs by Green Day from the 21st century, American Idiot (2005) and 21st Century Breakdown (2009) and those songs from the decade where the majority of their music comes from, the 20th century. This show had an interlude (“A Quick One While He’s Away”), and their final ‘act’ before the encore ties up the show and brings it back to the present, with the combination (though they have changed this up at some shows)  of “21 Guns” and “American Eulogy.”

A fine setlist and an almost three-hour show. I could not have asked for anything more.

Act One: 21st Century

1. Song of the Century

2. 21st Century Breakdown

3. Know Your Enemy

4. Murder City

5. East Jesus Nowhere

6. Holiday

7. Static Age

8. Before the Lobotomy

9. Are We the Waiting

10. St. Jimmy

11. Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Unexpected Interlude

12. A Quick One While He’s Away (The Who)

Act Two: 20th Century

13. Hitchin a Ride

14. Welcome to Paradise

15. Stop, Drop, and Roll/ Eye of the Tiger

16. FOD

17. When I Come Around

18. Going to Pasalacqua

19. Stuart And The Ave./ Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?

20. Iron Man riff

21. Brain Stew

22. Jaded

23. Knowledge

24. Basket Case

25. She

26. King For a Day

27. Shout/ Earth Angel (The Penguins)/ Christie Road / I’ll Be There

Act Three: Present

28. 21 Guns

29. American Eulogy

Encore

30. American Idiot

31. Jesus of Suburbia

32. Minority

33. Macy’s Day Parade

34. “Say I Love You”

35. Good Riddance

===============================

San Antonio, TX, AT&T Center, August 9

Postscript:

I unexpectedly attended the August 9 show in San Antonio. I flew into Austin from JFK that morning, got a rental car and booked it to San Antonio. This show is a bit blurry as I was so tired by the end of it, but I’m very proud of my barrier bruise. I’ll write more about it when I get the chance.


Green Day Takes New York, Pt. II: MSG1

========================================
New York, Madison Square Garden, July 27, 2009
I knew from the moment I exited the Times Union Center that I would not experience the full impact of Green Day’s music at this concert. You see, I had seats… high into the dead zone of MSG. So very sad. Nonetheless, the crowd around me (except for the three people next to me who kept getting out of their seats) were pretty great. There were four young men in crazy hats (Kings for a Day?) who very politely let us know that if their giant sombrero hats got in the way of viewing to say something. And I did. But, my friend who went with me is a only a nominal Green Day fan and while I love her, I don’t think she enjoyed the show very much. I have sworn never to again attend a Green Day show with someone who is a nominal fan. It’s all or nothing for a Green Day show.

Green Day concert seats - MSG1

Green Day concert seats - MSG1

I’ve seen a few concerts at Madison Square Garden and for most of them, I’ve been in the 300 sections, high up under the skyboxes. I hate sitting there. U2 sounded like they were underwater when I saw them there years ago. I noticed the sound difference most specifically during this show when I went down toward the front of the stadium after Billie Joe frightened the MSG security guards by urging fans to (slowly) come down and fill out the pit. Looking from up above, I had a feeling he would do this since the pit on stage right had a slight void of bodies in it. Of course, as usual, I didn’t get down there in time (yes, I left my friend in the dust), and of course, as usual, I chose the wrong aisle to go down because Billie came up to the stadium on the aisle next to me. I’m pretty sure they were clearing that area anyway so that he wouldn’t trip and fall. And he didn’t! Yay! I marched back up to my seat and longed for that pit. My goodness.

Elijah and Green Day

High Five

Other highlights of this show for me where Billie telling the story of fighting with Adrienne over the phone when he was out with friends, while some guy drove by and said, “Fuck you Billie Joe! Green Day sucks!” Billie Joe then went on to relate how he beat the crap out of the guy, goes back into the bar, does some shots and forgets that Adrienne is still on the phone. Apparently this all took place during the tough final record-mixing time. Those days are over now, it’s all good.

I love storytime!

Green Day at Madison Square Garden 1

Green Day at Madison Square Garden 1

I think the thing that I missed most in this show was the chance to dance, play and interact more directly with the band. Billie, Tré and Mike work the crowd like you wouldn’t believe. They draw you into playtime, even if seeing them at great distances. Take it from me, the closer the better. Even if it’s only been three times so far (tomorrow’s MSG fill will make four, all this year) seeing them, I completely regret not taking the opportunity a long time ago. Oh. Well. After only a few shows, I kinda feel addicted now. Is this how all those old Deadheads felt, too? Hmm.

Liz and me at the Green Day show, MSG1

Liz and me at the Green Day show, MSG1

From an audience participation point of view, this show had some great moments. I can’t remember exactly when but at one point a construction hat pops out of the pit, and Billie puts it on. He throws it back to the pit a few seconds later. The construction hat will be back.

Billie in the epic-failed stage dive guy's construction hat - GDA

Billie in the epic-failed stage dive guy's construction hat - GDA

East Jesus Nowhere.” What can I say about this song except for ‘thank you.’ From the very moment when the screeching, metallic quality of the chords start, a powerful moment begins which does not disappoint. The band finds a young, preferably innocent, child upon which to perform a ritual known as “saving the soul.” Sometimes the kids are scared shitless, and sometimes you get a kid like Elijah… with a Biblical name no less… at Madison Square Garden. Good times. Elijah played his part perfectly and deserved the chant that his name got. Billie was pretty good, too. :)

“Longview” was surreal. I don’t remember the first verse singer, but for the second verse singer, we come back to the construction hat. From what I understand, some kids from Oakland traveled from California to see the band. The guy with the construction hat being one of them. Well, he got on stage and in a heavy metal sorta Gwar-like voice started the lyrics. Which was kinda cool for a word or two. And then he stopped in the middle of the verse and made Billie sing the song. A bit of a bummer, I’d say, particularly since the second verse is the best verse in “Longview.” In recompense, Billie had him stage dive, which he gladly did. He ran down the cat walk at high speed down and…. he jumps and… nobody catches him. Oops. This clip has the scene, which ends around the 3:37 mark. LOL funny. Luckily, the last dude totally redeems the moment with a great performance and a even better stage dive. As a bonus, the clip also has Basket Case, always a winner. (Hurry before it’s too late!)

Green Day at Madison Square Garden, July 27, 2009

Green Day at Madison Square Garden, July 27, 2009

I think this night was the first time that they played “When I Come Around,” which may have been a request from the floor. Lots of fun signs pop up with requests, but alas, I can’t think of any right now. I was made happy by it being played. Yay! Disappearing Boy made its second appearance on the concert tour (it was also played in Albany), but on this night it was dedicated to Billie’s oldest son, Joey.

Besides the fact that Green Day played, which is the greatest thing in the world, an even greater thing happened during the 40-hour song, “Jesus of Suburbia.” On this tour the song, or portions of it, have been given over to aspiring musicians from the audience in a sort of crap-shoot way (see Construction Hat Guy). Usually it works out well. Occasionally, it works out really fabulously.

Billie began to ask the audience if they could play “Jesus of Suburbia” and was about to settle on a guy with a sign when the guy said two words he never should have uttered, “What song?” Billie looked at him said, “What song? What did I just say, dumbass?” and moved on to a girl with a sign standing next to him. What happened next was magical, and it was a good thing a professional bootlegger… uh… caught it on tape.

Picking Stephanie

Stephanie debuts with Green Day, Madison Square Garden, July 27, 2009

“I fucking love you!”*

Stephanie, from the GDC, is pretty ecstatic, as you may well believe. She got a mention in the Arts Blog of the New York Times, a bunch of other blogs, and most importantly, Larry Livermore mentioned her on his blog. You go, girl!

Elijah needs salvation from his good ways - Green Day - Madison Square Garden1*

Elijah needs salvation from his good ways - Green Day - Madison Square Garden1*

Setlist: MSG1
1. Song of the Century
2. 21st Century Breakdown
3. Know Your Enemy
4. East Jesus Nowhere
5. Holiday
6. Static Age
7. Before the Lobotomy
8. Are We the Waiting
9. St. Jimmy
10. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
11. 2000 Light Years Away
12. Welcome to Paradise
13. Castaway
14. When I Come Around
15. Disappearing Boy
16. Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
17. Thank You (Led Zeppelin)/ Sweet Child O’ Mine (Guns N’ Roses)/ Take Me
Out to the Ball Game/ 99 Bottles of Beer/ Iron Man (Riff)
18. Brain Stew
19. Jaded
20. Longview
21. Basket Case
22. She
23. King For a Day
24. Shout/ Earth Angel (The Penguins)/ Swanee/ I’ll Be There
25. 21 Guns
26. American Eulogy

27. American Idiot
28. Jesus of Suburbia
29. Minority
30. Drama Queen
31. Last Night On Earth (acoustic)
32. Good Riddance

The show traditionally ends with Good Riddance performed by Billie on guitar, and some surprise acoustic numbers have come before it lately. Tonight’s show held a beautiful “Drama Queen” (my first time hearing it live), and a soulful “Last Night on Earth.”

Goodbye until next time. Like tomorrow??

Goodbye until next time. Like tomorrow??

I think the saddest part… and mind you, I had a super time… was not being in the pit and missing the chance to meet Adrienne Armstrong. Apparently she was asking folks in the pit to help with the natural resources project that the band is involved with, the Natural Resources Defense Council or NRDC. You know, some nature crackpots that keep talking about saving the planet or something like that. Good people. It would have been nice to say hello.

Nonetheless, I still had one more show to go. The second night of two shows is always better.*

Photos from: vcastlive.com; greenday.com; greendayauthority.com
*quoth Billie


Green Day Takes New York, Pt. 1: Albany

Memories… like the corners of my mind… misty water–colored memories…

Ah, what can I say about the three days I just spent with Green Day? This one is going to be tough in a 1,000 words or less (yeah right), so let’s just get started. And sorry it’s taken me a while to write this up, but you know, I was busy. I really do have a life. No. Really.

===================================
Albany, Times Union Center, July 25, 2009

I have never, in all of my days, deliberately gone out of town to see a band. Sure, I’ve traveled as far as say, Nassau Coliseum or the Meadowlands from the epicenter of Manhattan, but never 360 miles. Maybe I should have done it more when I was younger, but hell, shit happens. It felt good.

Three things stand out for me at this show: the epic pranks (watch out, it’s The SNOO!!) exchanged between opening band The Bravery and Green Day, the thrashing exuberance of Welcome to Paradise, and my green lei that I had picked out from my costume chest and brought to Albany in hopes of presenting to Billie for a song. He wore it for St. Jimmy, but I’m not sure if it necessarily worked for the song. I was thinking more for King for a Day, but Billie asked a fellow nearer the catwalk (whose picture I’ve seen at greenday.com) if he had something for him, but their handoff timing didn’t work out quite right. It’s always good to have a theatrical backup in case of costume malfunction. It didn’t really matter, of course, because Green Day blew St. Jimmy out of the water in Albany. I have never seen a rock performance like this St. Jimmy in my life (the MSG shows included). I keep looking at the video (and not just the lei) and thinking: my God, did I live through that performance or was it just a dream?

Who is this mysterious masked man?

Who is this mysterious masked man?

Massive traffic from NYC to Albany almost drove me crazy, but I had an iPhone jack in the car, so I was cool with my shuffled Green Day albums, and I arrived in Albany around 3:30, much later than I planned, and found a parking spot about two blocks from the stadium, which happened to be across the street from the band’s hotel. They were getting into busses about this time, so I just stayed across the street and smoked a cigarette and watched. I had to take a breather from driving so far, too. I was kinda wound up from the drive up, anyway.

I didn’t wait for the busses to leave, feeling kinda stupid just hovering across the street, under some shade. I turned away and walked the two blocks to the stadium and while the line was longish, I was lucky to meet some cool people, like Elana and her friend David, and other folks whose names slip my old mind at the moment. I hope Elana doesn’t mind my saying, but at one point I realized that she had hearing aids on. I asked her if she knew that there were loud booms in the stadium, and she gave a thumbs up and said, “Yes!” We were headed directly to the barrier, and I wondered what would happen when Mr. Cool blew the flashpot during the Bravery’s show, a ‘tradition’ on his part that had started ’round ’bout the Seattle show. Being from the GDC, she had already heard about them and was ready to be blown away.

Since I was visiting the armpit of New York State, Albany, by myself, the Verizon picture guy, Chris, took a photo with me. He says he takes photos with everyone who’s alone at the hundreds of Green Day concerts he’s been to. Aww… thanks. The pictures are supposed to be up 72 hours later, but the two I took with him, at Albany and the 2nd MSG, still aren’t up while the second one that I took with my friend Liz (see Pt. II) is up. It’s been five days already. Maybe he doesn’t want to seen with a hot 45-year-old woman. Well, that’s his bad! Bwahaha. No, seriously, Chris is a very cool guy though don’t tell him I told you that. A little hyper-active, but… I might just shock him when I show up in San Antonio at the end of the week, if he remembers me! Double bwhahaha.

There was also a lady selling buttons and wristbands down the line to pay for her Albany ticket and to make some money to head to the MSG shows. I saw her later at MSG2. The vibe of the people were for the most part cool. I also saw the guy with the dyed blond orange hair who eventually would sing a verse in “Longview,” I can’t remember his name, but whatever you do, don’t call him Lars.

Since I was going to see the band twice in the pit, I decided to attend Albany on the stage right side of the barrier, near Jason White, because in Madison Square Garden, I wanted to hear Tré’s drums from the foot of the MSG stage. I actually pondered this question a few times in thinking about the shows. I wanted to experience the music very close, but I also wanted to see the technical aspects of the staging from both sides, the full range of the stage. Plus, Elana and David had staked out spots directly at the stage right barrier already (the younger folk move quicker), and after becoming line friends and vowing to protect each other, I hung with them. I still had MSG to go at the time, but I will be getting to stage right when I hit San Antonio. I get to be right under the bass section again. I swear, the drums…can’t even be described. Ah, bliss.

Anyhoo, I was directly in front of the barrier and the security station onstage, behind the graffiti wall with spray-painted lyrics. Halfway through the Bravery’s set, which I thought was pretty good, I actually liked their Bauhaus/Goth/Pop/Morissey sound, several TREMENDOUS BOOMS began.

At the Barrier - Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown Tour - Albany, July 25, 2009

At the Barrier - Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown Tour - Albany, July 25, 2009

I had heard that Tré regularly set off giant flashpots in earlier shows during the Bravery’s set. I’m pretty sure that Tré likes explosions. The first time it happened in either Seattle or Vancouver, I can’t remember which, everyone in the theater thought something crazed had happened, and they would be right! It was a Tré-like character but not Tré at all! Both Tré and the Tré-like character like explosions. I think I’ve read that it’s been one a performance. Well, on this night, they kept going off. And going off, and going off. I think there were like five booms before the first furry farm animal (actually wild animals – the shock of the concert hadn’t warn off yet when I posted a picture earlier staying farm) appeared onstage and it just soared from there. Really, one can’t write about the experience or actually convey it in any way that would be understandable. It just wouldn’t make sense. Watch the video. And marvel how your memory is not loaded with that one-on-one spectacle. Out of the fucking blue. Brilliant. This experience brought home for me a lot regarding what Billie says at the beginning of each show: put your fucking cameras away and enjoy the moment, here and now, it can never be relived again. If others chose not to come tonight for whatever reason and miss this time together, then fuck ‘em, it’s our time. At the same time, it’s fucking great to go back and look at the snippets of video that are out there. It’s a strange balance. But forget the philosophy, it was a great fucking show. Blew my heart away.

All hail the prankery of The SNOO!

I will say, though, that when I think about the green lei, I get so deeply doubtful. It’s really weird. Here I was, involved in this great sea of play, and so worried that I had played the wrong lei/scarf/hat/underwear/thong/boa/sunglasses. Doubts. All the fucking time. Sigh. He’s just lucky he had costume backup! Bwahaha.

It was a great show. Mike was on our side a lot, man, he’s got long legs! Billie, on fire (metaphorically, of course), went into the audience from our side of the stage. I loved being able to see the backstage workings of the gig. In this show, the stagehands set up two storage trunks, one horizontal, the other vertical that reached the stage stairs, and then went with him to the stadium seating every step of the way. It was quite an exciting moment from a theatrical point of view. Smash that damned fourth wall.

I really hope they stick with playing “Welcome to Paradise.” It’s a message that people should be hearing right now. And so wonderfully danceable. While the show itself fades from my memory but the experience doesn’t, the last thing I’ll point out is the Bravery getting back at the evil Green Day pranksters, all of ‘em! EVEELLL, I tells ya. Yes, Billie Joe, we saw you sneak some TP-gun time from backstage. Can’t fool us! Bwahaha. It’s funny, but some people around me were speculating about which wild animal suit Billie was in. I thought to myself… hmmm, he ain’t in one of those things. He could have hurt himself! I also wonder how many die-hard fans were in attendance in Albany who knew who The SNOO was… or more importantly, why The SNOO is…

Anyway, the Bravery – two of whom were in cute frilly girlie outfits from having performed with the band in “King for a Day” – brought out a huge “Woodstock 94″ banner during “American Idiot” and threw clumps of dirt around in honor of Green Day being so old as to actually have a legacy stretching back to 1994. Oh, and in homage to the craziness of that moment in time when Woodstock became Mudstock, never to be relived again, even by the people who were there. Only memories now. The Bravery were so clever as to bring clumps of dirt with them and throw it around. One reviewer thought that the clumps were wigs. Uh… ok. I guess he’s never heard of Mudstock before. It was also funny that the Bravery ran off like girls when Billie Joe turned around and claimed how mad he was… and then started to laugh. I think they even squealed as they left.

Billie, Mike and Tré sure do have a lot of memories crammed into their heads. Good times.

Ultimately, for me, Albany did something I’ve rarely seen in theater, let alone a stadium concert: smash the theatrical fourth wall. Audience and performers can become one if you let it happen. It’s hard to do. Here’s a performance example of how to make it happen:

St. Jimmy – Green Day – Albany, July 25, 2009

Updated: Setlist

Song of the Century
21st Century Breakdown
Know Your Enemy
East Jesus Nowhere
Holiday
The Static Age
Before the Lobotomy
Are We the Waiting
St. Jimmy
Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
Hitchin’ A Ride
Welcome To Paradise
Disappearing Boy [I Don't Know, Sweet Home Alabama, Crazy Train, Iron Man, and Free Bird included]
Brain Stew
Jaded
Longview
Basket Case
She
King For A Day
Shout [Swanee, I'll Be There, and Earth Angel included]
21 Guns
American Eulogy

American Idiot
Jesus Of Suburbia
Minority
Last Night on Earth
Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)


Three Shows, And the Third One is a Charm

This will be brief but I wanted to share this amazing setlist from the second Madison Square Garden Green Day show from yesterday, July 28th. All three Green Day shows I went to (Albany and two MSG shows) were amazing, and I thought Albany was incredible, but these guys never cease to amaze… me, at least. The second MSG show was the most incredible experiences of my life, and that’s saying a lot.

I’ll more about the shows soon, but I wanted to share the setlist below. I’m a bit sad that it’s going to be awhile before I see them again, but I hope they do a second leg and I plan it better and travel to see them more. I really wish I were going to England! Ugh.

Anyway, last night was the  BEST DANCE PARTY EVER… and that’s NOT an exaggeration.

Green Day — Madison Square Garden 2nd Show — Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

1. Song of the Century
2. 21st Century Breakdown
3. Know Your Enemy
4. Murder City
5. East Jesus Nowhere
6. Holiday
7. Static Age
8. Before the Lobotomy
9. Are We the Waiting
10. St. Jimmy
11. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
12. A Quick One While He’s Away (The Who)
13. Hitchin a Ride
14. Welcome to Paradise
15. Stop, Drop, and Roll/ Eye of the Tiger
16. FOD
17. When i come around
18. Going to Pasalacqua
19. Stuart And The Ave./ Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?
20. Iron Man riff
21. Brain Stew
22. Jaded
23. Knowledge
24. Basket Case
25. She
26. King For a Day
27. Shout/ Earth Angel (The Penguins)/ Christie Road
/ I’ll Be There
28. 21 Guns
29. American Eulogy

30. American Idiot
31. Jesus of Suburbia
32. Minority
33. Macy’s Day Parade
34. “Say I Love You” (Unreleased song)
35. Good Riddance


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,937 other followers