“Welcome to Paradise” is one of my favorite Green Day songs. When I first heard it played live in Albany, I almost hurt myself. Yes, I know, I’m a Green Day American Idiot ‘neophyte’ and it’s one that everyone knows and many of you have seen this song live a million times. Blah, blah, blah. Well, I haven’t. The song’s driving guitar plunge mixed with a speeding bass and drums combined with the primal lyricism of a screamed I wanna… take you through a… wasteland… I like to call my home … … … welcome to paradise!, gets me into a head-damaging stance every time. It’s a crowd pleaser, too!
I was thinking about the song the other day when I went looking for some YouTube videos of Green Day’s performance of it during the recent tour. I found one taken at an odd angle from stage right and a little toward the back of the stage. The video shows the band and a good portion of the audience, with some nice footage of Tré and Mike from above. The video isn’t the greatest, but the interchange between the band and audience is particularly dynamic. Unfortunately, it cuts off at the last refrain of the song. Nonetheless, the video captures the energy of the room (and yes, I know it’s a stadium, but with Green Day, it feels like a room).
My favorite version is from Dookie due to its fuller sound, but the rawness of the Kerplunk! version has its advantages, too. I must avoid brain injury if they play this in San Antonio.