A conversation on Facebook comparing Green Day’s two shows at Madison Square Garden back in July and their two shows at London’s O2 in October prompted me to think of Green Day’s version of The Who’s “A Quick One While He’s Away.” Four people, including me, had seen all four shows and except for one, agreed that while both second nights were better, (because the second night is always better), we felt that London’s 2nd show was the winner for various reasons. However, Dawn, who I’ve mentioned before, had one caveat: Green Day’s performance of “A Quick One While He’s Away,” from the second show at Madison Square Garden.
This performance took MSG by surprise because no one in their right mind expected it. The song is one of four bonus tracks from the iTunes release of 21st Century Breakdown and unless you had that album version (the CD and I believe the vinyl versions have different bonus tracks) you were kinda lost as to what was going on.
I remember being a little nervous at the hesitant start for the band. It’s a long and slightly complicated song and who knows how many times they had actually rehearsed it. After a few bars they let go and went with it and I realized that what I was seeing was a very rare performance, especially since Billie Joe noted that it was the first (and probably the last) time that they had performed it. There may be good reason for that as the crowd took a while to warm up to it but I am not sure if the audience ever completely got into it. I did, but I was in the pit, behind one row of bodies and I was pretty damned happy with having heard it live at least once.
So, I got to thinking about the performance and wanted to watch it again, so I’ve posted it below. It’s not the best of videos, but it is the entire seven minute song:
Fast forward to that ficticious band, the Foxboro Hot Tubs, and their gig in London on November 1st. The Foxies (my silly pet name for them) broke the song out and repeated the ‘You Are Forgiven’ a billion times. Here they are having a crazy time with it and the two versions, from, um, two different bands, is like night and day. There are three short “A Quick One” clips on Youtube from the secret show in London and the clip below is the longest one. All of them are very short, which probably had something to do with booze.