Monthly Archives: August 2010

View From The Couch: Green Day at Lollapalooza 2010

View from the Couch at Lollapalooza

I’ve never been to a big music festival. I wish I could say that I was cool and at the first Lollapolooza back in the day, but I’ve never been to any and I’m not all that cool. Sigh. I also don’t appreciate insanely big crowds. I’ve lived in cities like Detroit, Philadelphia, and New York, where MASSIVE crowds, particularly in New York, make me a little giggity. I heard what happened at the first Woodstock, y’know!

Billie Joe Leads the Crowd at Lolla- Green Day Authority Picture Vault

I’ve also never had the funds for one of them, nor the travel time, or job position to allow me to attend one. Maybe next year.  Plus, the last time I was in Chicago during the summer, I threw up in a trashcan not far from Grant Park on Michigan Avenue. I know what you’re thinking. No, I wasn’t drunk, I was suffering from heat exhaustion. Chicago is cold in the winter and hot in the summer, the only two real seasons of the year for the beautiful city at the foot of Lake Michigan.

Since I like a band called Green Day, I’ve been very interested in this year’s Lolla, but I couldn’t afford to hit it. I didn’t have time or money and remember what I said about massive crowds? In addition, I’m mentally scheduled to go to five shows, three here (Camden happened last week) on the East Coast (Hartford, Holmdel) and two in California (Chula Vista and San Francisco). I have time off of work due to holidays that happen in the first week of September, and I’m jonesing something awful for California dreaming as well. There is a 50% chance that California may not be happen due to finances. I want to write about the final two shows of Green Day’s North American, second-to-last leg of the tour. Afterall, not only is it Homecoming, but this blog has been about one thing since June of 2009: Green Day and their performance from a fan of performance’s point-of-view. You can piece shows together after the fact and know the general feel remotely, but it’s not like being there and reporting on it firsthand. I kinda find it… hmm… sexy… orgas… uh… well, I hope you get my drift. So, we’ll see if I get to do it and be able to write about it, too.

Anyway, enough of that, back to…

Lollapalooza 2010: The View From The Couch

Saturday Lolla Schedule - AOL LifeStream (Live and Pre-Taped)

This weekend, I hibernated. I didn’t mean to. I had plans to see Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings play a special gig at Prospect Part in Brooklyn yesterday, but when I began to watch Blues Traveler on Lollapalooza’s Life/Live Stream (from AOL! I had no idea they still existed), I sorta got sucked into my couch and stayed there watching the stream for the next eight hours from the luxury of my Ikea furniture and no crowds! Frankly, while that was good in one way, it sucks balls not to have been in Chicago to see Green Day rip apart Lollapalooza Live and show the crowd that they, over their twenty-two year career, have managed to grow from three scrawny kids playing to a mountainside gig of five kids into one of the world’s few stadium punk bands. And I do mean punk.

The day at Lolla that I was able to spend remotely was exciting, and the performances that I saw (alas, not Green Day’s gig from the stream, only through updates from Twitter and news feeds), were phenomenal.

Lolla 2010

Blues Traveler, Against Me!, Gogol Bordello, and Social Distortion

I’m old enough to remember the heyday of Blues Traveler, and I won’t say anything bad about them. When they came out in the 1990s, they were fun and had a hard, bluesy and slightly rebellious sound in that tradition of the Grateful Dead and Phish with some grunge thrown in, too, and I remember many a time kinda rocking out to their sound of summer. I dropped in on the Lolla feed just as they were half-way through a Nirvana song, having traveled in the same circle back in the day with Nirvana and honoring Cobain’s memory. They set the mood well for a day of remote festival couch surfing, bringing just that touch of 1990s nostalgia into play for when Green Day would hit the stage later on the night. Blues Traveler played at Woodstock ’94, the same year that Green Day turned it into Mudstock ’94.

Against Me! was next up, and it was the first time that I had heard them and I liked what I heard. Raw and emotional, their songs of protest and the speedy beat made me realize that this is a band that I need to see live one day. They are from Florida and have been around since 1997, but only recently released their second major album, White Crosses. It’s on my list of albums to get now.

There are no words really to explain what happened during Gogol Bordello‘s set at the Parkways stage. I’ve seen Gogol Bordello live once, at Terminal Five in New York City, and I swear to High Heaven that it was one of the best dance parties I’ve ever been to. Their Roma/Israeli/South American sound, with the Russian folk violin and accordion hi-jinks thrown in leaves you with no choice but to dance. Your feet are unable to stay silent as your Old World soul gets all of the pain out through slamming one another in a dance pit. If the footage from their performance is ever released, YOU MUST WATCH what you can. The audience were whirling dervishes and it was an amazing performance, even from the comfort of my own damned couch.

Lastly, Social Distortion. My goodness, what a way to round out a punk afternoon of performance. I’ve never seen them perform and I only know a few of their songs. Remember, I’m on a sentimental journey through sight and sound and I’m discovering the roots of punk backwards. I sometimes feel like a fake because of it, but truthfully, the wonder of discovery is that you are never too young or too old for it. Finally getting to see these hard, older punks, who never made it huge but are an anchor in the pantheon of punk, pour their spirit of protest and consciousness out, made me wish so much that I had had the time and energy to delve deep into punk after I started graduate school in 1992. I was a musical dropout by then, though, and a bit too crazed with school and work and theater in the 1980s to pay much attention either. My bad.

I’m not sure if the Parkways site in Grant Park quite knew what would hit them over the next hours, as Blues Traveler loosened up the crowd on another stage from their afternoon grogginess, Against Me! got their feet functioning, Gogol Bordello made their heads explode, and Social Distortion made them want more. That more was the last show of the night, with some guys known as Green Day who had somehow become the best, nay, only, stadium punk performers of their era from the school of the 1990s. As dodobrainworms, one of those who witnessed the performance yesterday from Grant Park tweeted during Green Day’s set, “Jesus….when did Green Day become the perfect stadium act…time flies.”

Green Day at Lollapalooza 2010 – Demonstrating How a Stadium Punk Band Does It

Hey YOU - BJA at Lolla - Green Day Authority Picture Vault

Once Social Distortion went offstage, there would sadly be no live streaming of Green Day’s show, and my heart kinda sank when they didn’t magically appear in the feed somehow. It was all cool, though, because I shared some time with fellow fans as we watched Twitter feeds of the show and Facebook pages found snippets of magic that floated through Twitvid. It was fun, even if frustrating not being there as the Tweets made us all really proud of “our guys,” our Green Day, who’s given us so much crazy fan-love that they can do almost no wrong in our eyes and all we want to do is support them in whatever they do. And they didn’t disappoint us or that audience. They put on one of the greatest shows that ever hit Lollapalooza.

Water by Tre - Green Day at Lolla 2010 - Green Day Authority Picture Vault

Since I wasn’t there, I can’t tell you how it really was, but the videos that have come out are really something to see. Once again, the band sounds tight and honed, and Billie Joe’s voice… dear FSM, let’s not even mention how great it sounds for fear of fainting. I posted a long list of Tweets yesterday during the performance, and there were only a couple of naysayers that I saw, while the majority of them were extremely positive.

Mike Ain't Fucking Around - Green Day at Lolla, 2010 - Green Day Authority Picture Vault

The usual antics seemed to have happened: the more than adorable kid who was brought up and saved Billie Joe this time [PICTURE HERE]; the French audience member who stagedived from 12 feet up, directed into the arms of the paparazzi that Billie Joe corralled below [PICTURE HERE]; the “Longview” singer with the Green Day Idiot Club t-shirt on who blew the crowd away and got a guitar for his troubles afterward [VIDEO HERE], the Hey-Ohs of “Hitchin’ A Ride” [VIDEO HERE]; the long and all-over-the-place but fun-as-hell “Shout-Satisfaction-My Kind of Town-Hey Jude-Shout” medley [VIDEO HERE], to the “Brain Stew” where Billie Joe brought up the American Sign Language interpreter for the evening to do the water gun as they seemed to have bonded through the night and she was rocking out some musical sign language interpretation [VIDEO HERE] [PICTURE HERE]; the same shenanigans that never, to me, get old.

Mike and Billie - Lolla, 2010 - Green Day Authority Picture Vault

I hear that there was an amazing version of “Letterbomb” also, but again, as from Buffalo, there’s no good video of it. Four Green Day songs will be streamed tonight on the Lollapalooza Webcast at 11:00 PM Eastern Time. Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to see it as one of the four.

As I was reading the reports off of the Internet about the show, I teared up a little bit. Yeah, I know it’s stupid, it’s just a band, but it’s my band, one that I’m awfully proud of. Congratulations, boys, you’ve come a long way since 1994, and while I may not have been along for the entire ride, I’m so happy that I finally caught the Holiday bus to Jingletown.

See everyone who’s going to Hartford and Holmdel there, and if God’s willing and the crik don’t rise… Chula Vista and San Francisco as well.

Here’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”:

“Boulevard of Broken Dream” – Green Day at Lolla, August 2010

During the solo encore, Billie Joe sang, “She’s A Rebel.” Yea, he forgot the words (which he tweeted last night as being a “highlight” of the show for him), but you know, it doesn’t matter, because it’s still beautiful.

“She’s A Rebel” – Billie Joe Armstrong – Lolla, August 2010

Here’s some links:

Green Day Authority Picture Vault: Green Day at Lollapolooza, 2010

Lollapalooza 2010: Green Day KILLS on Saturday Night – Marcus Leshock, Chicago Now.

You Ain’t No Picasso (Review and Photos): “Bottom line, Green Day have gotten even better since I saw them nine years ago. Sure, they’ve been around a while (BJA’s opening joke: “Welcome to Lollapalooza! After us is the Smashing Pumpkins… oh wait. The Beastie Boys! …No, wrong year. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds!”) but they’ve yet to overstay their welcome. I don’t know how many more years they can do it at this level, but we should be thankful for every one.”

Anthony Nowack Photographs of Green Day at Lollapalooza 2010

NovaFM.com: Green Day Live at Lollapalooza Photos

Spin.com: Best Photos from Lolla, Day 2

FestivalCrashers.com: Green Day Pulls Out All the Stops at Lollapalooza, “Performance: 20/20 What was there not to love? As a friend of a friend said while leaving “It’s everything I’d ever want from a rock show. And maybe a little more.” The pyrotechnics, the visuals, the songs, the fireworks, the medleys. They pulled out every trick. Even borrowing a couple (like the toilet paper shooter trick from Wayne Coyne and Girl Talk. It all worked. Except the t-shirt gun. I say that now, but I’m not wearing a shirt. Other bands should take notes. A lot of notes.”

The AOL LifeStream consisted of: “When I Come Around,” “Brain Stew,” “21 Guns,” and “Jesus of Surburbia.”

We're All Idiots - Lolla, 2010 - Green Day Authority Picture Vault


The Breakdown Will Be Twittered: Green Day at Lollapalooza

Twit Much?

"3 nights. All music. All you need is some food and some drugs and everything will be OK."- BJA at Lolla

I’ve been hanging around with Green Day fans tonight at the Green Day Community, where we’re sharing Tweets with each other that have appeared about Green Day’s performance at Lollapolooza tonight. It’s the first time that Green Day has performed at a Lolla since 1994, and there were more than a few naysayers harping on the festival’s choice of Green Day headlining. According to those folks who are tweeting, Lolla made the right choice in asking Green Day to headline this year. So far, they have gotten tweets that claim that tonight’s show was better than the much-anticipated performance of Lady Gaga yesterday.

Before I get into that, here’s the funniest one, someone tweeted what Billie Joe said a bit ago onstage about Lollapalooza:

owhmusicguy: “3 nights. All music. All you need is some food and some drugs and everything will be OK.” – Billie Joe Armstrong. #lollapalooza

Ha! That does sound like a good way to get through a three-day music festival, that’s for sure.

Here’s a short TwitVid from Jough Dempsey (via Green Day LIVE on Tour on Facebook). [LINK] They sound great even so far away from the camera! Oh, and you think that a 10:00 PM Lolla curfew would stop Green Day? Think again… they blew right past the curfew. My boys. I lub you.

alissas Playing past the 10pm curfew is one of the most punk rock things you can do at Lolla. #GreenDay

Sarah's Sign at Lolla... and she did!

Here are some more Tweets from tonight:

Femaelstrom
Billie Joe has threatened to keep playing forever. We will all die here, and we will die happy. #GreenDay #Lollapalooza about 2 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Femaelstrom

So how does one go about becoming a groupie? about 1 hour ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Fart_robot
RT @CarlitoJERK Just ripped a 10 second fart at Green Day. Great show. FART ROBOT APPROVES. about 2 hours ago via API in reply to CarlitoJERK

BigCash
Greenday #lolla fan wins for largest, uh, guts. After called on stage, he jumps from 12′ stage into a sea of photogs arms at request of band about 2 hours ago via UberTwitter

MethodDesigns
I love how Billy Joe from Green Day makes every fan feel so important. Their live show is amazing!
#lolla about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

dodobrainworms
Jesus….when did Green Day become the perfect stadium act…time flies.

GenevieveKoski
Billie Joe pulled a kid up onstage to sing, then gave him his guitar becuase he did such a good job. I’m literally tearing up. #lolla

alissas
BJA may be the best performer I’ll see all year. #GreenDay #Lolla

slybeer
Nice ass, billie joe #greenday #lollapalooza
slybeer
Err, for the record, he just mooned the crowd, i’m not just creepy! #greenday #lollapalooza

Marah Eakin
Very impressed with GD’s pogoing and punk guitar jumping in their advanced age. #lolla
marahe
Green day keeps bringing people up on stage to sing. The very best live band karaoke. #lolla
marahe
On the other hand I wonder if Billie Joe just finds the lyrics to “Longview” to be a little embarrassing. #lolla

Kyle_Ryan
Their fame has changed over the years but one thing about Green Day hasn’t: They still spend half their set fucking around. Respect! #lolla

EarbudDJ
If you’re at #Lolla and don’t think Green Day had the best set, you weren’t here

CosLIVE
Like em or hate em, Green Day just put on one of the best Lollapalooza headlining performances ever… and theyre still playing #lollapa …
coslive
And its done. Lollapalooza had the time of their life. pun intended. #lollapalooza

Mike at Lolla


Letterbomb In Buffalo and The Year was 1994

Tweet Me a Letterbomb

Green Day tweeted again today, presumably, from Billie Joe, but it’s not signed. Here’s what it said:

Show in buffalo was SICK! Highlight was letterbomb for me. In chicago now. Lollapalooza. Playing w L7 and the Breeders!-what year is it? about 5 hours ago via UberTwitter

UPDATE: I wish. 😦 Sadly, I decided that I didn’t like either version of “Letterbomb” from Buffalo that’s out there right now, so instead, here’s “Give Me Novacaine.” If a better Youtube version of “Letterbomb” shows up, I’ll post it.

Lollapolooza, 1994

They barely had a crowd at one of the Lolla shows, but they still rocked it:

Green Day – Welcome to Paradise [Live @ Lollapalooza 1994] – Green Day Concerts

Now they are selling out stadiums and creating musicals on Broadway. Who would have thought it? While I’d like to say that Green Day had no clue what would happen so many years later, I do have the feeling that they were determined to make their mark and go to amazing places. Congrats on having your dreams come true, lads. That’s pretty rad.

I wanted to see them at their first Lolla appearance since 1994, which happens tomorrow on Saturday, August 7, 2010, but it ain’t happening. I was no where near into Green Day when they performed in 1994. I’ve never been to a giant music festival (yea, I know) and I’ve thought many times of going, but I just never did it. Chicago is a lovely city in the summer, too.

1994 was not only Green Day’s breakout year with their Lolla appearance along with their maniacal performance that same year at Mudstock, aka Woodstock, but the year also marked the death of Kurt Cobain, too, a moment that I remember with great sadness. I have a feeling that Green Day is gonna rock it out tomorrow, for the old days when they were all still young and had shit to be angry about, playing with amazing bands of the day, among them L7 and the awesome Breeders. There might be a bit of nostalgia going on they hit the stage tomorrow at Lollapalooza. 2010’s show is going to be one of those gigs that you really, really wished you could have been at, just like those performances at Lollas back in 1994. Well, at least I wish I were there in 1994 and 2010. Oh well.

Have a great time, if you’re going! If you’re not going like me, head on over to Spinner.com and download Lollapalooza 2010 Free MP3s.

Here’s the Lollapalooza lineup from 1994, where L7, the Breeders, and Green Day appeared together, via Wikipedia. Wow. Look at that fucking lineup.

1994

Location: North America

Dates: July 7, 1994 – September 5, 1994

Main Stage: The Smashing Pumpkins, Beastie Boys, George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars, The Breeders, A Tribe Called Quest, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, L7, Boredoms (first half of tour), Green Day (second half)

Side Stage: The Flaming Lips, The Verve, The Boo Radleys, The Frogs (first six dates only), Guided by Voices, Lambchop, Girls Against Boys, Rollerskate Skinny, Palace Songs, Stereolab, Fu-Schnickens, The Pharcyde, Shudder to Think, Luscious Jackson, God Lives Underwater, King Kong, Charlie Hunter Trio, Shonen Knife, Blast Off Country Style, Souls of Mischief, Cypress Hill, The Black Crowes

Several of the artists, including Green Day and Cypress Hill, skipped at least one Lollapalooza tour date in order to appear at Woodstock ’94 instead. (During Woodstock ’94, a security guard mistook bassist Mike Dirnt of Green Day for a stage-invading fan and punched out some of his teeth. Green Day did not perform in Miami) (Green Day held the opening slot for the show in Atlanta, flying to New York immediately afterwards.) Nirvana was scheduled to headline but officially pulled out on April 7, 1994, amid strong rumors that the band was on the verge of breaking up. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was found dead in Seattle, Washington the following day. Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, made surprise guest appearances at several shows, speaking to the crowds about the loss.[1]

Thanks to Green Day LIVE on Tour on Facebook for the Letterbomb link.


Camden, Baby! – Green Day Rocks the Riverline

Listen to Me Whine - BJA, Camden, Susquehanna Bank Center, 8/3/2010 - Photo by xGeneralxS

By the time I got to the kickoff show of Green Day’s current North American tour leg, I was stressed and a bit exhausted. The weeks leading up to the show have been overwhelming emotionally and just sucky. I’ve been missing the idea of California and my life here in New York has been droning on. I’ve been restless and unsure and stuck about many things lately, and I’ve only wanted to think of big ideas that I’m afraid will never come true. Combined with a general life pathos, well, let’s just say that I wish the Last Ride In was actually on a surfboard and not on what feels like a runaway train. It’s been good, but it’s been hella frustrating, too. And not in a fun, Frustrators, sort of way either.

Luckily, I’ve seen some pretty good bands since Green Day (or actually the Foxboro Hot Tubs) was last in town back in April, like the Mystic Knights and Prima Donna, but I’ve also been lucky to see old school punks and shows such as The Avengers, Jello Biafra and the School of Guantanamo Medicine, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, the English Beat, Courtney Love, Faith No More, and Star Fucking Hipsters. I’ve come across smaller bands over the time, too, the crazed Cula A Buco playing with the Cobras and Prima Donna in Santa Cruz, local NYC bands, the Homewreckers, the Sandworms, Yula and the Extended Family, and a few more whose names I can’t remember. It’s been good musical times.

The Ticket That Went to Wembley Without Me - Wembley, 19 June 2010

Though I’ve seen many great shows over the last few months, Green Day was never far from my mind. I missed Wembley last June because I couldn’t get over the expensive Summer airfare pond known as the Atlantic Ocean, and that made me sad. Luckily, a little piece of Wembley came home to me as Jax sent me the Ticket That Went To Wembley Without Me. Thanks, Jax!

Since missing Wembley (and I’ve been lucky through the year, so I’m not whining about it… anymore), the second leg of the North American tour has been on my mind what with making mental plans about which shows to go to, how to get there — if I can get there — all the while attempting to avoid a 21st century breakdown simultaneously. Sigh.

Though I’ve seen a lot of great bands since those halcyon days of Pinhead Gunpowder playing at the small 924 Gilman in February or those beautiful nights at Don Hill’s or the Bowery Electric with the Foxboro Hot Tubs in April, I’ve got to say that I have been a little spoiled by the smaller, more intimate shows that Green Day or any of their members in all of their varieties may play. I’d love to see Green Day in a smaller space, and the amphitheaters are going to be the equivalent of as small and intimate of a Green Day show that I’m going to get after missing their shows last year at the Bowery Ballroom and Webster Hall in NYC.

Green Day - Camden, Susquehanna Bank Center, 8/3/2010 - Fith Photography

I’m excited by the amphitheater tour, though I’ve not always been so thrilled at the thought that either there was no pit at some venue or as I found out last night, there would be no catwalk for Billie Joe to go strutting down. I had thought about that possibility, but the reality was a bit like, oh, bummer, no catwalk at all. After which I thought to myself that that was a bit whiny. I didn’t even have to worry, though, because Green Day can adapt to any venue, and adapt they did. It was a great show, despite the dicky boys in the area of the pit that my friend and I found ourselves in. I heard later that if only we could have seen the other side of the pit, we would have known that there was plenty of space over there to dance.

Tre is All Smiles - Camden, Susquehanna Bank Center, 8/3/2010 - Fith Photography

A Man and His Bass - Green Day, Camden, Susquehanna Bank Center, 8/3/2010 - Fith Photography

Since we got to the show just as Green Day went on after a traffic jam on lovely NJ Highway 295 stopped our progress (thanks Rachel for clarifying that for me, lol), by the time we caught our breath, had a beer and some cigarettes, and entered the pit area, we could not see over the heads of anyone and assumed that there was no space on the far side of the pit. I suppose there was an entrance on the Ben Franklin side of the space, but we entered on the Walt Whitman side and into a wall of people.

Catcher In The Rye - Camden, Susquehanna Bank Center, 8/3/2010 - FITH Photography

No one was really dancing in the pit, it was more pushing and shoving, and I can get a bit wild. Most of the time, it’s all good, but I ended up behind this tall fellow whose space I entered and I am not sure if he was trying to block me from taking his space (which I wasn’t trying to do), or blocking his girlfriend from being pushed by me or the people that were pushing me from behind. The day was so stressful that I actually got angry at his elbow blocking and literally punching me in the side and chest with them. No way do I play that. I pinched his arm when he kept doing it. I was trying to get past him and out of his way, but his elbows were blocking everything and I couldn’t move anywhere. At the same time, I was so warm that I thought I was going to faint. If only I had known that the other side of the pit was empty, I would have been much happier, and not felt the need to annihilate this tall asshole in front of me. At that point, I sorely missed my burly and stoic Cobra men, who would have chomped his elbows off, or at least been able to see over the heads of the crowd. Those boys are tall!

Anyway, the show itself was great. The band had a frantic energy that did not stop onstage. I was also totally psyched when Billie Joe came out with fluffy blond hair. Yes, folks, you heard it, it’s a HAIR ALERT!

Billie Joe with a Silly Bandanna of Pot Leaves - Camden, NJ, 8/4/10 - Photo by Green Day Mind

You know how I am about taking pictures (I’m not much of a photographer lately anyway since I hate my camera and I don’t like taking a lot of photos at shows anyway), so I only have two of them, but it just so happens that xGeneralxS, who took some amazing photographs of the Foxboro Hot Tubs at Don Hill’s before her camera died, was at the Camden show! I’ve only seen a few of the photos, and as usual, she’s caught the band beautifully. Fith Photography, who posted a gallery of photographs on Flickr, also took some great shots and both kindly agreed to let me highlight some of their photographs. Thank you!

The setlist structure was primarily the same with each section changed up a little bit, 21CB, AI, Old School, 21CB, Encore 1, Encore 2, and the playing of “Paper Lanterns” during the “old school” portion of the night felt really special. There was a fresh ferocity from the band as they launched into their huge back catalog of songs. A reviewer at Spin wrote that they didn’t seem as emotionally invested singing the older material as they seemed to be when performing the newer stuff. I’m not sure about their assessment, it’s possible, particularly when they come blasting on with “21st Century Breakdown,” at the show’s opening and the song crawls right under your skin. I love to hear it kick off the set at each show that I’ve been to so far this year. While 21CB might be grittier than “Paper Lanterns,” I’ve never had the thought that they were more emotionally invested in one type of their music than the other, though I do think that Green Day believes its newer music is more accomplished than their older stuff. As to whether they have fun playing one more than the other, I think that’s quite arguable. But what the hell do I know? Just shut up and dance.

“21st Century Breakdown” – Green Day, Camden, NJ – RockConcertNo1Fan’s Youtube Channel

Billie Joe’s voice sounds crystal clear. I’ve noticed this not only from the European tour that I’ve seen on Youtube and the smaller shows that I attended earlier this year, but most especially during the band’s performance of “Last of the American Girls” on Jimmy Fallon the other night. As I was listening to it, for a second I thought that they were actually lip-syncing the song, it sounded so good and like the album recording. Hearing his voice live at Camden, and joined by the best rhythm section in music these days, Mike and Tre, they kept a dynamic beat throughout the entire night. These guys just love to play, new stuff, old stuff, their stuff, someone else’s stuff. I think that’s kinda the bottom line with them, not emotional investment between old and new. Haven’t we all had that argument already?

1st Part, “¡Viva la Gloria!” – Green Day, Camden, Susquehanna Bank Center, 8/3/2010 – chixLL

“Hitchin’ A Ride” and Saving a Kid from Being Crushed – Green Day at Camden, 8/3/2010 – denwilliams

“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” – Thank you for the last 22 years! – chixLL

I guess because it’s been so tough lately, “She,” a song that I try to avoid listening to because I just don’t want to mentally crack, really got to me on Tuesday, though a bit through it, I felt awfully faint and crushed. The video below is a bit like my experience of the song, as I was really trying to concentrate and listen, but each time that I started feeling that emotional scream inside, I think my psyche rescued me by making me slightly blank out at points of the greatest emotional and heat distress.

“She” with long stares into the ceiling (but sounds great) – Green Day, Camden, Susquehanna Bank Center, 8/3/2010 – RockConcertNo1Fan

By “Jesus of Suburbia,” I was still slightly in a state of daze. Billie Joe sang the entire song, and the shape of the amphitheater really offered a lovely background soundscape to the music and made the tune’s complexities stand out. I loved it.

“Jesus of Suburbia” – Green Day, Camden, Susquehanna Bank Center, 8/3/2010 – RockConcertNo1Fan

I was overcome by the tons of confetti that blew out during “Minority,” and by the time the second encore came around, I needed water. I also realized that I was so emotionally drained by then (as well as dehydrated), that it would probably be a bit too much to stick around for the sad part of the show. Sigh. I listened to the encore outside, desperately searching each vendor stand for water. Billie Joe’s voice was still clearly heard when I finally found a bottle of water in the amphitheater outdoor atrium. I gulped down the refreshment and listened to the last strains of “Good Riddance” outside, with the song drifting up the hill and out of the sides of the venue.

I’m going to do it all over again in Hartford on Thursday. It’s gonna be a blast.

Boys Will Be Boys - Camden, Susquehanna Bank Center, 8/3/10 - Fith Photography

Here’s some links from last night’s show:

SoundSpike: In Pictures Story by Editor Hali McGrath and Photographer Rob Loud.

Spin.com: Green Day Kick Off Epic Tour Near Philly

Rolling Stone: Green Day launch Tour with Punk Marathon

Popstar.com: Green Day Returns to U.S. for Second Leg of North American Tour

Green Day Picture Vault: Camden, NJ Photos by Jimmy / Marie

Green Day Authority: Camden Post

Michael Alan Goldberg: Flickr Photostream

Fith Photography: Flickr Photostream

Samma-Wamma: Smugmug


The Breakdown Will Be Twittered: Tweet Much, Billie Joe?

Twit Much?

I haven’t posted a “The Breakdown Will Be Twittered” alert in awhile, but I was working on my post about Green Day’s Camden show from Tuesday night when all of sudden, the third of not one, but three personal Tweets from Green Day’s Twitter account that didn’t mention anything about buying Rock Band or Pacsun Green Day shorts popped up from none other than -BJ himself. I guess they went off to Buffalo, NY directly after playing Camden on Tuesday and Billie Joe was either really bored in Buffalo or just really excited about stuff, but one Tweet was about the performance in Camden, and the other two about looking for guitars and needing new local band stickers for Blue! Funny and awesome!

And of course since the band doesn’t send personal Tweets that often, I believe that they were inundated by incoming Tweets from teenies of “OMG, BJ SPEAKS,” or comments about his hair, pants, how much he’s loved, or any number of things that would actually probably have to be censored. It’s great when they Tweet occasionally, and yesterday’s messages were kinda cool:

“Bring me stickers of your local bands to the shows! I need more stickers for “blue”!!” -bj about 16 hours ago via UberTwitter

“In buffalo checking out elmwood! Looking for guitars!” about 17 hours ago via UberTwitter

“1st show of tour was amazing! Gr8 to b back in the states. Camden NJ!! Highlight for me was paper lanterns! Ready to fuck shit up! -bj” 1:59 AM Aug 4th

First of all, it was really nice of him to acknowledge the show at Camden and being back home here in the U.S. At the show on Tuesday he made a couple of jokes about being in the States, and when the crowd started to chant, “USA USA,” he jokingly replied, “USSR USSR.” When that didn’t go over very well, he replied, “Actually, it’s more like the country of “BJA” “BJA.” That would be a cool and fun but strange country to live in, I think. There was a great energy at the Camden show, and the band seemed pretty psyched to play. “Paper Lanterns” was sweet to hear, BJA has proven that he knows Internet shorthand (‘Gr8 b’), and we’re all happy that he’s ready to “fuck shit up!”

It’s also pretty cool that he wants stickers of local bands. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Green Day is a band that appreciates music that doesn’t get played much on the National or International level. I’m going to assume that he wants the stickers not only for his guitar, but to also discover what bands are playing locally out there that people dig. Very cool.

So, if you’re going to the shows over the next month, bring him stickers! Not sure how you’re going to actually get them to him, but heck, where there is a will, there is probably a way.

Have fun everyone going to tonight’s gig in Buffalo!


Highlights from the Breakdown – Flashback Detour Ahead/FBHT – “It’s Fuck Time” at Don Hill’s

It may be from an entirely different band, but this clip from the Foxboro Hot Tubs did happen on the road to a 21st Century Breakdown, so I think it’s O.K. I was having a flashback to last April when Jill T. posted this video on Facebook. Funny, I was just looking at this earlier in the week. It made for a refreshing walk to work, watching the video. I just made sure that I didn’t kill myself by walking into traffic. I succeeded, barely.

I’m heading to the Susquehanna Bank Center in beautiful waterfront Camden tomorrow for the North American kickoff tour! No jokes about the crime in Camden are needed. It’s still pretty. Green Day will perform in one of many amphitheater settings for this leg of the tour. It’s not stadium-sized like in Europe, but it’s going to be fun and intimate. Rock on. This particular amphitheater pit (not all of GD’s venues have them) is really small; it fits about 300 1000 people, the same capacity thereabouts to that night of Fuck Time at Don Hill’s.

There are reports of a HAIR ALERT from Billie Joe, who’s gone old school blond. OMG, I can’t believe I just wrote the words, HAIR ALERT. And that’s all I’m going to say about it. For now. 🙂

By the way, since I’ve written about that night at Don Hill’s, you should see some of the hits I get on this blog! It’s calmed down a bit, but it was… how shall we say… uh… explicit there for a while.

Without further ado, one of the greatest moments in rock’n’roll history:

Foxboro Hot Tubs, Don Hill’s, April 23, 2010.


Razorbax Move on to the Midlands Regional Finals of Surface Unsigned in England!

Razorbax by Connar O'Keefe

Congratulations are in order to the Razorbax, a band I mentioned a month ago just prior to a benefit concert that they played called Punks Play for Autism in London. That show was a huge success, both musically and philanthropically, raising over £1000 for the Autism Trust charity. Green Day donated a rare, one-of-a-kind, 21st Century Breakdown vinyl, signed by the full touring band of the current tour, for the benefit raffle.

I mentioned also that the Razorbax were in the running for Europe’s “Surfaced Unsigned” contest and the regional semi-final would be coming up on July 31st. I’m happy to report that the semi-finals happened and the Razorbax won the chance to perform at the Midlands Regional Finals! Congrats, guys! The show will be happening at the 02 Academy in Birmingham [LINK HERE] on 29 August, a Sunday. The venue holds 2,000 and the Razorbax perform between 11PM and Midnight. They have 100 tickets to sell, so please join them at their Facebook page for more information.

If they make it through the Midlands regional round, they get to perform at London’s 02 for the Surface Unsigned Finals for the chance to win a great package of prizes, too. If you are around Birmingham in late August, go and support them!

The Razorbax will also release their single, “A Better Place,” this coming Tuesday, August 3rd. The song is really great and all of the proceeds go to benefit the Autism Trust. You can hear the song below and use the links in the UPDATE above to buy this excellent debut album!

All the best! Break a leg!

UPDATE: You can follow both the Razorbax and their UK independent, unsigned bands promotion company, Nova-Caine, on Twitter! Also, word on the street is that the Razorbax song, “Wake Up! Wake Up!” was played on an L.A. radio station this past weekend! Woot! Great news! You can buy digital downloads of the Razorbax album, Something to Believe In on iTunes, Amazon UK and ReverbNation.