Category Archives: Highlights from the Breakdown

Highlights of the Breakdown: San Jose II

In Albany and the two MSGs shows, Green Day entered the stage from backstage. In each of these shows, a recorded version of the first two parts or movements of 21st Century Breakdown, “Song of the Century” through to the title song’s course and repetitive “thuummpp, thuummpp” sound that echoes massively from the recording of Jason Freese’s piano. From there it goes live with Tré kicking in the drums, followed closely by Mike, Jason White, live Jason, and Billie and they are off to the races. (I’m not sure if Jeff plays an instrument here but he kicks in vocals.)

At San Antonio, Green Day entered the stage from the back of the AT&T Stadium.

It took them a while to walk from the back of the stadium around the aisle between the first row of seats and the stadium floor, to the front due to all of the high-fives and saying hi and shit like that (ha, “yo mike, what up!? “yo, man, doing a show!”) and by the time they arrived on stage to where my cohorts and I were at the very front of the barrier, the anticipation was palpable.

“21st Century Breakdown” sounded powerful and self-assured at all my shows, particularly for a slightly difficult and grandiose song with lots of beat and mood changes.

At the recent concert in San Jose, the stop closest to where Green Day hails in Northern California, this opening medley, as viewed below, sounds even more rich and deep and from the heart of a band happy to be back home to the whooping cheers of a hometown crowd.

Oh, and this time, they came up through the pit in the middle of the stadium floor. That takes balls! It’s dramatic the reaction that the crowd has to the band as they march through the crowd. Lucky San Jose!

“Song of the Century” and “21st Century Breakdown,”

Green Day, San Jose, CA, August 18, 2009

Of course, I was not at this San Jose show but from what I’ve seen and heard, it was the “Hartford of the West Coast,” if you will, only ten times more so; (sorry, San Jose AND Sacramento but L.A. took all kicked of your asses and took the the title, even, from reports, surpassing Hartford!). Also, the first highlight of San Jose is “Mother Mary,” which was talked about in an earlier posting.
*Found by way of Youtube.

Highlights from the Breakdown: St. Louis

Via the Forum (registration required) at “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry. Instant classic.

F.O.D.: Hartford, Ct.

I became a member of the Idiot Club long after the seats to the NYC secret shows had already come and gone. I missed the first round of pre-sales, mostly because I felt like a schmuck being a johnny-come-lately. But when, after a few months as a member ($20 mostly well-spent), Green Day made an additional batch of tickets available through the fan club for Hartford, Albany, and the second MSG, I had some thinking to do. Which of these shows would I go to? The second MSG was a given, and in fact, I already had my ticket to Albany. My real dilemma: whether to add to the three shows I was already lucky enough to attend the XL Center Hartford show on Friday, July 24. I decided against it as I was already pushing my luck.

From reading fans on the Internet, I had a feeling that this show would have an extra special something just by the enthusiasm of the crowd. These guys were die-hard,  hardcore fans and the great majority of them that ended up in GA that night knew Green Day from at least back to the 18-year old album, 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours. From the setlist (posted below) to the few videos out there of the show, this one seems to have had something extra special: “Welcome to Paradise” (Kerplunk!/Dookie), “Dominated Love Slave” (Kerplunk!), “Only of You” (1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours), “Christie Road” (Kerplunk!), and most especially, to me, Dookie’s, “F.O.D.” (Fuck Off and Die). This song was completely spurred by a demand from the audience, and in this video, the chant “F.O.D.,” “F.O.D.” makes a strong case for playing it. The video of it gets me excited and makes me laugh at the same time.

As recorded, the song starts out rather quietly and timid, and in the middle, breaks out into dance havoc. This video perfectly captures the 180 degree turn that this song makes during its progression. Billie and the band get so into it toward the end, that Billie almost… almost… attempts a Pete Townsend whirlwind guitar arm.

Ah yes, I’ve been lucky so far this tour, but I will always regret not getting my ass to Hartford.

1. 21st Century Breakdown
2. Know Your Enemy
3. East Jesus Nowhere
4. Holiday
5. Static Age
6. Hitchin’ A Ride
7. Welcome to Paradise
8. Dominated Love Slave
9. Only of You
10. Christie Road
11. F.O.D
12. Brainstew
13. Jaded
14. Longview
15. Basketcase
16. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
17. She
18. King For a Day
19. Shout
20. American Eulogy
21. American Idiot
22. Jesus of Suburbia
23. Minority
24. Last Night On Earth
25. Good Riddance

*Setlist: GDA

Before the Lobotomy: Tampa, Fl

“Before the Lobotomy” is one of my favorite songs from Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown. This video, like the one I linked to for Washington’s “Welcome to Paradise,” is filmed from the higher seats but at stage left instead of stage right this time. It gives the same sort of perspective, has lovely views of Tré and Mike, and is a bit steadier on the filming techniques.

The dynamic of the entirety of Green Day is a well-oiled machine, and these videos from above nicely show how they work together, even if BJA is usually the focal point. There’s a BJ Storytime at the beginning for your enjoyment, too.

“Before the Lobotomy,” Green Day, Tampa