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Tag Archives: American Idiot – The Musical

Coming Soon

Green Day’s Summer 2009 American tour has eight more shows (including tonight’s Denver stop) ending on August 25th in L.A. The boys will have a month’s ‘break’ as they head into the final touches of American Idiot: The Musical (previewing on September 4th) as well as a live stop at MTV’s Video Music Awards in New York City on September 13th (vote here for “21 Guns” as Best Rock Video and vote often).

I’m hoping that they have a bit of time for a secret show here in NYC (dreaming… I was was only dreaming… ), but it looks like their month ‘off’ is going to be a bit hectic, to say the least.

After a month of ‘rest,’ Green Day begins their European tour on September 28th, 2009 in Barcelona Lisbon. Hungarian Green Day fansite Castaway Online has created a Google mashup map of their European stops.

For those of you in the United Kingdom in particular, ROCKTOBER (10/21-11/01) is coming your way! I’ll post more about this as soon as I can. In the meanwhile, Jason Chandler, Horrible Comics author and lead singer of The Frustrators, has created an unofficial and limited edition GD UK* Rocktober line of Cafe Press shirts and merchandise just for you! (And anyone else, too.) He’ll stop selling this merchandise when the UK tour rolls around, so get yours here now. Go! NOW!

Green Day ROCKTOBER Baby!

Green Day ROCKTOBER Baby!

ATTENTION EUROPE: get to at least one Green Day show by ‘any means necessary’! You won’t be disappointed.

*Jason would like everyone to know that GD UK stands for “Godzilla Doesn’t Understand Korean,” which makes me love this logo even more than I did before.

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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


The Audience

Green Day started their 2009 concert tour on July 3 in Seattle. So far, they have toured Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Fargo, and Minneapolis and have about 500 more cities to go before they finish up next year. I’ve made sure not to watch videos of the band playing for the most part until after I see them later this month in Albany and then again at the two Madison Square Garden shows. I’ve heard so much bitching and moaning about the setlist over at the Green Day Community from pre-AI fans and those who have seen GD’s stadium shows before this tour to last a lifetime — you’ll have to find out what the issues are on your own, if you care to know. So since I’ve only seen them live once at Good Morning America, I’ve decided to experience the band as the band would like to present itself… even if I would love to hear older songs and have the setlist sound a little more unlike the American Idiot tour than I think it may sound. Oh well. Cie la vie. Shit happens.

I’ve made a few exceptions for some special moments that more than likely won’t be repeated at subsequent shows, like this rare rendition of Billie Joe Armstrong singing “Minnesota Girl” in honor of his wife, who’s from Minnesota (and where they met) at last night’s show. I’ve also made it a point of watching videos of Green Day inviting members of the audience up to stage in order to have them try their hand at ‘being in the band.’

My two favorites so far happened early in the tour, the first in Seattle, and the other in Vancouver:

Kamran Inram plays Jesus of Suburbia – Seattle

Michael Aaron Keith bumps it with Billie Joe Armstrong on Longview – Vancouver

I’ve been to a lot of concerts in my life, but I have never seen a band do what Green Day does when it comes to the audience. While I have only seen them once, I’ve seen enough other GD concerts on tape (Bullet in a Bible, Live 8 in Germany, Rock AM Ring in Germany — full video no longer available on Comcast, where I saw it — and a bunch of pre-American Idiot stuff) to know that they have an amazing synergy with their audience unlike any band I’ve been privileged to see, except maybe for Gwar, but I think it’s the blood and costumes that gives Gwar that special something something. Ultimately, it’s got something to do with GD’s guts and courage — who else would even dare to bring an unknown factor into their stage show? I can’t even think of a band that’s done it before, though I’m sure… yes?… that there have been others?

Which brings me momentarily to the American Idiot – The Musical production coming up soon in Berkeley. The night and several-beers-at-the-bierhaus before I saw GD at at 8AM on GMA, I went to see a friend in a production of The Who’s Tommy performed live for the first time by the Gallery Players in Brooklyn. I had never seen a full production of the show before and I really didn’t know what to expect. I was completely and pleasantly surprised by the energy and dynamism of the cast. I’ve seen The Who perform a few of the songs from their album live and it was amazing, and the Gallery Players cast really nailed it — except that the audience wouldn’t move or tap their feet, which annoyed the shit out of me.

I’m trying to figure out in my head what rhetorical devices the cast of AI-TM will employ to bring that same existing synergy between GD and the audience to the live stage. GD songs scream to be sung to and shouted back… It’s going to be an interesting exercise, especially when (not if) the show comes to Broadway. I’ll tell you one thing, if AI-TM is good when I see it in New York, I’m not going to be sitting in the audience asking permission from New York theater snobs to bounce up and down in my seat… if that’s the way the director wants it.

Anyway, this is rambling now. I’m in a hotel in Baltimore after a family reunion and I haven’t been able to post anything in a few days since life is a bit hectic. I’ll fix this up later when I get back to NYC.