It’s officially been announced that Green Day’s American Idiot is Broadway bound with previews beginning on March 24th and opening on an extremely auspicious day: National Pot Smoking Day, April 20, aka 420 Day. Not that Green Day planned it like that or anything, but, hey, y’know… why not?
Lastly, I have to say, that while I had some issues with the show when I saw it, I am, as they say in Northern Cali, hella excited for this to go to Broadway. I think it’s going to be a smash hit, and I’m really happy and dare I say… proud… that Green Day, as well as the cast and crew, have pulled off a phenomenal feat for an amazing album. Congratulations!
This is the end
This is the end
My only friend, the end
It hurts to set you free
But you’ll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die
This is the end
-the doors, “This is the End”
Green Day New Wallpaper from Greenday.com
Tonight was Green Day’s last European tour stop in Turin, Italy. From what I have read on Prima Donna’s Facebook, they were pranked by Green Day, but got the boys back with a case of mangina. I have no idea what either prank consisted of besides the mangina (which sounds dirty), but it warmed my heart to hear that Prima Donna got them back. I only wish that every opening band were as bold and brave as both The Bravery and Prima Donna. Let’s hope for videos soon!
As for the tour, Green Day ripped through arenas in Europe from Germany to Spain to France to the Netherlands, Norway, Italy and many points between. They shared some fantastic moments with thousands of fans who heard their clarion call and were able to join them in their second homeland, the United Kingdom, for Rocktober. I was one of those who were able to follow the call, and 250 lucky fans (me not being one of them), got a rare treat from a crazy band known as the Foxboro Hot Tubs.
Do not be sad, Europe, for the boys will be back in the summer of 2010. Stadium gigs have already been announced for Manchester (June 16), Wembley (June 19), and Paris (Parc de Princes, June 26). Tickets for Manchester and Wembley are on sale now, and will be on sale for Paris on November 20th. In addition, Green Day is still rumored to be the headliner band at the huge Irish festival at Slane Castle sometime in August, so hold on to your hats, Ireland, for that one!
I have a ticket for Wembley and I’m hoping for Manchester, too, if I can find a plane ticket that won’t break my back. We’ll see.
In the meanwhile, the band flies back into the States this weekend, just in time for the closing nights of American Idiot out in Berkeley. There’s good news about American Idiot as well: it is certainly moving to Broadway, according not only to an article in Playbill, but also a casting call for Equity actors that was posted today as well. While the theater and opening hasn’t been set yet (I have a feeling this may be announced this weekend when the boys come back to Berkeley, but it’s only a hunch), all roads lead to Broadway…. for good or ill. In regards to the casting call, Actors Equity rules state that all new shows must have open casting calls for Union actors, so that doesn’t necessarily mean that the show’s current actors won’t be in any future production.
Well, that’s it from Europe for now. There is much more coming soon over the next two months, as Green Day takes a break in California to be with the family, perform a free concert in Los Angeles, head to Australia, and come back home for New Year’s Eve, where they will be performing from Los Angeles for the Carson Daly Show. That last bit of news kinda broke my heart. A press release from the Carson Daly Show posted at the Idiot Club presented the show as if Green Day would be heading to Times Square itself for the New Year. I was so excited because the Idiot Club will be giving out tickets of some sort to the event. However, it’s been confirmed that they will be playing from Los Angeles (though some believe that the free taping on November 23rd from Los Angeles will be a canned performance for New Years), and my heart sank deep when I heard that bit of news. Alas, shit happens and it’s all good… as long as I get to see them again some time next year.
Until Green Day heads off to Australia for more performances, here they are performing “Letterbomb” for the first time on this tour, at Wembley Arena on November 1, 2009:
Green Day Performs “Letterbomb” at Wembley Arena, November 1, 2009
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.