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Tag Archives: Green Day Community

Happy New Year and Green Day Community 2010 Calendar

Green Day Community 2010 Calendar - Front - Click on Pic to Download Calendar

Happy New Year from New York City – or more specifically, Brooklyn!

What can I say about 2009? Well, a lot, but I’ll spare you the details. Let’s suffice it to say that Green Day helped get me through a pretty tough year of genocide-related research and activities. Through following Green Day this year, I have met some great folks from the entire spectrum of Green Day fans and a multitude of nationalities. And I even got to meet Billie Joe and Tre. So while I’m currently sick and broker than sin at the moment, it’s been one of those years that I will never regret, even the genocide part. I was able to travel to Europe twice (once to see Green Day in London), out to California twice (to see American Idiot – The Musical as well as attend Fake New Year’s with the band), out to San Antonio (and guess who I saw there?), and four other Green Day shows in the New York area. As to genocide, both conferences that I presented at turned out to be pretty good. If you’d like to see one of my presentations, you can view it here and scroll down to Tanya Elder.

It’s been a great year but the time has come to say farewell to 2009.

Tomorrow, 2010 will be upon us as we leave the first decade of the 21st century behind in the dust. For the most part, I’m going to have to say good riddance to it. This first decade of the new century has been turbulent, life-shattering and plain awful. But at least we’re all still here, I suppose. Who knows what the new decade will bring? Let’s hope only good things as we continue on the road to the Breakdown.

There’s more great stuff coming from Green Day in 2010, and I hope you’ll stick around to enjoy the band and my quaint little blog. Remember, I’m only blogging about Green Day through to the official end of the 21st Century Breakdown current tour, whenever that happens in late 2010. So until then, here’s a calendar made by the kids (and somewhat proofed by me) over at the Green Day Community to highlight each month of 2010 with Green Day views and facts. Click here or on the calendar front page image above to download your Green Day Community 2010 Wallpaper Calendar. The image below has previews of all of the months as well as the authors of each page. Click on the pic to preview the calendar.

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Mother Mary

A very special moment happened at the San Jose concert the other night for a super cool woman. Billie Joe serenaded a lady who saved me a spot on the line and at the barrier in San Antonio. She’s an admin at Green Day Community and has been to ten Green Day shows so far this year including the secret shows in NYC and will be at ROCKTOBER as well. She’s at the point in life where she is taking a Green Day holiday after some tough years and regularly finds very cool sunglasses and scarves and whatnots for BJA during songs such as “King for a Day” and “St. Jimmy.”  Her name is J’net and she totally deserves what happened to her in San Jose.

This is also the first time on the actual U.S. tour that Green Day has performed Mother Mary or any FBHT songs in full. It’s a capella. Sweet.


Green Day Takes New York, Pt. II: MSG1

========================================
New York, Madison Square Garden, July 27, 2009
I knew from the moment I exited the Times Union Center that I would not experience the full impact of Green Day’s music at this concert. You see, I had seats… high into the dead zone of MSG. So very sad. Nonetheless, the crowd around me (except for the three people next to me who kept getting out of their seats) were pretty great. There were four young men in crazy hats (Kings for a Day?) who very politely let us know that if their giant sombrero hats got in the way of viewing to say something. And I did. But, my friend who went with me is a only a nominal Green Day fan and while I love her, I don’t think she enjoyed the show very much. I have sworn never to again attend a Green Day show with someone who is a nominal fan. It’s all or nothing for a Green Day show.

Green Day concert seats - MSG1

Green Day concert seats - MSG1

I’ve seen a few concerts at Madison Square Garden and for most of them, I’ve been in the 300 sections, high up under the skyboxes. I hate sitting there. U2 sounded like they were underwater when I saw them there years ago. I noticed the sound difference most specifically during this show when I went down toward the front of the stadium after Billie Joe frightened the MSG security guards by urging fans to (slowly) come down and fill out the pit. Looking from up above, I had a feeling he would do this since the pit on stage right had a slight void of bodies in it. Of course, as usual, I didn’t get down there in time (yes, I left my friend in the dust), and of course, as usual, I chose the wrong aisle to go down because Billie came up to the stadium on the aisle next to me. I’m pretty sure they were clearing that area anyway so that he wouldn’t trip and fall. And he didn’t! Yay! I marched back up to my seat and longed for that pit. My goodness.

Elijah and Green Day

High Five

Other highlights of this show for me where Billie telling the story of fighting with Adrienne over the phone when he was out with friends, while some guy drove by and said, “Fuck you Billie Joe! Green Day sucks!” Billie Joe then went on to relate how he beat the crap out of the guy, goes back into the bar, does some shots and forgets that Adrienne is still on the phone. Apparently this all took place during the tough final record-mixing time. Those days are over now, it’s all good.

I love storytime!

Green Day at Madison Square Garden 1

Green Day at Madison Square Garden 1

I think the thing that I missed most in this show was the chance to dance, play and interact more directly with the band. Billie, Tré and Mike work the crowd like you wouldn’t believe. They draw you into playtime, even if seeing them at great distances. Take it from me, the closer the better. Even if it’s only been three times so far (tomorrow’s MSG fill will make four, all this year) seeing them, I completely regret not taking the opportunity a long time ago. Oh. Well. After only a few shows, I kinda feel addicted now. Is this how all those old Deadheads felt, too? Hmm.

Liz and me at the Green Day show, MSG1

Liz and me at the Green Day show, MSG1

From an audience participation point of view, this show had some great moments. I can’t remember exactly when but at one point a construction hat pops out of the pit, and Billie puts it on. He throws it back to the pit a few seconds later. The construction hat will be back.

Billie in the epic-failed stage dive guy's construction hat - GDA

Billie in the epic-failed stage dive guy's construction hat - GDA

East Jesus Nowhere.” What can I say about this song except for ‘thank you.’ From the very moment when the screeching, metallic quality of the chords start, a powerful moment begins which does not disappoint. The band finds a young, preferably innocent, child upon which to perform a ritual known as “saving the soul.” Sometimes the kids are scared shitless, and sometimes you get a kid like Elijah… with a Biblical name no less… at Madison Square Garden. Good times. Elijah played his part perfectly and deserved the chant that his name got. Billie was pretty good, too. 🙂

“Longview” was surreal. I don’t remember the first verse singer, but for the second verse singer, we come back to the construction hat. From what I understand, some kids from Oakland traveled from California to see the band. The guy with the construction hat being one of them. Well, he got on stage and in a heavy metal sorta Gwar-like voice started the lyrics. Which was kinda cool for a word or two. And then he stopped in the middle of the verse and made Billie sing the song. A bit of a bummer, I’d say, particularly since the second verse is the best verse in “Longview.” In recompense, Billie had him stage dive, which he gladly did. He ran down the cat walk at high speed down and…. he jumps and… nobody catches him. Oops. This clip has the scene, which ends around the 3:37 mark. LOL funny. Luckily, the last dude totally redeems the moment with a great performance and a even better stage dive. As a bonus, the clip also has Basket Case, always a winner. (Hurry before it’s too late!)

Green Day at Madison Square Garden, July 27, 2009

Green Day at Madison Square Garden, July 27, 2009

I think this night was the first time that they played “When I Come Around,” which may have been a request from the floor. Lots of fun signs pop up with requests, but alas, I can’t think of any right now. I was made happy by it being played. Yay! Disappearing Boy made its second appearance on the concert tour (it was also played in Albany), but on this night it was dedicated to Billie’s oldest son, Joey.

Besides the fact that Green Day played, which is the greatest thing in the world, an even greater thing happened during the 40-hour song, “Jesus of Suburbia.” On this tour the song, or portions of it, have been given over to aspiring musicians from the audience in a sort of crap-shoot way (see Construction Hat Guy). Usually it works out well. Occasionally, it works out really fabulously.

Billie began to ask the audience if they could play “Jesus of Suburbia” and was about to settle on a guy with a sign when the guy said two words he never should have uttered, “What song?” Billie looked at him said, “What song? What did I just say, dumbass?” and moved on to a girl with a sign standing next to him. What happened next was magical, and it was a good thing a professional bootlegger… uh… caught it on tape.

Picking Stephanie

Stephanie debuts with Green Day, Madison Square Garden, July 27, 2009

“I fucking love you!”*

Stephanie, from the GDC, is pretty ecstatic, as you may well believe. She got a mention in the Arts Blog of the New York Times, a bunch of other blogs, and most importantly, Larry Livermore mentioned her on his blog. You go, girl!

Elijah needs salvation from his good ways - Green Day - Madison Square Garden1*

Elijah needs salvation from his good ways - Green Day - Madison Square Garden1*

Setlist: MSG1
1. Song of the Century
2. 21st Century Breakdown
3. Know Your Enemy
4. East Jesus Nowhere
5. Holiday
6. Static Age
7. Before the Lobotomy
8. Are We the Waiting
9. St. Jimmy
10. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
11. 2000 Light Years Away
12. Welcome to Paradise
13. Castaway
14. When I Come Around
15. Disappearing Boy
16. Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
17. Thank You (Led Zeppelin)/ Sweet Child O’ Mine (Guns N’ Roses)/ Take Me
Out to the Ball Game/ 99 Bottles of Beer/ Iron Man (Riff)
18. Brain Stew
19. Jaded
20. Longview
21. Basket Case
22. She
23. King For a Day
24. Shout/ Earth Angel (The Penguins)/ Swanee/ I’ll Be There
25. 21 Guns
26. American Eulogy

27. American Idiot
28. Jesus of Suburbia
29. Minority
30. Drama Queen
31. Last Night On Earth (acoustic)
32. Good Riddance

The show traditionally ends with Good Riddance performed by Billie on guitar, and some surprise acoustic numbers have come before it lately. Tonight’s show held a beautiful “Drama Queen” (my first time hearing it live), and a soulful “Last Night on Earth.”

Goodbye until next time. Like tomorrow??

Goodbye until next time. Like tomorrow??

I think the saddest part… and mind you, I had a super time… was not being in the pit and missing the chance to meet Adrienne Armstrong. Apparently she was asking folks in the pit to help with the natural resources project that the band is involved with, the Natural Resources Defense Council or NRDC. You know, some nature crackpots that keep talking about saving the planet or something like that. Good people. It would have been nice to say hello.

Nonetheless, I still had one more show to go. The second night of two shows is always better.*

Photos from: vcastlive.com; greenday.com; greendayauthority.com
*quoth Billie


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.