Tag Archives: Green Day

Billie Joe Armstrong, John Gallagher, Jr., American Idiot and Fans – Photos by Lucky Seventeen Photography

Green Day Mind over the last year has attempted to highlight some of the best professional and amateur photographs of Green Day’s tour year, and I have been pretty happy with the photographs that people have given me permission to use on the blog. Thank you so much for your kindness and vision. Some of my favorites over the year have been done by Mathilde Oremus in Paris, Fith Photography from the Camden show, Guilio Lapone from Turin, Ramsey Cardy in Belfast, Ryan O. from Las Vegas, and of course, my steady photo rock, the xGeneralxS, whose many fabulous photos have graced this blog since the Foxboro Hot Tubs hit town back in April as well as her rich shots from the Holmdel and Hartford Green Day shows.

Pinhead Gunpowder. Photo by Michelle Lawlor, The Rock and Roll Picture Show

Michelle Lawlor is another photographer who I’ve been lucky to know over the past year, and I do believe she has the potential to become the next Bob Gruen. She loves music, loves photography, and to me, has a tremendous clarity of eye that always captures the right moment. She captured it at Pinhead Gunpowder back in February, that’s for sure, and Billie Joe’s dress from that night will always be vividly remembered because of her.

Michelle came into town this past weekend to shoot some shots of Niki Lee, who wrote of her Green Day adventures during the American Idiot years and will soon be expanding her work into a book coming out in the near future. Not only that, but the day, Sunday, brought Billie Joe Armstrong to American Idiot on Broadway at the St. James Theatre and at the 92StY, as well as a gig by John Gallagher, Jr. that night at Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side. Oh, and Rachel from California was in town, too, so, it was a good day to come in and drag about 50 pounds of photographic equipment around for a day and snap some stuff. I wanted to highlight some of her photographs from the day (she took shots of everything except for the 92StY, which had a strict policy of no photography), and I urge you all to go and check out the set of photos and her blog that she published yesterday. Her site, Lucky 17 Photography, can be found here, including her pictures of Pinhead Gunpowder, the Mystic Knights of the Cobra, Honah Lee, and tons of other bands and events (weddings, gallery openings, etc), and of course, the beautiful shots of this past Sunday. Check the site out and hire before she gets famous and you can’t afford it!

Here is a selection of photographs that she took of the day. Go to her site to view the full set, “Sunday was Awesome as F**K.

Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day - American Idiot Talkbacks, NYC - Photo by Michelle Lawlor, Lucky 17 Photography

Billie With A Kid - American Idiot Talkback - Photo by Michelle Lawlor

Gallagher, Stark, Vincent - American Idiot Talkback - Photograph by Michelle Lawlor

John Gallagher, Jr. - Rockwood Stage 2 - Photo by Michelle Lawlor

Superfans - Photo by Michelle Lawlor

Niki Lee and Green Day Mind - Photo by Michelle Lawlor

A Short History of the Short History of “Awesome as Fuck” Signs at Green Day Concerts

"Thanks" from Fans in Paris -- Green Day in Paris, June 2010 -- Photo by Chris Dugan, greenday.com

Oh Twitter, how I love thee!

As some of you may know, a strangely odd tradition popped up at Green Day’s shows back in Summer of 2010: the appearance of hundreds of signs at shows, ranging from “Thanks” to “Merci Beaucoup,” and morphing into “Awesome as Fuck,” and “Welcome Home.” Last night, Green Day (ok, Billie Joe) tweeted:

Greenday: When we do the talk back on sunday, everyone should hold up signs that say Awesome as Fuck. That be.. Uh.. awesome as fuck?


"As Billie Joe sang the last song, the fans in the front all held up homemade signs saying 'THANKS'. No one in the band or crew had ever seen this kind of mass sign of appreciation from an audience before.. " Greenday, Parc des Princes, Paris, August 2010 -- Bobgruen.com

Oh Billie Joe, that would be awesome as fuck, as American Idiot on Broadway continues to rip up the traditions of Broadway and turn them on their heads. I am sure there will be photographs taken as the signs are held up at the Talkback on Sunday, which will make a wonderful photographic memory. I’ll be at American Idiot today (I have a ticket to the show), as well as the Talkback. The AI talkbacks (I have somehow managed to see all four of them so far), have been pretty awesome as fuck themselves!

There was some hullabaloo when the signs first morphed into “Awesome as Fuck” from the “Thanks” signs of Paris. Parisian fans, bless their hearts, felt like their “tradition” was being taken over. It was a momentary lapse of reason for them as they felt that they had gotten no recognition from the band regarding the signs, but we talked them down from the brink, and they came to realize that they had begun a wonderful tradition as a sincere measure of the gratitude of their (and our) hearts in regards to the gift of music and fun that Green Day has given to all of us. We also reminded them that they had an awesome picture of the signs published by the famed rock photographer, Bob Gruen, himself.

Since Billie Joe tweeted it last night, I thought I’d write up a short little history of the signs, to make sure that all of the people who had a hand in this crazy tradition get the recognition that they all deserve. As Bob Gruen said when he posted his photograph of the signs from Paris, “No one in the band or crew had ever seen this kind of mass sign of appreciation from an audience before.” I have never seen something like this at a concert before, have you?

So, here goes. If there is any discrepancy in the history, please feel free to update the history in the comments to this post!

The signs started out in Paris with “Thanks.” Greendaylove38 (Abbey) then suggested that fans continue the signs of “Thank You” in Virginia based on what happened at the Parc des Princes in Paris. When the “Thank You” signs materialized at the Virginia show because of Abbey and other Green Day Community folks, Billie Joe tweeted after the show, “Great times in virginia and surrounding areas! Now that was hot! Not like randy jackson hot dawg…. Highlight-thank you signs

Variations of the Paris “Thanks” signs continued to show up throughout the remainder of the North American amphitheater tour. In Montreal, there were “Merci Beaucoup” signs. I was at that show with a sign; Billie Joe tweeted: “Have you ever played the game Mafia? Aka wolves and villagers. Good times in montreal! Love those signs. Highlight- armatage shanks

As the signs popped up at more shows, Gnash, a commentator at the Green Day Community (and others), suggested that the signs be turned on their head. What new craziness could we surprise the hell out of Green Day with? After all, how many variations of “thank you” were there, anyway? When Abbey had first written in the Green Day Community thread that attendees should bring “thank you” signs to the shows, her first post mentioned that the signs themselves would be “AWESOME AS FUCK.” Gnash then wrote, “I think for the next show you should hold AWESOME AS FUCK signs up instead of THANK YOU. Just to spice it up a bit, y’know?” It was a brilliant idea, to say the least!

Abbey and Beth (shesarebel on Twitter and **nobodylikesyou**” on the GDC) conspired together to present these new “AWESOME AS FUCK” signs at the Denver show. Billie Joe tweeted afterward: “Denver! Highlight- cigarettes and valentines – twice! – awesome as fuck?”  The AWESOME AS FUCK signs were around in other shows, too, and by the Homecoming show in San Francisco, the signs became simply, “Welcome Home.”

At the Denver show, when the signs first came out during the second encore, they made Billie Joe laugh. And then, he magically incorporated the phrase into “Good Riddance.” Watch the video by xGeneralxS at 4:12, you’ll hear him sing “awesome as fuck” in the video below. A photograph of those signs may be found on TwitPic, by shesarebel, below, as well as an actual sign at the show (I think by Chris Dugan).


AWESOME AS FUCK -- Green Day -- Photo by Chris Dugan?

@greenday is this what you're looking for Billie? I will... on Twitpic

“Your awesome as fuck…” at 4:12 — Second Encore, Green Day at Comfort Dental, Denver — xGeneralxS

And with that, if you are coming to the talkback at American Idiot this afternoon, I hope you bring your “AWESOME AS FUCK” signs with you. I have one from the Irvine show, but those never really materialized at that concert because security stopped people from bringing signs into the venue at the front gates. I held onto the one given me. Beth and Abbey are bringing some signs today. I think it’s going to an AWESOME AS FUCK photograph, don’t you?

"Welcome Home" -- Green Day at San Francisco Shoreline, Mountain View, CA -- Photo by Green Day Mind


Welcome Home - Green Day at Shoreline, 8/4/10 - Photo by Green Day Mind

Green Day Mind Banners

Over the last year, Violeta from the Green Day Community has created some (in my opinion), beautiful banners for this blog. I thought I’d used this post to put them all in one place as the blog begins to wind down after the South American leg of the 21st Century Breakdown tour.

Green Day Mind Banner 2009 by Violeta

Green Day Mind Banner for 2010 by Violeta

American Idiot Banner by Violeta Kalfova. Photos by Nick McGlynn.

Green Day Mind Banner Summer 2010 by Violeta

Until We Meet Again Green Day Mind Banner by Violeta

Homecoming – Welcome Home, Green Day!

Welcome Home - Green Day at Shoreline, 9/4/10 - Photo by Green Day Mind

Hello there!

I have just barely come up for air after the last week of Green Day’s North American tour. I unexpectedly went to the Irvine show in LA, then Chula Vista, and finally, the most amazing show of them all, Shoreline, the final show of the tour leg. I also got to attend Oakland’s rogue music festival, Hoodstock, yesterday, and saw my raw lovelies, the Mystic Knights of the Cobra play. It’s been an incredible week!

I’ll post more later as I’ve been keeping notes, but my hangover from the last week is still a bit thick in my brain. No worries, though, if I can remember it, I’ll have a lot to report (of what I can), as usual!

I’m here in Northern California for the next week. I am the luckiest woman in the world and so incredibly happy right now. I hope all is well with you!

Sacre Bleu! Green Day in Montreal, 8/21/2010

It’s been over a week since I went to Montreal to see Green Day. This post is a little overdue, but I was hoping that the xGeneralxS would post a few more pictures that she took of the show, but she’s been busy with life and seeing Green Day in Colorado on 8/28. I have two more shows to go, in Chula Vista and San Francisco, and it’s hitting me a little hard that the tour will soon be over. After those two shows, the boys have a month off and then hit South America finally, and then… it’s all over. This blog, except for occasional updates, will be over and then what do I do, ha! It’s been an amazing tour. I really hope the fangirl fever that I’ve attempted to keep under some control this past year, despite blogging about the tour, won’t come to a head and have me bawling like a freaking baby at Shoreline, but we’ll see. Thank you, Green Day! Thank you!

BJA Montreal - Green Day, August 21, 2010 - Photo by xGeneralxS

I had contemplated heading up to Montreal to see Green Day since the second and final leg of shows were announced earlier this year. I love Montreal. It’s a nice city, with beautiful vistas and lovely buildings. I know a few folks from Montreal, both English and French, and love them dearly. Sometimes the French can get a little overbearing, but on the whole, a chance to see the band again in a foreign country was way too tasty to let pass by.

Tired, Happy, Wet - Nicole W-M and GDM in Montreal

I had no idea, though, how I would get up there. I didn’t want to go by myself, even though I knew some Canadian fans who were going. The bus was 10 hours and $139. The train, 12 hours and a bit more. Flying, one hour and $327. Uh, choices, choices, choices. My friend who lives there offered me a place to stay, and I hadn’t seen her and her family, including her son, now seven, in a few years. It would be a perfect time to get away, see the band, the city, and my friends. It would never have happened if Nicole W-M had not said yes when I put the idea of going up to Canada on the evil Facebook after the Holmdel show. We ended up getting into Nicole’s hybrid car, which got us to Montreal on one tank of gas for $35. What a deal!

Green Day Flags in Montreal - Photo by GDM

The show was scheduled for Saturday, August 21st. Nicole and I left at 4:30 AM on Saturday, and got to Montreal at noon. It was the first time that Nicole had been to Canada, and I was happy when we parked, got into line and Nicole was able to walk around the beautiful area of Old Montreal. Of course, it was raining — Montreal had been sunny and bright the day before and when we got there, boom! — rain, rain rain. The show would go on rain or shine, and it did. It was wet and wonderful.

Canadian Idiot Flag - Photo by Silvi Kingsland

We waited in line and I finally met up with a photographer whose photos I use a lot, xGeneralxS and her sister. I was happy that they came up from New Jersey to make the show. Naomi, who I had last seen at Madison Square Garden back in July 2009, was there, as well as her fellow Canadians Silvi and Jaymee!, and I saw a couple of the Aussies, Liz and Aska.

The venue was open air and unlike the previous amphitheater shows that I made it to (Camden, Hartford, Holmdel), the stage was high and the band seemed far away again. I was a little worried about the entire space being General Admission. I had heard that one of the roughest shows so far of the tour had happened at Green Day’s gig at the Parc des Princes in Paris, and if that was any indication, the French-Canadian fans would be a crowd of wild-children. Well, they were, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Jacques Cartier Pier - Green Day, Old Montreal, August 21, 2010 - Photo by GDM

The site itself was magnificent! If you’re never been to Montreal, particular Old Montreal, it has an Old World style with winding, small streets, and ornate stone buildings. Many of the streets along the waterfront are closed to traffic and you can just walk around and stare at people and things, and pretend like you’re walking around old Europe instead of Old Canada. Old Quebec City is even more beautiful, if that’s possible, and I highly recommend going to these two great Canadian cities… though I’m not sure about attending a rock or punk show there.

The show itself took place on a pier that juts out from Old Montreal, and when we got to the site, there were already about 300 fans standing in line. We met a few people from Canada, including one funny fellow and his girlfriend who had seen Green Day play at the Belle Center in Montreal last year and was raring to see them for a second time. We finally were let into the site around 6:00 or so, and made a run for the front barrier. Nicole W-M went to her favorite spot, to the right of Mike’s stage side, at the front, the xGeneralxS was near her, and I went to the heart of the pit, in front of Mike, and where I could see Tre. I love watching him drum, and he makes some pretty funny faces during a show. There’s also opportunities to just play with him, and it’s always fun to play with a crazy drummer.

The Stage - Photo by GDM

AFI went on first again, and I have to say, while I’m not a big fan of their music, I think of the five opening bands that I have seen for Green Day this tour (The Bravery, Franz Ferdinand, the Kaiser Chiefs, and Prima Donna), AFI and Prima Donna were the two bands that really got the crowd pumped up prior to Green Day coming on. I even found myself humming AFI songs afterward, once I got back home. They did about a 35-minute show and several members of their fan club were in attendance, and they certainly catered to them. At one point, Davey Havok came down to where they were standing at the front and rocked out with them for a bit. They left the stage, and the rain, which had held off for about two hours or so, started coming down again as Green Day went onstage. I was lucky for the most part because I was so close to the front of the stage that the top awning shielded most of the front area from the rain.

Naomi (BJ's Entourage) and Silvi - Photo by GDM

The all General Admission crowd rushed forward when Green Day came on and pushed us all into the barrier. It was fun for the first few songs, and then things just got crazy. I love crowdsurfers and being in the pit, but there are happy pits (Pinhead Gunpowder at 924 Gilman back in February was one of the roughest pits I’ve been in, but everyone took care of each other out of sheer joy) and then there are pits with crazy fans who don’t give a fuck whether they kill you or not. Both are fun, but seriously, if you’re trying to kill me, I’m going to try and kill you, too. That’s just the way it is. Fans elbowed other people and got into stupid fights, and in general were assholes. Good times!

Americans with the Funny Canadian Dude and His Girlfriend - Photo by GDM

The highlights of the show for me (Billie Joe tweeted that his highlight was “Armatage Shanks”) was hearing “Platypus (I Hate You),” “F.O.D.” again, and my favorite Green Day song, “Welcome to Paradise,” which was dropped from earlier amphitheater tour shows that I’ve seen, but was on last year’s tour setlist. For me, these three songs together summed up how I felt about the Montreal crowd, though I have some special love for the wonderful and enthusiastic fans from Montreal at the Green Day Community and I will always love the city. I had to leave the pit center during the Shout Medley. I had had enough after I threw out a expletive at a French-Canadian fan who had said to no one in general, “If you all can’t handle the pit, you all should just go to a Justin Bieber show,” and I realized that my F.O.D. level was way too high. Despite wishing earlier that the band wouldn’t hose the crowd because of the rain, I was hella happy when they did, but at that point, my anger and the fact that I was dehydrated, was too much. I got out and was completely rained on. I paid $4 for a bottle of water (egads), and went to Jason White’s side of the stage, which is always a bit saner. I spent the first encore there, and was very happy for the remainder of the show.

“Armatage Shanks” and “Paper Lanterns” – Billie Joe’s Highlight – Green Day, Montreal, 8/21/2010 – xGeneralxS

“Welcome to Paradise” – Green Day, Montreal, 8/21/2010 – zanth214

We all really have to thank the Lushie Gods for the Crazy Band of Australians who have managed to follow Green Day from Australia to Europe, and now, to our shores here in North America. One of the them, Aska, requested “Take Back.” Billie Joe looked at her like she was a bit crazy, but then said, all right, what about “Platypus (I Hate You),” a song that they haven’t performed on this tour yet. He turned around to Tre and made a bunch of hand movements while Tre was like, “What, are you nuts? OK, yes, you are,” and then boom, into “Platypus (I Hate You), they went. I posted two videos of “Platypus (I Hate You)” in a previous post [LINK HERE], but here’s an additional awesome clip that Green Day LIVE on Tour on (Evil) Facebook posted of Tre banging the drums during this song like the King of Drumming he is, and what a face he makes afterward:

Tre Drums Out “Platypus (I Hate You) – Green Day, Montreal, August 2010 – Brian

Speaking of Tre’s drumming, during the soundcheck earlier in the day, the crowd could hear Green Day rehearse, and we heard “Church on Sunday,” which made us all really happy. [LINK HERE] A video popped up that someone took that showed the big screen, which was focused mostly on Tre during the band’s rehearsal of “21st Century Breakdown.” You can clearly see him drumming the song, and since I’m a bit fascinated with his drumming and love the jig of 21CB, I am in love with this video of a laid back Tre practicing for the show.

“21st Century Breakdown” Soundcheck, Tre Dumming – Green Day in Montreal, 8/21/2010 – GSPInsights

With that, Nicole and I waited for a bit after the show for the crowd to thin down, and we said our goodbyes to people we had met up with throughout the day. We were pretty high-strung and happy from the drive, the rain, and the show, and we finally got back to the car, went to my friends’ house, and crashed, hard. The next day, we had a wonderful Canadian breakfast with them, got in the car ($35 worth of gas from Montreal to New Jersey), listened to Green Day again all the way back to New York, where she dropped me off and I went home. We drove through some of the worst weather ever, but in the end, despite the crazed fans and that same rain, to see Green Day again, it was all worth it.

I’m off to the shows in Chula Vista and Homecoming in San Francisco, the last show of the tour until the band heads to South America to end the 21st Century Breakdown altogether. I’m really hoping that I hold it together in San Francisco. I’m a bit afraid that I am going to bawl like a baby at Homecoming and embarrass myself to no end. After 18 months of blogging about the tour, it’s going to be a bit overwhelming to me that it will end. See anyone who’s going to the last two shows there. It’s going to be a blast!

Montreal Setlist after the jump…

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Green Day Live Album Coming and Cigarettes and Valentines – OMGZ!

The amount of OMGS and OMGZ exploded out of Green Day land last night as the boys upped and announced two things: that they were recording a live album (Billie Joe had tweeted that it was possible a few days ago) and then went on to play a “new” song, which isn’t actually new, but it’s only been heard once by the denizens of Green Day land, at a soundcheck earlier this tour.

That song? “Cigarettes and Valentines,” a tune that was supposed to headline an album just after Warning and before American Idiot of the same name. The album never materialized… the band says that the masters to the songs were stolen while some rumors swirled that they also just didn’t feel the album and decided to not release it. Whatever the reason for the album never materializing, I don’t know, but I’m just happy that they launched the song onto everyone last night in Englewood, Colorado, thereby forcing me to get off the Green Day Community and actually going to sleep for fear of reading one more OMGZ, haha.

The xGeneralxS and her sis headed off to the show this weekend, and as usual, captured the song for all of us hardcore, diehard fans. So again, until it’s no longer available for those who love this band… Green Day gives you… “Cigarettes and Valentines”…

“Cigarettes and Valentines” — Green Day Live in Englewood, Colorado, August 28, 2010 – xGeneralxS

Cigarettes and Valentines Lyrics - Green Day - Photo by Aska

Who Was That Blond Fellow at Green Day’s Holmdel Show? – Supla of Brothers of Brazil Interview with Billie Joe Armstrong

Davey Havok of AFI Sings for a Spell with Supla (in white) of Brothers From Brazil and Anna, Who Sat in the Wrong Seat and Got an Awesome Moment Because of It - Photo by Lauren Banjo

Mystery solved!

In a recent “Highlights From The Breakdown” post, I wrote about Green Day performing “Scattered” into Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” at Mansfield. I mentioned that a tall, white-blond fellow in a white denim jacket and pants had been mistaken for Billy Idol at the previous night’s Holmdel show. Billy Idol was playing in Los Angeles at the time.

The mystery behind this fellow in the white denim outfit has been solved by the administrator of Brazil’s Green Day Fan site, Marie_GD of Green Day, Inc.

Supla Doll - Courtesy of Marie_GD of Green Day, Inc (Brasil)

Turns out that his name is Supla and he is a Brazilian musician from a band that he has with his brother called Brothers of Brazil [MYSPACE here.] They also have a television show called “Brothers TV!” and they interview folks. He was able to interview Billie Joe backstage at the Holmdel show. You’ll also see Bob Gruen duck his head into a frame, which means that there are fantastic photographs of Holmdel coming our way from Gruen, too! It’s a crazy and fun little clip, and if it’s any indication of Green Day’s upcoming appearance on the last leg of this tour in Brazil, the band and the Brazilian fans are in for a hell of a fun time!

Supla gave Billie Joe a Supla doll, which Marie_GD kindly posted a photograph of on the Green Day Community. The link to the interview can be found on either Green Day, Inc. by clicking this link: Supla entrevista Billie Joe em New Jersey! or you can watch the video at Brothers TV! as well. [LINK HERE.]

Green Day hits the largest country in South America on the following dates. Oh how I wish I could go and write about the South American leg of the tour. Sigh. Have fun for those of you who are attending!

10-13 Porto Alegre, Brazil Ticket Info
10-15 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Ticket Info
10-17 Brasilia, Brazil Ticket Info
10-20 São Paulo, Brazil Ticket Info

Hightlights From The Breakdown – Platypus (I Hate You) – By Request!

This past Saturday, Nicole W-M and I woke up at the crack of dawn to hop into her extreme Eco-Friendly Car, a Honda Hybrid Insight, and we ran away toward the Canadian border for over 300 miles on one tank of gas, which cost $30 for a one-way trip. That is some awesome stuff.

Green Day Concert Site at Jacques Cartier Quay, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Not as awesome, though, as why we were heading up from New Jersey to Montreal: Green Day’s gig at the Jacques Cartier Quay in the heart of Old Montreal. I’ll write more about the show itself (rain, rain, rain, and insane fans), but score one for the traveling band of Australians who requested “Take Back” and instead got us “Platypus (I Hate You).” The verses got mixed up, but hey, for doing it at the last minute, who cares? It’s a crazy performance and was awesome to dance to!

Again, until they are no longer available to watch, here’s two videos of the song. [Here’s a third video with good sound.]

“Platypus (I Hate You) – Green Day at the Jacques Cartier Quay – xGeneralxs (Jumpy, but it includes the conversation between the Australians and Billie Joe and Billie Joe and Tre ‘negotiating’ the song.)

“Platypus (I Hate You) – Green Day at the Jacques Cartier Quay – 8girl8 (Not in focus, but it’s got good sound and you can see Billie Joe rip on the guitar.)

Rage and Love and Fun: Green Day in Hartford and Holmdel

Green Day in Holmdel - St. Jimmy - Photo by xGeneralxS

“You know, you spend your fucking money to come to a fucking show and it’s my fucking honor and our privilege to be up here and to give you the best fucking show you’ve ever fucking seen.” –Billie Joe Armstrong

He's a Scream - Green Day at Holmdel - Photo by xGeneralxS

It’s become a personal cliche to me. Almost every Green Day show that I have been fortunate enough to attend during the 21st Century Breakdown tour, turns out to be the “best one yet.” Of course, that’s not quite possible, is it? After all, I didn’t walk away from the kick-ass kick-off show in Camden thinking it was the best show I’d been to. I had a blast, of course, but having worked that day, taken care of people to get to the show, gotten to the show just as it was starting and dealing with dickey boys in the pit, the show was still fun, but the audience (that means me) didn’t give it a 110%, and that is a major factor in a Green Day show. Green Day always give it their all, but I couldn’t put aside the day’s stress and let go. Plus, I could have sworn I was going to faint a few times in the pit. I stuck it out, but missed the 2nd Encore in search of water for fear of never feeling hydrated again in my life.

What Did You Say? - Green Day at Holmdel - xGeneralxS

While each gig’s structure remains the same as well as the setlist most times, each show is a little different and tailored to the venue itself, depending on its size and atmosphere. But a major factor to a Green Day show is the amount of energy that an audience brings with them that fuels this band’s performance. The more energy released by the audience, the more the band soaks it up and throws it back out. I once wrote in a fangirly post titled “Green Day is Different” that because of the massive synergy between Green Day and its fans, each take what they need to create the best experience possible. Oh, and we don’t care if anyone doesn’t like them, haha. It’s a win-win situation, a beautiful give-and-take, particularly when it comes to a live Green Day show.

For two nights, over three days, I traveled to see Green Day perform in Hartford, CT on 8/12 and then again to Holmdel, NJ for their show on 8/14. I walked away both times thinking that it was the best show I’d seen for different reasons, and began thinking, what in the shows made me feel this way?

Head on over to Greenday.com and view the amazing photographs of the first of the North American Shows. Chris Dugan has really outdone himself so far in capturing the band on this leg of the tour.


Jill's Tattoo Needs Two More Signatures! - Photo by GDM

Last July, Green Day hit Hartford’s XL Arena and though I didn’t go to the show, I did read the many-page thread at the Green Day Community regarding the show. The kids who went bonded tightly with the band that night and threw out requests, getting them to do “F.O.D.,” “Dominated Love Slave,” “Only You,” and “Christie Road.” Of course, some of these songs may have been planned by the band, but “F.O.D.” and “DLS” were certainly requested that night. As I read, I became more and more sad that I didn’t make the show. When it was announced that they would head back to Hartford at the Comcast amphitheater, I had no choice but to go. So, I did.

Billie Joe, at the start of a great version of “¡Viva la Gloria!” told us in Hartford that “he had done a lot of tours, that we’ve done a lot of tours, but these last shows in America have been the most fun.” And I have to say, from the shows I’ve been to over this tour, Hartford was the most playful, which is saying a lot, since a Green Day show is always full of playful experiences.

“¡Viva la Gloria!” – Green Day, Comcast Theater, Hartford, NJ – PsypherSCSU

Pharoah Playtime at Hartford - Green Day, August 2010 - Photo by Kimberly Martin

I took the Peter Pan bus up to Hartford and was met at the bus station by a new Green Day acquaintance, Jenne, a lovely person whose 5-year old daughter is also a huge fan of Green Day. Jenne would go on to surprise her daughter with her first show in Mansfield, MA, later in the week. At Hartford’s show, I also met up with Nicole, who was at that first Foxboro Hot Tubs show in New York City. Nicole would surprise her 5-year old son to his first show at Holmdel two days later. Green Day has become a family affair, complete with spitting, cursing, and sometimes, masturbation (a lot less than the American Idiot tour, for sure) and it’s all good! Jenne and I arrived to the venue in plenty of time, and met up with the usual suspects: ToniAnn, Stephanie, Geraldine from Albany (who I had met at MSG1 back in 2009), Shannon, Briana, David, Mary, Rich and Billie De (the couple who helped me onstage during “I Fought the Law” at the FBHT show at Don Hill’s), Luanne and her daughter, Allie (who had traveled from Chicago’s Lollapalooza to attend the shows in Hartford, Holmdel, and Mansfield); and Rory, my soundcheck buddy from MSG2 in 2009. It was fun hanging out with everyone, and when we finally got into the venue, we were raring to go.

Davey Havok, AFI, Holmdel - Photo by xGeneralxS

I hadn’t caught AFI’s gig at Camden, and I don’t know the band’s music well. I enjoyed them more than I thought I would. They added that extra opening spice to the show that I had only encountered seeing from one opening band before them, and that was Prima Donna’s two London appearances at the 02. AFI were engaging onstage, all over the place and had a nice exaggerated style. The more their set moved on, the more they and I got into it.

Mary R's Dad is Happy That She's Onstage! - Green Day, Hartford - Photo by GDM

I started this show uncertain of where to be in the pit. So many people where there that I knew and I wanted to share the show with all of them. I ended up about four or five people from the barrier, and I have to say, there were so many girl fights this night, that it made me laugh. Girls were getting into arguments with each other left and right, though I have no idea why. The pit was a bit rough, but since it was mostly dicky women instead of dicky boys, it was much easier to deal with. Luckily, a really amazing thing happened during one of those “Everyone And Their Mothers On Stage Now” moments that have been happening lately, were the band pulls up a bunch of people and completely covers the stage in fan bodies. Mary R. got pulled onstage and I made a move that I will never regret: I headed straight for her spot at the barrier and spent the rest of the evening hanging out with David and G.L.O.R.I.A.!, who had sang “Longview” at Hartford last year. Mary R. made it back to her spot (a little bit more cuddly with her beau, David by this time), and I was in the spot that I love for the rest of the night: right under Mike (uh…) with a great view of Tre as well, and so close that it was great to be able to play directly with them. Mike threw me a pic, and I caught it, WITH ONE HAND, and he… was… impressed. I’m pretty happy to have one. It says “DIRNT XXX.” :wub:

Mike Threw It and Caught It With One Hand! - A Small "Life Complete" Moment

They’ve done “Give Me Novacaine” at Camden, Hartford and Holmdel. I remember hearing this number for the first time at London’s 02 back in October. It was great there, but the sound of the large arena drowned the song out a bit at the beginning of the tune and it was difficult to figure out what was being played until well into the number. The sound at Hartford and Holmdel both had excellent quality (Camden’s bass sound was off, sadly), except for some glitches here and there at Holmdel. It was great hearing Novacaine!

“Give Me Novacaine” – Green Day at Hartford, August 2010 – PyspherSCSU

Hartford was the first time that I had heard “Whatsername,” sung live, and this show as well as the Holmdel show contained two of the best 2nd Encores that I’ve seen. Holmdel, truly beat them all, though. Here’s video to Whatsername, complete with an asshole at the end who wrestles Tre’s drumstick away from someone, but still, it’s a great 2nd Encore nonetheless.

At either Camden or Hartford, I can’t remember now, at a few points, those in the seats started banging their chairs in ecstatic appreciation of what was happening on stage, and the sound roared through the venue. I turned around and just looked at everyone standing up, right there, right in the moment, as the banging cascaded throughout the place and added that bit more fuel to the performance fire from the stage. I love it. Bring the boys your all, and they’ll give it back to you in the same amount and more. This is the main difference (to me), of my perception of the show in Camden and the show in Holmdel. I was able to give it 110% at Hartford, and got that back in spades.

On a serious note, I want to wish Jill (she of the epic Green Day Shenanigans tattoo seen above), a speedy recovery. About 12 hours after the Hartford show, Jill suffered what doctors think is a mild heart attack, was in the hospital for a few days and now has a stent. Jill wasn’t even in the pit that night, but sitting on the lawn. That’s how hard Green Day rocked. Get well soon, Jill, that’s certainly giving your all to God’s favorite band!


BJA Hollow Body - Green Day, Holmdel August 2010 - Photo by xGeneralxS

I had been to the PNC Bank Arts Center back in the 1980s and I believe saw Berlin and the Thompson Twins perform. But don’t quote me on that lineup, because I barely remember. I do know that I’ve been there, and I’ve seen it many a time on the way to the Jersey shore. The show was located deep in the middle of Nowhere, New Jersey in Holmdel Township. It’s a great amphitheater venue, built in 1968 of concrete acoustical pillars on the side of a hill, a natural acoustical space and the sound in the venue is amazingly clear. So clear, in fact, that Billie Joe Armstrong’s voice sparkled like polished glass reflecting in the sun. Holmdel brought us another amazing second encore, a soaring and heartfelt rendition of “When It’s Time.” Audience members were so close to the band that many of them were able to take high quality video of the performances, and we are truly lucky to be able to hear them for as long as we can.

“Minority” Solo with a Pretty Hollow Body – BJA at Hartford – YourBestShotMedia

BJA's Hollow Body - Photo by Kimberly Martin

Jill T. and I had been discussing at the Hartford show a guitar that Billie Joe pulled out that we had never seen before, and wondered if it’s one of the new guitars that Green Day tweeted about shopping for during their stop in Buffalo a few weeks ago. Billie Joe played a long solo on it during “Minority” on both nights and Kimberly caught a snippet of it being played during “American Idiot.” I asked one of the mods at the GDA, Eirik, what he thought, and he had never seen him play it before, thinking that it was possibly one of the studio hollow bodies being used on the road. I have no idea, I just like the sound!

In fact, the sound was so amazing at this show that there were moments where I felt like a multitude of angels were singing all once, starting from Billie Joe onstage and rising up with about 17,000 attendees. At one point, I just stopped dancing, closed my eyes, and listened to the sound bouncing off of the concrete. The sound was so resonate that it made a few occasions of feedback (especially during “Jesus of Suburbia”) noticeably stand out during the night. No matter, though, the night climaxed with that same version of JOS filling the space with a rousing, fist-pumping, adrenaline rush.

Mr. Lovely - Green Day at Holmdel, August 2010 - Photo by xGeneralxS

SAVE ME! - Green Day at Hartford - Photo by xGeneralXs

I think I annoyed a few people around me during the show. I came with Dawn, Nicole, and Michael. Our seats were in the 300 section of the venue, which made me really sad at first because I felt trapped in the upper level, when everyone else was down below in the 100 and 200 sections. I ended up standing with Luanne and her daughter Allie, in the aisle way right next to the soundbooth (Billie Joe had announced that everyone could fill up the aisles down below because no one would be sitting during the concert), and we had a great time rocking the aisle. I had so much room to dance that I got a little wacky, and Luanne and I did choreography from American Idiot on Broadway. Dawn mentioned that security had come up near us during the “I Don’t Care” movement of JOS as we were doing the faux 7/11 hand-to-shoulder fight scene. I’m sure everyone around us thought we had lost our bloody minds. To me it was a perfect example of giving that 110% of performance as an audience member, matching the energy given by the band onstage and creating again that synergy of complete connection between band and fan. And man, was it friggin’ fun!

Davey and Billie Joe at Holmdel - Photo by xGeneralxS

Some of the many audible highlights of this night: “Who Wrote Holden Caulfield,” featuring AFI singer, Davey Havoc; the soul-rousing and fist-pumping rendition of “Jesus of Suburbia” [see Youtube below],  “Letterbomb” [VIDEO LINK HERE] and one of the most epic “Longview’s” ever, complete with an American Sign Language teacher who was so good that she got a guitar at the end instead of the singer. [See Youtube below]. Oops.

“Longview” – Green Day, PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ – xGeneralxS

“Jesus of Suburbia” – Green Day, PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel – SHUTxChristinaaxUP

When It’s time / Wake Me Up When September Ends / Time of Your Life – Green Day, PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ – RockConcertNo1Fan

Billie Joe - Green Day at Holmdel - Photo by xGeneralxS

As we were stumbling to our cars back to the city after the show, I heard Green Day’s music pouring loudly out of the back of a pickup truck where three burly New Jersey men were tailgating in the parking lot. I really wish that I had been of the mind to grab my iPhone to take a video when I heard the first notes of “Horseshoes and Handgrenades” blasting out, but I had broken my glasses earlier in the night, and I wasn’t thinking straight. In a recent post, I mentioned that I would love to hear “Horseshoes and Handgrenades” at least once on this tour, along with “Peacemaker” and a couple of others from 21st Century Breakdown. I found myself walking brusquely over to where the three dudes were cleaning up their area a bit and I asked if they had been to the show that night. They said yes and then I asked, “Hey, wouldn’t you love to hear this song, ‘Horseshoes and Handgrenades’ played live?” One of the fellows bellowed, “Yea, I have never understood why it wasn’t a single! It shoulda been a single!” and I concurred. There’s been talk from folks in the pit lately that they have seen lyrics to “Peacemaker” taped at Billie Joe’s feet for the last few nights, but it hasn’t happened yet. The anticipation isn’t killing me, but I am pretty excited for the possibilities!

My next tour stop is Montreal! See you French-Canadian Idiots there!

Hartford and Holmdel setlists after the jump.

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Highlights From The Breakdown: Scattered and Dancing With Myself – Green Day at Mansfield, MA

A friend of a friend thought that they saw Billy Idol in attendance at Holmdel. A very tall, very white-blond fellow in an all-white demin outfit was in attendance. I did a double-take when I saw him walking around myself, but the fellow at Holmdel was younger and taller than Idol, who was actually playing a gig out in L.A. (Thanks to all those on the evil Facebook who told me about Idol’s show in L.A. when I asked.)

“Scattered” and “Dancing With Myself” – Green Day at Mansfield, MA – August 16, 2009

I have no idea who the fellow in white was, but I chuckled when I saw this wonderful clip of “Scattered” leading into “Dancing With Myself” by Billy Idol from Green Day’s show in Mansfield, two days after Holmdel. This clip is shot from above and focuses well on Tre’s drumming. Last year I posted some clips that were shot from above trying to focus slightly more on a view of Tre at the drums, and while the ones from last year weren’t that great in video quality, this one from above is clear and crisp. [For other clips shot from above, see, Johnny B. Goode, St. Louis, 2009; Song of the Century and 21stCB Intro, San Jose, Ca, 2009]

I saw Green Day perform “Scattered” at the MSG2 soundcheck, but I think that has been the only time live on this tour that I’ve heard it. The band sounds like they are having fun, and really get into the “Dancing With Myself” part. Tre offers a steady bridge throughout and sounds awfully good, while Jason White gets so into it that he jumps the highest up that I’ve ever seen him go! Nice!

Green Day (presumably Billie Joe) said that Mansfield was their favorite show so far on this leg of the tour, and if this video is a witness, it sounds like it was a blast.

I’m going to finish up my post about Hartford and Holmdel in the next day, and then… I’m sneaking across the border with a passport and Nicole and we’re going to see Green Day in Montreal. Sacre bleu! This makes up for missing out on what will be the epically crazy show in Irving later this month. Green Day’s shows in California, their home state, are crazy affairs. I will be heading to Chula Vista and San Francisco, but work timing and other factors prevent me from hitting Irvine. I have never been to a concert in Canada before, even though I lived close to Windsor, in Ontario and across the border from my hometown of Detroit, while growing up. I love Montreal, and if I could have pulled it off, I would headed for the Quebec show as well. I’ve spent previous time in both Quebec City and Montreal, and love them dearly. It will be nice to see Green Day in Old Montreal, at the Jacques Quai Pier. It’s open air, and if it doesn’t rain, it will be way rad. Haha, I said rad. I’m pretty sure I won’t be dancing with myself, but with a bunch of crazy French-Canadians, in the next few days. OUI!