So as I said earlier, Fighting Nun and I went to see Green Day at the Warfield on Thursday. I'll just come right out and say it. Best concert of the year. This concert experience is actually vieing for the title of best concert ever, but The Mighty Mighty Bosstones at Bottom of the Hill still has that enviable position. This one is in the top three for sure.
Here's the quick rundown of what I loved, what I liked, and what I disliked.
What I loved
The opening band!!! So, The Network. The people sitting next to the people we were sitting next to said that the band was actually Green Day in costume, totally covered as not to show thier identities. I'm not sure how to go about cooberating that story, but that was Billy Joe singing. It had to be, which makes this the best opening band ever!! Let me explain some things about this opening band's show. One of the dudes wore a mexican wrestling mask, another dude had on something that looked suspiciously like a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers helmet. And then there were the strange guys who looked to be straight-jacketed together playing the cowbell. That alone, was worth the price of the ticket. It was awesome.
The teenage girls - Right after Green Day started their set, Billy Joe drug these two girls, no older than thirteen, maybe younger, onto the stage to make sure they wouldn't be in harms way during the concert. I started living vicariously through those two girls. I'd look over at them during certain parts of the set, and they were giggly, bouncing up and down in their pink concert t-shirts, at one point they were given some of Tre Cool's drumsticks. How awesome is that? Green Day had an awesome lights and pyrotechnics show, one I haven't seen the likes of live ever. I'm talking flames shooting out of the stage, sparks raining down. Anytime the flames started shooting out, or the sparks came raining down, some roadie had to usher those girls to a safer part of the stage. It was all back and forth, back and forth like some crazy game of Red Light, Green Light.
The profundity of musical instruments - I've had this long standing belief that the more musical instruments you can drag onstage, the better the stage show. This concert totally proved my theory. You wanna know what is more awesome than dragging a keytar on stage? Two keytars. Red ones. More awesome than that was the cowbell playing dude(s) (explained above). Because what everything needs is more cowbell. (I know that joke's worn out but that won't stop me from using it.) And there were trombones, and trumpets, and just all sorts of awesome things. Bring on the musical instruments!
They played the old stuff - I was under the impression that the whole night would be only stuff off their American Idiot album, and yeah, the first set, that's exactly what they played. Which was fine. I rocked out and I enjoyed it, but I knew I would feel complete if they just played Longview. And the first encore, they did, and the second encore that played a bunch of other stuff too. Tre Cool came out and did a solo to the "All By Myself" song (You know that song that was hidden at the end of Dookie?) It was awesome.
They were just having fun - Being at a concert is work if the artist you are seeing makes it seem like he's working. Case in point, Zwan. Billy Corgan wasn't about having fun, he was about showcasing his art. He took that concert way too seriously. Hell, he takes everything too seriously. But the point is, if you treat a concert like work, all the people going end up treating it like that. But Green Day got that this was about fun, and that's what they did up there. They had fun, they entertained and they rocked the house. Those guys single handedly brought the fun back into fun-loving punk. I respect that.
What I liked
They played covers - The second encore they just went crazy, there was a strange medly, and they let the touring guitarist sing "Rock the Casbah" and there was a Billy Idol cover. It was great! The draw back was that it was detracting away from them playing their old stuff, and it went on for way too long. Back in the day, when I was young, naive and in college, I believed that an artist should play their whole back catalog. I was like, If you have four hours worth of albums, you should play all four hours. I want to hear it all. Now, I'm like, dude It's a weeknight and we've got work the next day. Could you like wrap this up soon? I'm utterly glad they played for as long as they did, showing the love and all, but it got to a point where enough was enough. I like that you are going to rock all night, but could you please give us an approximation of how long that might be? I got to figure out how to plan my next day.
What I disliked
I like that Green Day is politically motiviated, and I like the fact that American Idiot was a smart album that showcased that, but made a point artfully. It wasn't jamming the message down our throats. I appreciate that. But there were a couple of pointed statements made by Billy Joe that were. And that's not what I paid good money to hear. I don't know. That's just how I feel about it. Leave it at home, don't bring it to the concert...
Speaking of leaving it at home, I appreciate that being high and going to a concert go hand in hand. I'm a child of the hippie generation. I get that, but it just seems disrespectful to me that you need to get high during a concert, making other people smell the crap and giving them a contact high just by proxy. If you want to get stoned and go to a concert, that's great. But can you get stoned before, in the privacy of your own home where you aren't subjecting countless others, only yourself.
Well That's it. Great Concert, amazing band. An incredible four hours spent...