Friday, November 19, 2004


My ears are a-ringin' from a tremendous show last night at the Rose Garden Arena.

WOW! Green Day played for an hour and 45 mintues straight. High energy, tight sound, amazing vocals, fun antics by Billie Joe, surprising covers, new & old songs, pyrotechnics, confetti cannons, explosions. What a night.

Billie Joe came out sporting dyed black hair, a black short-sleeved/collared shirt, black pants, black shoes, red sox and a skinny bright red tie (pretend his tie is red in the picture below, and you have what he looked like last night).

They opened with American Idiot, went right in to a masterful Jesus of Suburbia, and then played Holiday. I've attended a fair amount of concerts (see past post) and I'm excited to say hearing and watching Green Day play Holiday is my favorite concert moment of all time. From there, Green Day played St. Jimmy, and then moved into some older stuff from Dookie (When I Come Around, She, Basket Case, Welcome to Paradise). Wow, it was fun to see them play stuff I was crazy about in 1994. From Nimrod, they played King for a Day. The other American Idiot album songs they did were Are We Waiting, Wake Me Up When September Ends, and Boulevard of Broken Dreams. The only one I was waiting for, but didn't get, was Give me Novacaine.

Mid-show, Billie Joe brought three audience members up to play the drums, bass and guitar. The guy they picked to play guitar, Johnny, was an amazing showman in his own right. He was jumping off of platforms, playing behind his head and really getting the crowd behind him. When the song ended and Johnny started in on an unauthorized solo, Billie Joe made the sound boad keep the kid's sound on. After about 30 seconds, Billie Joe said, "Alright, that's enough, you fucking dirt ass. And, hey, you can keep the guitar." The place went crazy.

Billie Joe really knows how to work a crowd. He had complete control of us. Having sections compete, getting us wild, then holding out his arms to silence us, starting arm waves, fist pumping, repeating his nonsensical sounds, etc. 1 hour and 45 minutes of unadulterated engergy.

For the encore, they expertly covered Queen's "We Are the Champions," with millions of pieces of red and white confetti floating around the arena. Billie Joe closed with a moving acoustic solo version of Good Riddance (Time of Your Life). Folks on the floor were scooping up handfuls of confetti and showering Billie Joe with them. He seemed to love it.

Jon and I sat in the first row of the balcony, so had great seats to see the stage and watch the crazy mosh pits on the floor. How people don't start throwing punches when they're thrown to the floor is beyond me.

Between the opening act (New Found Glory) and Green Day, there was about 30 minutes of down time. They played all sorts of songs over the loudspeakers, but I swear you would have thought The Beastie Boys were playing live with the reaction Fight For Your Right to Party got. During the break, the audience could text message up to a big screen, and some of the funnier messages: "I'm drunk on Smarties." "I love my Asian." "I'm skypping skewl tamarow." You can probably tell the audicence was skewed toward the high school and under crowd. But, that made for a fun, high energy experience.

Right before Green Day came on stage, a guy dressed in a giant pink bunny suit and head drunkenly stumbled across the stage and lead the crowd in a drunken YMCA routine. He then opened up the mouth of the giant pink bunny head and chugged a bottle of beer. It was all very funny.

It's been a long time since I've been to a show like this. I think it's my #2 overall concert experience, behind the 1987 U2 Joshua Tree Tour concert in RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

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