Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Boston Green Day 21st Century Breakdown Concert Review

I went to the Green Day concert at the TD Banknorth Garden last night. One word: meh.

You see, I am veteran of their American Idiot tour, which was the best concert experience of my life. So, the 21st Century Breakdown tour had a lot to live up to. Unfortunately, it didn’t. I’m trying to decide what makes me feel that way. Here’s a list I’m trying to choose from:

Same old, same old: It seems the only thing Green Day changed from their stage show 4 years ago was the curtain behind the drum set. Everything else was the same, from the flames, to the stage shape, to the confetti at the end, to the bringing audience members up to stage dive or play guitar. Been there, done that.

Venue: The Garden is cavernous, and we were up in the balcony essentially at mid-court. It was an end-stage set up, so we were looking at the band from an angle, and all the speakers were pointed straight out. So, not only was the sound sub-par, but we were too far away to really see any of the band members’ faces. There were no video screens that helped us out in that regard.

City: Billy Joe must have shouted “Boston!” or “Boston Massachusetts!” about 40 times during the night. It got everyone cheering, but it made me realize something. When I lived in Portland, Oregon, I felt like an ambassador of the city. Proud to have family, friends, and even bands come to the Rose City. Bands usually personalized their Portland banter with something like, “Portland – a kick ass city!” Or, “You guys live in one beautiful city!” It felt like bands tried a little harder to connect with us Pacific Northwesterners. The last couple of concerts I’ve been to (read: Kings of Leon) I’ve noticed the lack of any oomph to the crowd banter.

Set list: I am a big fan of their new album, so was hoping to hear more songs from that during their 2 hour and 10 minute set. Surprisingly, they only sang about half the songs from 21st Century Breakdown (Song of the Century, 21st Century Breakdown, Know Your Enemy, Before the Lobotomy, American Eulogy, East Jesus Nowhere, 21 Guns). It was disappointing to not hear Christian’s Inferno, !Viva La Gloria!, Peacemaker, or Last of the American Girls. I think there was too much from American Idiot (St. Jimmy, Jesus of Suburbia, American Idiot, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Holiday, Are We the Waiting), a good amount from Dookie (Welcome to Paradise, She, Basket Case) and a couple of older ones that I didn’t recognize, and, of course, Billy Joe finished the night with an acoustic Good Riddance – Time of Your Life.

East Jesus Nowhere and Basket Case were the show highlights for me.

If what I was watching in person last night had been, instead, something I was watching on T.V., I would have changed the channel.

That said, I had a fun time with Colleen, Erin and Chris at drinks and dinner before the show, and they were a lot more into the show than I was, so it was fun to see them dancing and singing along.


rambling canuck said...

Great review. I think your first point is the most salient - if they don't change much of the performance tour-to-tour, it's difficult to get excited.

MSL said...

What you needed to liven it up was a bootlegger to bust.

Rob said...

What great memories you bring back, Miguel.