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Kind, smiling eyes, bestowing happiness on blackness
of soul and mind. Basking in your light once more, just
as if you were never gone; here now, here forever.
Hold my hand and I am home, free from the evil
of the void; the emptiness that grows and grows.
Eyes burn and I do not know why; why
do I cry? Why do you cry?
How is this happy, for I was once
positive it would never arrive. Yet here you
stand with me, playing of flowers
of flowerpots and dew that glistens
Trembling, trembling, trembling. Shaking
awake in despair, distraught and disheveled,
wailing into the empty night sky that pours
from inside the void you have left me. Nothing
to hold in comfort but the memory of
the dead I dream of at night.
How is this happy, for I was once
positively so, and then I lost
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I tore up these streets
On a shaky longboard
Not looking to go any direction
My headphones blasted
The songs of anger,
The rally cry for insurrection
I grew up in a city where
The millionaires and the poor
Were a stone’s throw away
My quiet, white middle-class
Home in the center
Boredom weighing me down each day
There was once a man
Who stood at the intersection
Held a cardboard sign up to the street
But he didn’t want cash
It said “99 percent”
He protested alone in the heat
So I brought this man a bottle
Of water and a few bucks
Joined him on the sidewalk
But I didn’t stay
To protest at his side
Though I still appreciate our talk
Because sometimes it’s hard
To find your comrades and you think
That you should give in and go home
And when I think of the struggle
With few breaths of life in it
I think of those out there alone
I met a guy who I talked to
Online sometimes at an
Underground punk rock show
He lived on a farm
Somewhere north of the city
To the city, to the shows, he would go
It was the kind of place
Where it’s easy to feel safe
And solidarity still counted for something
Those twenty punk kids
Couldn’t start a revolution
But without each other they would have nothing
See, the whitewashed, vanilla
Corporate liberal agenda
I know is poison barely watered down
And as a radical writer,
Dreaming myself a fighter
I felt alone in a pacified town
Sometimes the bills and the pills
And the cheap, easy thrills
Mean no one out there’s down for a riot
And I’m no different,
Fuck no, not in the least
Most my life spent distracted and quiet
Hypocrite, I would see
In the mirror each morning
Because I knew there wasn’t much I was doing
But I saw the lies
And the hollow disguise
On the corporate cable news I was viewing
I was born into privilege
And I squandered potential,
Still I spoke out for justice and love
In the grip of depression
It was hard to see
There was still a way to rise above
I’d sit at night in my neighbor’s driveway
Chain smoking, stressed
She’d cry and she’d vent
Hard times she survived
She felt barely alive
Relying on every last cent
So I listened to her stories,
And I told her I’d always
Be there to listen and help her out
Sometimes we’d smoke a joint
In a haze we would wonder
What the fuck is life even about
Every act of kindness
Counts I believe
Not random, but deliberate
And sometimes there are
People whose lives can be changed
If only someone was considerate
I think about my transgender friends
And the hostile places
Into which they were born
And I don’t understand
Why in this so-called “free” land
They endure this society’s scorn
I went across the Atlantic
For love, left for Germany
To live there with my wife
And our loved changed us both
For the better, and still
Shines a light on our lives
And there I met
A few refugees, they had
Fled from the horror of war
And I knew instantly,
That they were just like me
But still racists want to close that door
Whether it’s the GOP, UKIP,
Or the AFD, these right-wing
Parties say they’ll make our lives better
But their rhetoric shows
Quite evidently they
Only hate those they see as the lesser
False promises in the age
Of the capitalist late stage
Brought a monster like Trump into power
And I know that my comrades
Have never felt more alone in
The fascist storm that destroys and devours
So where is the empathy?
Where is the solidarity?
Can I feel the heartbeat of the masses?
Should I hope against
The pessimism that strangles
That we can still smash the upper classes
I say now to every comrade,
Every single one
Whom I’ve ever known
That this isn’t the end
Each other we will defend
And set fire to the imperialist throne
Every act counts,
It's not about the amount
Of people who march down these streets
Lift up your friends,
Say to them once again
We’re united; these pigs we will defeat
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I could start this story with "I've been waiting a long time for this moment to come", or "It was great". Yeah, but it would be so usual. And boring, right? So, I wanna start with just one word that describes perfectly any aspect of how I'm feeling today:
Just fuck. Think about, it's perfect. Surprised, happy and crazy at the same time: me.
Right now I'm leaving Milan, the sun is shining and everyone is so silent on the train. They don't know what happened yesterday:
Yesterday I took the metro to Assago. Every stop, you could see the place getting emptier and emptier. Until the last stop, Assago. At that moment I knew that everyone in the room was going to the concert. I felt dizzy.
I got off the metro. It was cold, but I wasn't supposed to care about that.
After a very, long, tiring and agitated queue for seat places I got inside. It was a sort of liberation. I was afraid that my ticket was fake, even though I spent a lot of money on it. But when the scanner showed its bright green light, I was the happiest person in the world.
At that moment, I was alone, inside the forum, in my seat. But I couldn't realize that. I remember I wrote something on GDC, about how happy I was. But I couldn't believe it, really.
The Interrupters started their opening show. First song: good. Second song: ok. Third song: meh. Fourth song: I'm getting bored of that fucking guitar. It followed always the same rhythm. When they finished, my mind was exhausted.
Then a long pause.
And the Bunny. I was wearing a Ramones shirt, so I had to scream the Blitzkrieg Bop.
I wasn't feeling good. Like I wasn't ready for that.
But then the lights turned out.
I hear that drums. Heavy, clear.
In my mind there is only a word buzzing: JUMP.
Know Your Enemy had started.
I had dreamed that moment for 84 days, 12, weeks, 3 months, a season, 1/4 year.
And it was just like I wanted.
Pyro, energy, and my favorite band breathing my same air.
Bang Bang and Revolution Radio were two song of "let yourself go". Jumping and screaming any single word of the lyrics. Still now, I'm surprised that I was the only one to do that in my sector. I felt a bit embarrassed but WHO CARED.
The Holiday-Letterbomb-Boulevard Of Broken Dreams part was distinguished by a general excitement. Those songs were epic. Me trying to mimic Mike's bass solo in Holiday was maybe the funniest thing.
I did the same with Longview.
Actually one of the worst part of the show was Youngblood. It sounded GREAT, don't get me wrong. But as someone already said here on GDC the "fuck you I'm from Oakland" part ended up with an embarrassing silence from the fans. I gave my best but I think it wasn't enough.
It was time to start the old-songs section. I expected Welcome To Paradise, ready to mimic another bass solo.
But when BJ screamed "2000 Light Years Awaaaaay", I was a bit disappointed. No matter, I could always dance.
Hitchin' a Ride, When I Come Around, Christie Road, Burnout. Nothing else to say. Same things, but this time I was literally out of breath.
When Scattered started I couldn't contain myself. That song has an important meaning to me, since 2014. Still the only one of C1 to scream like there's no tomorrow. Then Minority, time to jump again. "Fuck'em all!"
Are We The Waiting was really touching. Everyone sang it. I felt part of a team, a group of people that have something in common. My heart was in tears. But it was time to jump (agin, and again). St. Jimmy! BJ waited a minute before the epic "and don't fucking wear it out". Pyro.
After Knowledge, my favorite part of the show: BASKET CASE/SHE. It sounded fucking great, and it's good to see that GD play it this way after 23 years.
K-F-A-D. (Nothing else to say, it would be meaningless).
A bunch of covers and the most important part of their concert (emotionally speaking):
Still Breathing. A hand on my chest, the other up in the sky. My mouth is dry, but I'm still singing and jumping.
And the epic closer: Forever Now. Is that enough? No.
American Idiot. And JOS. This made me see how GD are famous and important in this dishonest pop world.
And finally, BJ with its guitar, and us, coming back in our Ordinary World hoping we had the Time Of (our) Li(v)e(s).
I immediately felt like everyone in the room was a friend of mine. Boys, girls, children, Old men, thinking about what I had just done.
Again, in the metro. This time with something in my heart that I hadn't got four hours before.
An "Insomniac" night.
And now I'm here writing this (meaningless) essay. I promised you.
The train is going fast. My heart too. I still can't realize it.
A thing is sure: I'm a day older than yesterday.
Hope you like it, even if with a lot of grammar mistakes. I'm too happy to care about it.
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In this post I just want to share my musical highlights of 2016
Song of the year: And then there was silence - Blind Guardian (A Night at the Opera, 2002). No day has passed without I listened to this masterpiece. 14 perfect minutes of music.
Album of the year: Imaginations from the other Side - Blind Guardian (1995) and Litourgyia - Batushka (2015)
Best album released this year: Winter's Gate - Insomnium
Best concert I've been to: Hans Zimmer, hands down. I still shiver every time I think about it. It was so perfect, so great and a dream coming true.
Best festival I've been to: Ragnarök Festival. It was small and cozy and cold (because it was in the beginning of april and I slept in a tent!)
New genres I discovered: Black Metal, Blackgaze, Doom Metal
New bands I discovered: Agalloch, Nargaroth, Nocte Obducta, Swallow the Sun, BATUSHKA!!
Festivals I've been to: Ragnarök Festival, SummerBreeze, Christmas Bash
Concerts I've been to: Hans Zimmer, Brainstorm/Winterstorm, Amon Amarth
Concerts Ive missed again: Sonata Arctica, Behemoth, the Vision Bleack, Van Canto ( )
Highlights of 2017: probably live-album of Blind Guardian, Insomnium Show at Ragnarök festival, NEW WINTERSUN ALBUM!!!
New lyrics. Enjoy.
You've wired up the engines
and are forced into the wind
Above the heads of drones
you fly as the sun is now dimmed
Forced into the wind
The sun is now dimmed
Televised in the aperture
of the wrecking ball
Politicians embrace the screen
with pride before the fall
Of the wrecking ball
With pride before the fall
In time and time again,
I cannot feel the wings
The sinkhole in the night
consumes what the morning brings
Authority continues with
every channel changed
Remotely controlled like
rockets that are ranged
We crown the heads with thorns
like they were sorts of kings
With a coat of fire,
you bow down and kiss their rings
They were sorts of kings
Bow down and kiss their rings
The static of the air
screams like echoed cries
The audience applauds
as the Earth shrivels and dies
Screams like echoed cries
The Earth shrivels and dies
We could all fight as one
but there's always a shout
The animals embraced in duel
while the sun is soon snuffed out
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To go along with this blog, I made a playlist of music, trying to make each song a song that meant something to me during each year of my life, while also having a relevant song title. It ends with honourable mentions that didn't quite fit in elsewhere.
Music means something different to each of us. Each song makes your heart beat in a different way, as you find your own way to relate to it. We dance through life with the help of the songs that keep us going. Since we all have different life experiences, the music that get us through it all is varied and complex. I’m going to talk about what music means to me, and my life. How have songs impacted on my life? Let’s start at the beginning.
The first time my parents properly spoke to each other – and indeed started dating – was after a screening of Live Aid, when my dad offered to drive his coworkers home. It makes their anniversary rather easy to remember. My mum was (is?) a massive Bay City Rollers fan, coincidentally moving from a village in Germany to Edinburgh, the city the band is from, as soon as she possibly could. My dad grew up in Edinburgh, and went to a variety of concerts at weekends.
Fast forward to the mid 90s. I’m a baby, the fourth child in a slightly messed up family. My mum takes me to Bay City Rollers concerts, bundled up and strapped to her front. She gets in front of the barrier. She goes back and talks to the band. Years later she’ll tell me she doesn’t think they knew she had a baby on her.
Growing up, some of the first songs I heard were from Scottish artists. We had a compilation CD called “The Best Scottish Album in the World… Ever”. Classic songs like Caledonia, Stuck in the Middle With You, Shout, Donald Where’s Your Trousers?, Let’s Go Round Again, Mull of Kintyre… There was the Proclaimers, and Big Country. There was Flower of Scotland and Auld Lang Syne. These were the soundtrack to many long road trips over my childhood. It blended with the scenery we passed, reminded us of the great accomplishments of our small country.
There was also the Beatles, because of course there was. I remember watching their film Help! on TV and finding as amazing and ridiculous as I still do. My dad introduced me to ska: Madness and Bad Manners. He once gave me an entire recording of a Madness concert, excited to find someone else in the family that enjoyed it as he did. When dad would drive us to school, he’d play music from the various mixtapes he had lying around. “It’s My Party” resonated with me for some reason, perhaps it just sounded like something I would do. And have done. Cry at my own party, I mean.
By the time I was nine, my older siblings were old enough to start discovering music for themselves. The brother five years older than me started recording songs off the radio, and then buying CDs. There was punk, and metal, and funk. I was almost ten when American Idiot was released, and my brother recorded those singles, and Green Day’s previous singles that were getting increased airtime, off the radio. For years I had a six minute radio edit version of Jesus of Suburbia. At this point we had computers, and each our own accounts for them. Our own iTunes library. My brother bought Dookie, and I listened to Longview as an innocent ten year old that didn’t yet know what masturbation was. In the years to come, this brother also introduced me to the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Linkin Park, Wednesday 13, Good Charlotte, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Blink 182, Bowling for Soup, Sum 41… He never got too focussed on one artist, but my heart fell for Green Day.
The lyrics were simultaneously catchy and meaningful. They appeal to people of any age, and the songs carry enough variety that there is always a song you are in the mood to listen to. When we got internet, I spent hours on youtube listening to Ha Ha You’re Dead and She’s a Rebel. Youtube was a great way to let me, still a child with no spending money of my own, to discover more music by myself. When I started high school, I quickly became friends with another Green Day fan, who gave me Green Day albums for birthday and christmas presents. My first real foray into the community that surrounds the fanbase began when I was 12. I joined a forum, and a year later, a quiz making site. Someone messaged me on the quiz making site saying they liked my Green Day avatar, and initiated a long conversation about life. My mental health wasn’t always great, so knowing there were other people like me really helped.
My sister, three years older than me, preferred more pop style music: KT Tunstall, Sandi Thom, Lily Allen, the Holloways, Pink… When I was 15, my sister convinced me to visit her at her first year halls at university by taking me to see Bowling for Soup acoustic. It was the first concert I had chosen to go to, and it truly was an experience. It was an intimate show, but still introduced me to the chants of rock concerts in Glasgow (“here we, here we, here we fucking go”).
High school, and the friends I had there, introduced me to Simple Plan, Tokio Hotel, My Chemical Romance… No major change in what I liked, but always people to talk to about the music. The first CD I actually bought was Foxboro Hot Tubs’ Stop Drop and Roll!!! 21st Century Breakdown came out when I was 15. I had to do a talk on a person I would save for English, and chose Billie Joe Armstrong. I was surprised by the number of people in my year that knew 21st Century Breakdown. People talked about going to see them live, but I hadn’t even considered that being possible for me. It wasn’t like I really had the money or independence to be able to. I vowed to see them live one day, and tried not to be too jealous. My little brother was about eight, and loved the music video for Know Your Enemy. He started off very picky with music, only keeping the few songs from albums he definitely liked.
Near the end of high school, I stumbled across Emily’s Army (later to reinvent themselves as SWMRS), and later asked my friend to buy me their debut album as an early birthday present. Them being around my age made them more relatable, but them growing up rich made them less relatable to me.
University brought many new joys for me: student loans giving me the money and independence I needed, new friends, new opportunities… The next concert I went to was a wizard rock concert in 2012. It was an event held at the university, party to raise money for charity, with a variety of Harry Potter themed bands. I had become a regular member of another Green Day forum, and gained close friends there. There were skype calls and birthday presents. I had an opportunity to see Green Day live in London, but assumed they would be back for a full UK tour later, and chose to stay in town and do something for a friend’s birthday instead. I later regretted that decision when their tour was cancelled for various health reasons, and I stopped talking to said friend.
The next year, Emily’s Army announced something I had not been expecting: their first UK tour. I bought a ticket to the Glasgow show quickly, and was easily persuaded to take the long journey down to the Nottingham show as well. I stayed with people I’d met on a Green Day forum, and without them I probably would never have had the courage to get photos with, and hug, the band members. I had a cleaning job that summer, and the Emily’s Army concerts meant twice arriving back home well after midnight when I needed to be in work for 9am. It was exhausting, but very much worth it. They played Loch Lomond in Glasgow, declaring “I haven't had a full body sweat since the first time we played this song”. Being american, their pronunciation was a bit off, but the effort was appreciated. The Nottingham show featured a “wall of hugs”, but that wouldn’t work in Glasgow. The first Emily’s Army show in Glasgow was the first concert I went to by myself. My confidence has grown since then.
Not long after a friend had been talking to me about Emilie Autumn, I was flicking through the programme for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and noticed she was playing a show. In many ways, this wasn’t just music, it was theatre. The final concert I went to in 2013 was a Bowling for Soup concert with a large group of my friends, and my sister. It was referred to as their Farewell tour, the last of many consecutive years of UK tours. Some of the people I was with were so worried about getting caught up in the mosh pit that they moved back towards the bar. They wanted us to stay together in a group, but some of us wanted to be closer to the stage rather than further away. It made me realise that often it is better to go to concerts alone. Or at least with people that enjoy the music the same way you do.
Twice during 2014 I went to concerts purely because one friend or another had asked me to go with them, and not because I particularly cared about seeing the artist live. Those nights were more about drinking and chatting than paying attention to the music.
Emily’s Army had another UK tour, so naturally I went to the Glasgow date and met the band for the second time. I had a resit that summer, and bought the ticket without knowing if I would have an exam the next day. Thankfully, halfway through an interrailing holiday, I received the news that the exam was the day before the concert.
One way I have discovered music is through podcasts. “Man of the Hour” in my early teens onwards, from a guitarist of Simple Plan and their old merch guy. “Full Frontal” later, from half of All Time Low. I would listen to them while playing games, or walking to work. Every so often a song they’d play would resonate with me. I’d cut the song out from the podcast, or look the band up.
I’ve loved pirates since I was little, so stumbling across Alestorm was great. Scottish pirate metal is one of those genres that is so me that Alestorm went from being unknown to me to one of my favourite bands almost overnight. I thought dressing up as a pirate for the “Pirate Fest” they headlined in Glasgow was going too far, but regretted that as soon as I saw the line. It was a wild night. Despite the reasonably large crowd, I did get almost to the barrier for a while.
In 2015, I went to one concert. It was “Weird Al” Yankovic, and it was his first time playing in Scotland, as far as I can tell. It was wonderful in a whole different way from most of the concerts I’ve been to. Clips of him appearing in, or being mentioned in, various TV shows and films were played on the screens between songs. This gave him and his band time to change outfit, which they did for almost every song. Afterwards, Al sat on the step of the tour bus looking exhausted. Someone stood between him and the line of people who had stayed outside the venue, announced that he would sign one thing from each person, but no photos were allowed.
2016 came, and SWMRS emerged. Their “debut” album took a couple of listens, but really showed them growing up and finding their way. They ended up in the UK twice in the same summer. First in May, during exam season. Thankfully my exams were over, and as a bonus I was escaping the victory parade after the football team closest to where I lived won the Scottish cup for the first time in 114 years. I sat in the bar beforehand with a drink, and Max Becker smiled at me as the band walked past. After the show, I got a photo with the Beckers, and awkwardly talked to them. I noted how much we had changed, but mostly just to become ourselves. Next came August, and they finally came to Edinburgh. It was just after the fringe festival had finished, and I had an internship: nine to five, four days a week. I would have tried to go to both Scottish dates, but both were on work nights, and it took long enough to get back from work. The concert tickets still being around £10 was very useful. The Beckers still hang around after shows. This time, Cole was wearing a dress and drinking Irn Bru. They had been told how great a hangover cure Irn Bru is. I waited for other people to talk to them before going up to them in turn. I got a selfie with each of the Becker brothers, along with multiple hugs. They are honestly some of the loveliest people I’ve met.
Despite how terrible the politics had been, and how many great people the world lost, 2016 still brought out some great music. SWMRS, Blink 182, Against Me!, Green Day, Madness, the Interrupters, Sum 41… and I’m just listing the ones I bought concert tickets for. A youtuber I follow, NateWantsToBattle, released a cover album of pop punk songs, and I was pleased to find he had censored the word “fags” from his version of Green Day’s Holiday.
On my 22nd birthday I listened to a leak of Revolution Radio, the newest Green Day album. I had heard the first single from it as soon as it was released while sitting at work and hoping the woman I was interning for wasn’t going to show up before I heard it. That was a special moment. The second single ended up being Still Breathing, a song that meant a lot to me. A man that had essentially kept me alive for years was singing about still being alive. The new album brought new tours, and a new opportunity for me to finally see them live. I had signed up for the official fansite just to get the presale. The “UK tour” turned out to be three dates in England, but for this band I wasn’t too sad. Leeds on a Sunday night with a friend I’ve had for over a decade. Not too bad. February can’t come soon enough. I looked up the support act: the Interrupters. Ska punk, another genre so me I had to download all their music straight away. The song “By My Side” made me not want to die. As more tour dates were announced, I also bought tickets for Hyde Park (with my little brother, it is on his 16th birthday) and Glasgow (with a Green Day fan I had stayed with before) in July. I’m trying not to think about the money I’m throwing at them, but if anyone deserves it, they do.
December brought two rather different concerts. The first was Against Me! Their first support act was Mobina Galore, two women that surprised me in how much I liked them. After the show, I thanked them and they thanked me and it was just us thanking each other. I’m very bad at conversations. Milk Teeth paused their set to talk about mental health. Laura Jane Grace was wonderful, Against Me! have given me a great soundtrack to my own transgender dysphoria blues. The mosh pit was incredibly friendly, especially for Glasgow, and there was a clear place to stand if you didn’t want to join it. Yelling “the revolution was a lie” with the rest of the crowd was a beautiful moment, one I wished I could pick up and keep in my pocket, ready to relive whenever I need it. I waited around afterwards in the hope of meeting the band, but needed to leave to catch the last bus back home. They probably came out ten minutes after I left. That’s the sort of thing that happens to me.
The other concert in December was Madness. My dad was sure to tell me of when he would see them live in the ‘70s and ‘80s for less than a fiver, when I was paying almost £50 for a ticket. The music industry has changed since then, we agree. Now bands get more money from concerts and merch sales than from the album sales. Madness was the largest concert I’ve been to thus far in my living memory. The support act didn’t come on until over an hour after doors. Most of the crowd were the same age as my parents, some having brought their kids. It was a different crowd from what I often saw: instead of brightly coloured hair, they wore trilbys and fezes. It was the only time I’d seen anyone post facebook live videos during a concerts, and I could see three separate people do so at once. I only really knew the greatest hits, and the latest album, but still recognised almost every song played. They made good use of the screens and lighting. The hits had everyone bopping – literally a house of fun. Between the main show and the encore, they had a pipe band come on stage and play the national anthem. The crowd sang along to Flower of Scotland.
2017 will bring many more adventures in music. I already have bought tickets for six concerts: Sum 41, All Time Low (with SWMRS as support), Blink 182, and Green Day (three times). Each time I see Green Day will be in a different city, with a different person. There’s a lot to look forward to, and keep me going. These bands, and the communities that surround them, have been there for me all my life. When I ask why I’m alive, I know the answer. It’s music.
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Last night was like any other night - I stayed up later than I should working on a drawing, then I played The Last of Us. Well, sometime around 11:30, I decided to head downstairs and get a glass of water. Well, I took a tad too long and turned around to discover my Dad had gotten up to put more pellets in the wood stove. Well, I didnt want to scare the shit out of him by making my presence known since he's jumpy and clearly wouldn't be expecting to see anyone in the dark kitchen, because me and my brother rarely get up and go to the kitchen. So to spare him, I slipped out into the laundry room. Let me fill you in quickly on why I realized this is a problem...
The laundry room is also the enclosed porch, with a light that shines out outside if you want to get a look at things. I didnt realize until I was out there that there was a 75% chance of him coming out there to flip on the light and check the weathe outside, since we were also havign a blizzard at the time. Not uncommon for him to do this when he's up in the middle of the night. Even more problems, there's absolutely nowhere to hide in the laundry room, and if I got caught in there, I'd be suspcious as all hell and would get in trouble.
Sooo... Lucky me, I was already dressed from head to toe in black pajamas with a black hoodie, so I suck up in the darkest corner, praying he doesnt come out there.
I hear him come into the kitchen and get a drink... And then he does what I was not expecting, and defintely threw a wrench into my sneaky plan of getting back to my room on the second floor. He goes to the living room, sits on the couch, and watches TV for an hour at a very low volume. So any creaking floorboards will be very obvious. Also, let me illuminate another major problem: I live in a 110 year-old farmhouse, so the floors creak and squeal with every step, making being sneaky a ton harder.
Getting to the stairs from the laundry room shouldn't be such a chore, right? To make matters worse, the living room is situated directly in front of the laundry room, seperated by a large room with the computer and fireplace in it. This is the room with the creaky boards and the only thing (hopefully) blocking his view of me is the other couch in front of him. So after fourty five minutes of waiting for him to go back to bed, I finally decide screw it, I'll try my luck.
So I get on my hands and knees and am crawling as absolutely slow and quietly as I can, just to squeeze out of sight. I did eventually get there, heart racing in a panic.
Then I realized that all that turmoil was nothing compared to what was ahead of me. The stairs leading up to my room are the squeakiest damn things in the house, and they only creak louder when you're trying to be quiet and stealthy.
So I hung out for another 20 minutes, unsure if he'd gone to bed, practically lifting myself up the stairs by pushing back against the walls on either side of the stairs to skip the squeakest ones.
And at last! I made it back to my room one hour later with zero motivation to continue what Id been working on.
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1. You and your shit haircut, and warm blue coat,
next to me on low railing in parking lot top floor alone.
It became our spot, with your camera
on slow shutter stop, that makes headlights look more like laser beams,
in one image, capturing many moments, and pressing your lips into me.
2. The first time I fucked a boy it was period sex.
The first person I told was my best friend.
He was cool to the touch, and soft, like marble – all gloss,
and looking at him, I understood why renaissance masters revered the male nude.
I chisel him with my fingers and lips,
and watch him halve as shimmering, brilliant geode.
3. Finally, I slosh out like an overfull glass, and I am thinking about cats –
there are so many wandering around my hall
that it would be plausible, people would believe me if I said,
I got these cuts from one of them.
Silver exacto craft knife blissfully opens my wrists,
I lost my happiness – maybe I left it in there.
4. I have stopped sleeping again.
It is better to be kept awake in my too small bed
by his bony rib digging into my chest.
The clock shows 5am; I’m out cold,
nightmaring again. I don’t mind a body
pressed up against me, the crook of his arm
is more stable than the pandora’s box of my thoughts.
5. I hate how I make your mannerisms mine,
the evidence you have been diffusing into my mind,
but I don’t think I’ve diffused into yours –
the particles of me have effervesced into the atmosphere,
lost, perhaps coming down later as rain – never to be seen again.
6. The first belly laugh I’ve had in weeks: tired, naked, and strewn over your body.
“You’re trapped” I whisper into the shell of your ear,
and I feel you shuffle under me, skin to skin.
Hand trails over my shoulders, my back, my butt,
until you’ve found my giggly, tickly, spot.
7. I feel light as air, crushed beneath your tiny frame,
the closest we’ve ever been, my hands in your hair,
nails on your neck, we are nature children on this park bench,
as leaves shade us and fall around us,
and insects alight on our clothes,
our oasis in the city,
beautiful – with cold, red ears and nose.
8. The softest self destruction: to be in love alone.
To tram to Lace Market and be set aglow,
and to have to put myself out when we both go home.
I wonder if you know
that I would brew in kerosene for a lifetime,
for the chance to be set on fire with a spark from your eyes.
9. Social interaction is an unpleasant event
that my friends don’t get compensation for.
I trail sticky silk with me wherever I go,
and ensnare boys and flies and girls.
I become myself when I repay a night spent next to me
by relieving your morning glory.
10. You skipping class to meet a girl
at Gregg’s – me, so happy that you just buy two gingerbread cookies without asking.
Me, once again tricked into thinking I’m special.
I think I could talk to you until the end of time
and be excited each time the thought of you
came across my mind.
11. A five in the morning calm,
sat on wooden railing outside Broadgate Park,
while my skin cools and dew turns to frost –
through the thin cotton of my clubbing dress
my essence sloughs off. I am no face, no person,
only flesh. A passenger as my body hurtles towards death.
Maybe I sat for minutes or hours, and counted lovely things,
but never got to double digits,
out there beside the bins.
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Having done GDA for 12 years now, it's amazing to think of how different, and similar, things are. GDA feels like a juggernaut compared to other fan sites. We just recently passed 100k followers on Twitter, 226k followers on Facebook. In the past 6 months we've had 1.2 million visits (2.4 million page views).
While things are still pretty good, I can't help but look and wonder how different things could be.
Back in 2004 when I started, before sites like Facebook and Twitter, there were a bunch of small fansites. It was fun competing with each other sites like greenday.net, geekstinkbreath, billiejoe.org, greendayvideos.net, GDUK, to name just a few. It was a race to see who could get news up faster. Who would grow the most, who could offer something new and better to fans. I loved it. I spent nearly all my free time working on GDA. Chatting with people on AIM, then the GDA Chat Room. It felt like a real community.
It's different now that most sites have fallen off, and GDA and GDC have grown so much. I mean, we have more traffic than the official forum (a point that someone on Green Day's team highlighted recently - "we know you guys have the community we wish we did"). The main problem now is that there aren't really any more fansites, so a certain type of competition is gone. There are fan pages on Facebook, fan-related Twitter accounts, fan Tumblrs and Instagrams. The main issue we have at GDA is the speed of getting content out. Even though it's not a lot of work, it's recognizably harder to write up a post and put it on GDA than it is to just copy/paste a headline and link and post on FB or Twitter. I also think there's a much lower threshold of quality that people want on social media.
Much of the last year has felt like trying to play catch-up to a harder medium. I can't help but feel like we're failing on two sides. We take longer to post stuff up AND we don't even get everything posted. Some things come and go and we never get around to it.
Both points were totally valid and we deserved the criticism. I really do appreciate honest and constructive criticism. So I took applications for GDA editors a couple months back but decided to hold off on bringing anyone new on the team. Of course, I was called out then as well for more than likely not promoting someone because I'm stubborn and like to do everything myself. Again, totally valid.
It's hard for me to trust people to do a good job and make sure they don't fuck us over. Yes, I have terrible trust issues and it's leading to GDA being way behind other Green Day related accounts. This year even the official site/social media accounts have stepped it up. It looks like they hired some more people to manage the accounts and they get stuff out first and regularly. Since GDA kind of became the primary fan site, the only real competition I knew we'd have was with the official site stepping it up. And after 10 years, they have.
So now I don't know exactly where to go. We need to do a better job, and I go through phases of being 'Super-Andres' who posts stuff, and works on code, and upgrades GDC, to pretty much disppearing for several days/weeks. I don't know how to balance that out. I get super excited about something and just go till I get burned out, then hide away for a bit till something brings me back around.
12 years in, this whole thing hasn't gotten easier. Different challenges than we had back then, but still challenges none-the-less.
I just stumbled upon this short video on Facebook and was completely floored by it and just... holy shit man. I don't know if this has been posted here before, since the video is four days old. I wasn't sure whether this warranted its own thread or not, but I wanted it to be here. So I made a blog post about it.
Please watch the video. Watch it twice.
Description: As the school year winds down, one student finds himself starting an unexpected relationship.
My new article for HerCampus was posted. I hope you enjoy!
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Last weekend, I took a day trip and during the drive to and from I decided to listen to the Green Day albums in order uninterrupted (save for the event I went to). This was significant for me in many ways. In truth, I have a terrible habit of not listening to anything as an album anymore. After importing all of my CDs to my ipod years back, I seemed to have it on permanent shuffle. Maybe it's just that I'm never going anywhere long enough for an album listen. Anyhow, I really wanted to go on this chronological GD journey and it certainly was enlightening:
1039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours
- If any album takes a "least favorite" place, it is this one. It felt, in essence, like 19 of the exact same song and I quickly became impatient with it. Now, in theory, I suppose it's hard to judge it like that because although we view this as an album now, it was originally what, three albums? And were only combined after the fact.
- Annoyances aside, listening to this is so funny purely for how drastically Billie's voice has changed. With this and Kerplunk, sometimes you feel like you're listening to another band entirely.
- I expected to feel the same about this one as the first, but I liked it more than I realized.
- I previously would have said that Words I Might Have Ate was my favorite off of this, but I think with this listen Christie Road took that spot very easily.
- I've always had a hard time picking a "favorite album" and I still do. Given their style shifts over 20 years, it's hard to get comparative. But I think if my answer was this album, I would feel confident and satisfied with that.
- Even more difficult is picking a true #1 song. Right now I'm giving it to When I Come Around.
- I used to think some of my least favorite songs were on this album, but I'm not sure that's the case anymore. Of the early albums, this is an easy 2nd placer.
- Holy crap, this one was a shocker for me. I really did not enjoy listening to most of this album and it fell very low on my overall rankings very quickly.
- You can definitely tell it's a sign of style shifts. You've got songs that seem typical and fitting with the previous 2 (Hitchin' A Ride, Nice Guys Finish Last) and then you get the outliers (King For A Day, Walking Alone is indicative of their next steps). I appreciate the experimentation, but I have to say that there are just so many songs on this album that are forgettable to me.
- This one did the opposite of Nimrod for me- songs that I thought were forgettable and uninteresting were much more enjoyable for me this time. The catchiness of the songs is strong in each and that's something I tend to be shamelessly drawn to in music overall.
- I should note here that I followed this up with the three IS songs, and Shenanigans before I moved on to AI.
- I expected to have this album be revitalized by listening to it again. Alas, it did not escape its reputation and, ironically, it fell on my list. We cannot argue that this album was a success, was well done, was/is iconic- to some degree or another. But I found myself listening to this album and being uninspired by 90% of it. I think it's fallen victim to being overplayed for me. JOS will always reign for me emotionally. It seemed to be immune. But Holiday is a good example of a song that gives me no excitement anymore. Each song is radio hit after radio hit and it's completely lost its power for me. JOS, Whatsername and Homecoming remain some of my favorite GD songs ever, but the rest of it, not so much.
21st Century Breakdown
- It will be blasphemous to say, but I enjoyed listening to this more than AI. Part of it is probably the era itself, but even those first few songs are just invigorating.
- I can absolutely admit that its biggest flaw is its length. There's a whole section that I probably could have easily done without. And 21 Guns will remain one of my least favorites of all time...but overall, I quite love this album and I feel that I'm in the minority there. Oh well.
Uno, Dos, Tre
- I should first note that my drive stopped in the middle of Uno and I ended up listening to the rest after the fact so they didn't get the same "in a row" treatment as the rest.
- My opinion remains largely the same with these and in truth I don't think they're worthless. They are good songs. I think when most of us are criticizing them, we're really subconsciously disgruntled with the era and the situation itself. It was a dark time. The songs will probably always have to carry some sort of baggage that way. But there are gems. X-Kid is easily my second favorite song of all time if we're going to continue to give When I Come Around the top spot.
- One thing that is completely successful here is the thematic structure of the three albums. The lighthearted start of the party, the out of control middle, the hangover redemption. They seem to perfectly represent that.
- I like this thing more every time I listen to it. I think it ranks pretty high up there for me. Another blasphemous statement, I suppose.
- I would note that this is purely a representation of the order of which I personally enjoy them as opposed to a true analysis of which albums are better than others musically, commercially, etc.
- 21st Century Breakdown
- Revolution Radio
- American Idiot
- 1039 SOSH
And who knows...this could easily change in another 5-10 years when I realize I need to listen to everything again. Although, hopefully, there will be a lot more albums to add by then so it may be more difficult.
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I look around me to see where do I fit in this world... every time I think I found my seat, I get chased away by the people who think that I'm the odd one out.
I never belonged anywhere, not in school, not in university, not even in my own home. My society thinks that I'm weird, other societies also think that I'm weird since I have a cocktail of interests and a contradictive mixture of beliefs that make me the outcast wherever I go.
To the people around me, I've always been the girl that likes things no one else likes, and for that reason there's nothing in common between us to talk about. Despite the fact that I don't think there's anything wrong with their interests they seem to think that there's something wrong with mine. This led me to have only two options: either keep my mouth shut and pretend to be someone that I'm not just to fit in, or I be myself and accept the outcome even for the price of not having someone to talk to.
I picked the latter.
I'm sorry that talking about your dilemma of picking a lipstick that matches your outfit is something that would put me to sleep.
I'm sorry that I like cars more than I like fashion.
I'm sorry that I like rock instead of pop.
I'm sorry that I'm sentimental and not materialistic.
I'm sorry that you never understood me, and you never will.
And I'm sorry that I'm not sorry for who I am...
I had to get it out of my system
Cursed be the country
standing on stolen land.
Cursed now, be that land,
built with sin and slave hands.
Cursed be the hand
of heathens who cast
a ballot in his name.
Cursed be the name
of the patriot who didn’t vote.
Cursed be the voter
who felt the choices were the same.
Cursed be the same
voter now wishing
they had not refrained.
Cursed just as slavers
before us, a congruence found
in Rome’s remains.
Cursed be our empire’s reign:
To our fated ruin
we are chained.
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Hi whoever manages their way over onto this blog thingy I just have to vent about the recent things ive seen "fans" of Green Day say that's really grinding my gears. <Terrible Family Guy meme> So as of recent ive seen a lot of people who claim to be fans of Green Day or their music leave -I guess that's how you would put it- the fandom or stop/ boycott listening to the music altogether because they found out Billie didn't vote for Trump or because of all his recent political posting. Like how do people logically think "oh because he has a different opinion on POLITICS his music sucks now and I hate them" Like the hell? Like ive seen someone say they've been a fan since they were a baby now they arent because hes posting his opinion. Someone else said "Dont make me hate you guys now" all because he didn't vote Trump. Do people turn into mindless brainwashed monkeys when he comes to politics and the election or something? Do people lose all sense of logical thinking?
Yeh so.... venting/rant over
Heres a nice meme Click 4 meme
UPDATEARINO- Called the person out who left the fandom because they didnt like that he posted his opinion on politics, gets called stupid and blocked.
We cannot escape the perceptions of us held by others, nor can we escape from our perceptions of others and the truth that the people we surround ourselves with are who we make them out to be.
If we accept this to be true, we are at any one time the version of ourselves that others hold to be true. That doesn't diminish us as an individual in our own right (unless the view of us held is inherently shitty) but it's explain why we can be such a different person around different people. Maybe not everyone is: I’m not saying what follows applies to everyone because there are always exceptions to the rules, and there are underlying consistencies in our personalities and beliefs which mark us our own person. But I know the people around me change who I am, to some extent.
At school I was pegged as the quiet, submissive nerd. To this day, around a lot of the folk from school who gave me a hard time, that is what I revert to. If anyone has seen The Rock and Kevin Heart's film Central Intelligence, there is a great scene demonstrative of that where The Rock’s powerful, loud but insecure rogue CIA agent is confronted by his high school bully and shuts down.
Around my friends, especially Uni friends, I'm a leader. They think of me as a bit of a dick, but definitely no arsehole and certainly not a cunt. I've been described and labelled as charismatic, funny and headstrong so those are the traits I inhabit. Already on my new MA, I’ve been pegged as ‘knowing a lot’ and being confident, so I’m comfortable piping up to ask questions and debate in lectures.
If someone had said I seemed a bit thick, that’d have changed my persona within that context. Abby, a girl who I lived with and who holds me to account like few others, has noted that girls get quickly infatuated with me – which sets both parties up for a fall. I've frequently felt unable to match those expectations.
Likewise though, I know I bring out sides to my close friends they otherwise wouldn't be considered as having: around me, my friend Dunks becomes far more assertive, focused and particularly lexically fixated. Around his musical friends he – surprise, surprise - is a character dominated by his musical talent. Around Alex I inspire feats of hitherto untold hedonism, but also quiet warmth and stillness he otherwise lacks.
Closeness is another factor.
People often say they are their true selves around their closest friends or partners, but I'd disagree. Intimacy allows further walls to be broken down and trust established, but it also makes the other persons view of you even are powerful. My personality is drawn to its extremes by the people who are close enough to me to have mined deep enough to find them: Emma, my oldest friend, cuts through my pride like no one else because she was the only person who knows me now who was close to me as the short fat bullied 12-year-old who cried on her shoulder. It’s not to say that is how she sees me, but it's how she knows me. I'm also the funniest I get around her, partly because that's what she expects of me. It gives me the freedom to crack a joke I otherwise wouldn't. But that's one of the consistencies in my personality: I cherish making people laugh because I know what it's like to be sad. Some people bring out the worst, some the best, some just magnify everything , because it matters so much and the chemistry runs deep. Electricity is bright, but it burns and occasionally short circuits.
Perhaps all of this is why it holds true that you always only find good relationships when you're not looking. Whoever comes along isn't clouded and shaped by your preconceived notion of 'what you want.' It’s quite difficult to live up to an idealised vision of a partner that has been created internally, separate from you, to fulfil their specific needs. No real person can do that. We also can't force open mindedness regarding new people, to do so is still to shape the people you meet before you've met them. If you need to be loved, you will find love and admiration in anyone who gives a modicum of attention. Likewise, if you find the whole notion of a relationship or new people in general wretched, meeting people will be a wretched experience.
That's important with regards to social anxiety. If you anticipate being on edge around people, or people finding you awkward, that's what will be. This isn't mindless theorising anyway. As a lecturer, I have to shape the perception of myself as being worthy of respect and being in control. It’s similar to theatre - actors plant the seeds of the character in the minds of the audience. How well they do this dictates how successful or high quality the performance is. An actor without an audience is just a person. It’s the audience who establish and accept that they're playing a character. Crowds, like individuals, reflect this basic point of human nature on a massive scale: if the crowd demands a villain they will get one. If the crowd bays for a demagogue, one shall be created. Look at the US election.
This leads me back to an earlier point: when we are alone our identity breaks down. A few days alone time is always healthy. But go too long, or too regularly, and the only mirror you have to see yourself is yourself, and that is an infinitely deep vista. Small wonder depression, anxiety and even early death is linked with loneliness; if you've ever been stuck ratting around your own head without release, you'll know it feels like you're killing yourself. Perhaps worse, if you plant the perception of being a loaner in others' heads or even worse expect others to have that perception of you when you do escape the confines of your mind you do what we do: become what people think you are.
Likewise, if you are desperate to impress you'll lose sight of who you are. I've fallen into that trap. The cruelty of it is that it often feels like utter bliss when we get the affirmation we so crave. There’s a fine line between being a part of something and giving yourself up for someone. But that's the role of self-esteem and self-worth: the more you have, the less reliant you are on other people's views of you for happiness. This isn't to say that those with unlimited self-esteem are more likely to be consistent across everyone they know, it just means that they value themselves and their positive reflection without the negative festering. Self-love doesn't so much direct us towards good people and second as much as it does steer us away from the bad ones.
So it's worth being mindful that we are only that which we are perceived to be - but the consistencies across those varying perceptions, and the universal experiences, knowledge and feelings we hold mark us as ourselves as individuals. Just don't spent too long on your own, or that individual will unravel.
Or long essay short, Eminem:
Maybe punk's not the right word but... This is just weird.
I went to lock my phone and remembered that I had stored a piece of paper between my phone case and my phone for safe keeping.
A few days ago I had worn my Rancid shirt to work. We were getting a delivery of milk to the store and the guy who was bringing it in had recognized my shirt and knew who they were. Bonus points for him, now he's cool.
Before he officially left he came back in and gave me a little piece of paper and said they were bands I should check out on Facebook. Gon Publik and One Last Crime. Why not, right? So I put that little piece of paper behind my phone.
Figured I'd look them up tonight, and lo and behold, the milk guy is in both of these bands and singing. Holy shit??
I'm just at a loss for words and thought hey why not post about this here?
Rock on lil milk man \m/
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Aww, look at my blog name. That's cute.
It's weird , I haven't been on here in 3 years.
I remember coming on almost every morning before school, sometimes during school, then after school. Back when I was convinced that Green Day was what made me happy, I could just fire up an album and lose myself in the music.
I don't know what changed. I still love them, but they're just a band now. I've gone months without even thinking about them, when a few years ago they were all I thought about.
Sometimes, when I listen to them, that old fan emerges, but for the most part, she's gone.
I want to sell off a lot of my GD merch because I see no reason to keep it. I'd rather have the money. It's weird, I used to make lists of all the GD stuff I wanted. I'd scour websites looking for cool shit that I could fill my room with. Kinda glad I didn't have a job back then, I would have wasted so much money. I've always enjoyed physical vs. digital, like I'd much rather have my clunky NES than have the games on VC or emulator or CDs vs. buying off iTunes, but at the same time I don't like having a lot of "stuff" because it just takes up space.
I'm supposed to be studying for my American Government test tomorrow at 8 AM. Fuck me, right? I've never had any interest in politics, I couldn't care less to be honest. As long as I can get out of this class with at least a B, I'll be happy.
I'll probably browse GDC for a few more minutes. I kinda want to come back here, it used to be my home. I can only hope that some people remember me, but I never seemed to manage to make it in the "in" crowd no matter how hard I tried. Story of my life.
Time to go down the rest of my Rumchata and actually study so my grade doesn't get any worse.
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Green Day @ Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, IL. October 23, 2016.
Sometimes I come up with crazy ideas. This one seemed like a crazy-not-so-responsible-idea, but I just couldn’t let it go so I pulled the trigger. I knew I wouldn’t regret it in the end.
Green Day’s new album Revolution Radio came out on October 7th and they’ve been playing a few club shows in the United States to warm up before they start their official world tour. The closest show they were going to play was Chicago on Wednesday, September 21 but a few of the band members got sick so they ended up rescheduling the show for Sunday, October 23. In a meant-to-be-sort-of-way this worked out perfectly with my days off from work.
Of course the tickets sold out within seconds of going on sale, so I had been looking on Stubhub for a few weeks. The prices were insane so I just kind of forgot about it for a while. Who’s crazy enough to drive to Chicago alone, anyways? Green Day ended up announcing their spring tour and I bought tickets for their Green Bay and St. Paul show. I thought this would suffice but when I thought about how long 170 days is, I just HAD to go to this Chicago show. Green Day is the one band people would EXPECT me to drive 10 hours to see.
On Friday, October 21 I logged onto Stubhub and clicked purchase. NO BACKING OUT NOW! I couldn’t believe what I just did but I was feeling crazy so I got home from work and researched hotels in the area of the venue. I was on my way! I packed and left Fargo at 2:00AM. I’m a night owl so it wasn’t a big deal for me. I jammed Green Day music the entire drive and pulled into Chicago just before noon.
The drive into the city wasn’t that bad. I even had to go downtown to pick up my concert ticket from the Stubhub office. After that, I had a couple hours to kill before I could check in to my hotel so I decided to check out the “free” Lincoln Park Zoo. My GPS lead me the way I really didn’t want to go -- down the Magnificent Mile. But I made it!
When I arrived at Lincoln Park Zoo, I realized I was in Chicago because parking for 0-2 hours was $25. But I’ve been to the city a few times now and you just have to expect crazy prices wherever you go. I was at the zoo for an hour or so but I was exhausted from driving all night so I headed to my hotel at 3:00PM.
I slept for a couple hours, and then I made myself wake up to watch the Cubs game. I knew it was going to be a historic night. I became a Cubs fan after I spent the day in Wrigleyville back in May. To see the Cubs advance to the World Series was unforgettable.
On Sunday I checked out of the hotel at 10:00AM and headed to the Aragon Ballroom in Uptown. I was kind of confused when I got there -- because no one was lined up in front of the venue. But after I looked around for a bit -- I went to the far side of the building and saw about 70 kids with Green Day shirts lined up in an alley. Sigh of relief! I was #79 in line.
I spent the next seven hours listening to other people geek out over Green Day and talk about their favorite albums and songs. It seemed like such a crazy world, because no one has ever liked the same music as me. Green Day has always just been my thing, which I’m fine with, but this felt pretty cool. I stayed in line the entire day, and only left once to find a bathroom before doors opened. Other fans offered me their leftover food throughout the day so I wasn’t completely starving.
Venue security was there the entire day supervising and telling people who showed up where to stand. We were in an alley that was maybe 15 feet wide, and maybe 300 yards long. I was in the first line about halfway down -- but as soon as kids were lined up all the way to the end of the alley -- they started another line right by us, and then another as more people got there. This kind of worried me because were people REALLY going to stay in their line once doors opened? Somehow it all worked out and I was one of the first 100 people into the venue.
They started moving the lines at 5:30PM and as soon as I rounded the corner and saw the Marquee, I started shaking! This was really happening! I was about to see Green Day! First they checked our ID’s at the door and then we went inside where they very thoroughly went through ours bags/purses and patted us down. After they scanned my ticket I walked further into the venue and saw that we actually had to go up some stairs.
The problem was, they weren’t letting anyone upstairs yet because the band was finishing soundcheck, so a mob of people were collecting at the bottom of the stairs. After approximately 5-10 minutes, security said, “go.” And a mad rush up the stairs ensued. It was terrifying but I made it to the top and quickly ran around the corner trying to see where to go. A kid in front of me fell flat on his face which warned me that there was a step down. Venue security was yelling at everyone, “No running!” but of course, we all ran! I could see the stage now and there was only people on the barricade so I booked it and made it to the second row!
By this time it was about 6:00PM and we still had to wait another hour before the opening band Dog Party came out. It was an all girl band -- two sisters from Sacramento. Billie Joe’s sons actually introduced him to the band and he invited them on tour. To be honest, I could care less about opening bands so I was happy when they were finished. Dog Party came on at 7:00PM and were done around 7:30PM.
Now it was time to start getting excited! At 8:00PM Bohemian Rhapsody started playing over the speakers. This has been a long time staple of a Green Day show. Everyone goes crazy singing along. To be honest, I didn’t grow up listening to that song and I don’t know any of the lyrics. I’m obviously in the minority there. The song finished and another long time Green Day concert staple came out on stage. The drunk bunny.Quote
The drunk bunny warms up crowd before Green Day comes out on stage
Finally the lights went out! The moment I waited all day (and more like 4 years for) was finally here!
I’m really almost speechless about the concert itself. It was everything I could have ever imagined and more. I was right in front of the stage; I made eye contact with Billie and Mike; I sang along to every word. It was so surreal.
My favorite songs from the setlist included Letterbomb, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Youngblood, 2000 Light Years Away, Christie Road, Hitchin’ a Ride, Are We The Waiting, and Jesus of Suburbia. BUT my absolute favorite part of the show was when Billie Joe pulled a fan up on stage to play guitar for my all-time favorite Green Day song -- When I Come Around. The entire crowd gasped as Billie slung his beloved guitar Blue over the kid’s shoulder. When he played the first note, you could tell Billie was impressed. As was everyone in the room. The kid had unbelievable stage presence. I think Billie enjoyed it just as much as the kid did. It was hard not to have a smile on your face. Super cool moment.Quote
Green Day invites fan on stage to play When I Come Around on guitar
I only recorded one full song -- Still Breathing. It’s my favorite song from the new record. It’s about Billie Joe being sober for the past four years. The lyrics are relatable to everyone.
“As I walked out on the ledge
Are you scared to death to live?
I’ve been running all my life
Just to find a home that’s for the restless”
And it’s just unbelievable when the entire crowd is singing, “I’m still alive.”
Green Day performs Still Breathing
“The great thing about survival mode, is that you survive. This song’s for you.” - Billie Joe Armstrong
The last song was Good Riddance (Time of Your Life). They can play this song for all of eternity for all I care. It’s the perfect last song for a Green Day concert. It’s something unpredictable but in the end it’s right...I did have the time of my life. A Green Day show would feel so incomplete without this song to send you home.
After a 31 song/two-and-a-half hour set the show ended around 10:30PM. I noticed how sore my legs were as I tried to take my first steps since getting into the venue at 6:00PM. I limped out of the building and got into my car. I sat there for a while and watched my videos and went through my pictures. Asking myself, did that really just happen?
I left Chicago around midnight and pulled into Fargo around noon -- after many MANY pit stops and cups of caffeine. But for Green Day, it was more than worth it. They’re MY band. They’re my heroes. They are the one thing that feels like home.
156 days til I get to see them again...
March 30 - Green Bay
April 1 - St. Paul
"This is a place where every weirdo, every anxiety-prone, awkward human being can come and feel at home. - Billie Joe Armstrong
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Hey, guys! Just thought I'd come on here and give an update on me for the people who don't have me on Facebook or just haven't seen my posts.
I've been doing pretty good for the most part. Things got really bad for me from April to August, but luckily things are just fine now. I still have that fear that things are just gonna come back and shit on me again, but I try not to focus on that. On a more positive note, I'm working a lot more on my movies recently. I still write songs occasionally, but I'm a bit more into my movies now 'cuz I just feel like I'm better at writing movies that doing songs. I still plan to do one album though, but I decided to tie it in with my movies, so I'm gonna do a movie about my band. lol Me and Jaimie (my brother, for those who might not remember) are gonna be filming our first one here soon, like within the next month, so that's pretty exciting. For those who are interested, I have the scripts written for 3 of my movies, so just message me if you wanna read them!
I also became a vegan during the summer. I'd been a vegetarian for a while, but around June I suddenly became lactose intolerant for some reason, and since I was gonna give up dairy I just decided to go all out and give up all animal products. It's been going pretty good. I've slipped a few times for pizza ('cuz I love pizza) because no one here has vegan options, so I've eaten some pizza with no meat once on a blue moon (it's only been twice) and I just dealt with getting the shits. lol
Other than that, I'm kinda the same old guy you all know. I still listen to all the bands I used to blab on about to you guys all the time, and I'm still crazy over Nirvana and Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters and stuff lol. Other bands I've been listening to a lot recently though are They Might Be Giants, Dinosaur Jr, Husker Du, R.E.M., Violent Femmes, Alvvays, DIIV, The Pogues, ect ect. If you guys hadn't noticed, my taste in stuff doesn't tend to change much. There might be stuff that I like a bit better that others nowadays, but I haven't stopped liking anything.
So yeah... Like I said, just thought I'd give an update for the people who might not be in contact with me. I really do miss all of you guys, and I hope you guys miss me too. That might sound a little conceited, but I just hope you guys have fond memories of me or enjoyed talking to me and stuff. I really do hope to talk to you guys a lot more soon.
After a two-year break from touring, Green Day was clearly itching to get back on the road. And in case anyone doubted it, Billie Joe Armstrong made it known early Monday night at the band’s first promotional show for Revolution Radio, its new album that releases Oct. 7.
“You know what sucks? Taking time off of playing music. It’s hard,” he said, just a few songs into the setlist, gazing out and smiling at the eager, sold-out crowd inside Columbus, Ohio’s Newport Music Hall.
“Look at this fucking place. Look at this. We’re back.”
Cheers and applause erupted. Yes, they're back — in every sense of the word.
Despite the hiatus, and after recovering from an illness that led them to postpone tour dates last week, the band thankfully didn’t appear weary or out-of-practice. In about two hours, they ripped through a 25-song setlist with no frills but all the high-energy antics of an arena show. The intimate feeling of seeing the orchestrated chaos just a few feet from your face is almost indescribable. From the second row of the 1,700-person venue, I could see all the tiny details usually only spotted in professionally shot videos: the beads of sweat rolling down their faces; Billie Joe’s quirky starred-and-striped socks; an adorable message, “Hello Again!”, scribbled in silver marker on the front of Mike Dirnt’s black sleeveless vest.
Monday night’s set opened with new singles “Bang Bang” and “Revolution Radio” performed live for the first time, in that order. It’s a thrilling one-two punch that’s hard to top. The songs sounded just as good live as in the studio, if not better, as the band fed off the enthusiasm of a crowd that already had the lyrics memorized. The two songs blended in seamlessly with an otherwise greatest-hits-heavy setlist dominated by singles from American Idiot and Dookie. The show mostly followed Green Day’s tried-and-true formula for live shows, peppered with a few pleasant surprises in-between, including the return of “Scattered” and “Hitchin’ a Ride” from Nimrod and Kerplunk’s “2000 Light Years Away” and “Christie Road.” Billie Joe even sang a few lines from the trilogy’s “Nuclear Family” during the bridge of “Scattered” and looked quite amused with himself during the seconds-long medley.
Many fans, myself included, were initially surprised the setlist wasn’t filled with deep cuts from the past or more new songs from their upcoming album. But as the show continued on, with little deviation from what longtime fans have come to expect from a Green Day concert, I focused less on the songs’ rarity and more on enjoying the performance. This show, I realized, wasn’t meant to be like the last club show I attended, at the House of Blues in Cleveland, the night before the band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. It wasn’t a nostalgic trip down memory lane. It was, it seemed, about looking forward to the future and getting back into a groove to prepare for a lengthy world tour that's likely in the works.
From my spot in the pit, in front of Mike, the crowd was nothing like the House of Blues, either. For me, that was a good thing. There were fewer crowd surfers, fewer angsty fans clobbering each other to get a closer spot and few, if any, moments where I felt overwhelmed, at-risk or exhausted. Due to a strict policy that prohibited cell phone recordings of the show (which some fans, unsurprisingly, disregarded anyway), there were also fewer people blocking others’ views to get shots for YouTube. At first, I thought the policy was bogus, but in hindsight, I appreciate it. At my first Green Day show, in Pittsburgh in 2013, I spent more time fending off a violent girl who was desperate for YouTube footage than enjoying the music. Here, everyone seemed more focused on having a good time than anything else. The crowd wasn't dead by any means, but my experience with it was tamer and more controlled this time around.
The band was having a blast, too, and that was evident by the smiles that never left Billie Joe and Mike’s faces and their frequent laughter. I couldn’t see Tré Cool much from my spot in the pit, but I did catch him chuckling a few times, too. During “Minority,” Mike planted a kiss on Billie Joe’s cheek. Billie Joe playfully bantered with the crowd during “Hitchin’ a Ride” and joined saxophone player Jason Freese on a harmonica during “King for a Day.” The pink bunny made its return in the preshow. The show was filled with good, genuine fun and emotion.
Mainly for those reasons, I was really bummed to see Revolution Radio’s third single, "Still Breathing," was listed on Monday’s setlist but not played. The recently released song, which alludes to dealing with addiction, epitomizes the message of moving forward and positivity that Monday’s show seemed to symbolize. Because the band delayed its tour a week, it’s possible the song was scrapped because isn’t ready to be performed live yet, but I hope it’s added to the setlist soon. I could easily see it becoming a crowd favorite and it’s a song full of raw emotion that clearly resonates with the band, too.
Given the political nature of Revolution Radio’s titular track, it came as no surprise that Billie Joe devoted a little show time to political talk, too. He joked about the presidential debate occurring that night and encouraged people to vote and "bring sanity back" into political discussions. He also mentioned it was fitting to kick off the tour in Ohio’s capital city, presumably because it’s a swing state that heavily influences elections. Personally, I also found it fitting that the band debuted the song “Revolution Radio” in Columbus because the city has recently sparked several Black Lives Matter protests, following a fatal police shooting of a 13-year-old black robbery suspect this month. A similar protest in New York inspired Billie Joe to write the song. Just moments before the concert doors opened Monday, a protest formed (unrelated to the concert) and prompted police to shut down a portion of the street adjacent to the concert venue. An eerie coincidence and a powerful reminder of the song's relevance.
The show closed with two acoustic songs, “Ordinary World,” Revolution Radio’s beautiful, but simple closer, and the classic “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).” "Ordinary World," written for a namesake movie starring Billie Joe that releases Oct. 14, didn’t receive nearly the same reaction as the fast-paced new songs, but those who were familiar with it, including me, seemed to appreciate hearing it.
A friend of mine and longtime Green Day fan attended the show with me, and on our drive home, he mentioned how differently the band, especially Billie Joe, presented itself compared to recordings of shows he’s watched in the past, such as fan videos and Bullet in a Bible. Since, at this point, I’m a bit jaded to the band’s criticism, I assumed he was being critical. The statement that followed surprised me.
“He just seemed… happy. Really aware and appreciative of what was going on.”
I think that’s a message any fan who criticized the show’s setlist could learn from. Just appreciating the moment. One such instance that really struck me Monday was during the performance of “Waiting,” listening to the lyrics referencing the “dawning of a new era,” while the stage lights faded into a soft white glow around the band. It just seemed so fitting. Revolution Radio releases in just nine days. Its supporting tour, and Green Day’s newest era, is just getting started.
If Monday’s show is any indicator of what to expect, I can’t wait to see what it brings us.