So tomorrow it will be two weeks since my first Green Day show. I know I sound like a teenager that just got a new girlfriend, but to me I want to just give my thoughts about the show cause I never did.
First off, I got there at 7:30 in morning and my place in line did not coincide with where I ended up at the end of the concert. I was 15 people back from the first person in line and even though the line didn't have any meaning, it still should tell people that whoever got there earliest got better place in the show. It was in front of the Marquee where I walked around in the heat with my girlfriend and battled the impatient people arriving later in the day.
Honestly, there are a lot of selfish jerks of Green Day fans, and the people I met (all you lovelies here on GDC) were great, but that doesn't let go of the fact the people that aren't on GDC are total assholes and are only trying to get what they want. There was this one guy (not going to give out names incase you know him) but he decided once the manager came out to move the line in the morning, that he could just stay in his spot since thats where the manager said to start the line. I was utterly blown away that someone would do that. Like come one, be fucking courteous to others, especially the ones that got here before you.
Me and my girlfriend waited in line all day just like everyone else, and we were only waiting in line to hold a spot for my dad who was at work only a couple miles from the Marquee, and only because we found out Idiot Nation ticket holders were allowed early access. Once about 5 o'clock hit, all hell broke loose. This is where I encounter another asshole move. We sat in line for a reason, we were all friendly in line and we all were going to the same place, but the ones that got there before anyone else deserved to be in the venue before others, that why they waited in a line. You dont just go straight to the front of the IN line and screw over the ones that were waiting in line. Goddamn. (There were a lot of things I found very un-civi that day).
Next was waiting in the IN line. First there was speculation that we would be let in a 6:00, considering the EARLY access. No, that simply meant we go in before everyone. Now I didn't have a problem with this, I knew that it would all be worth it in the end, but the space in that line was very limited and it was like I was already experiencing the crowd of the show before the opening act even went on, it was horrific.
After the hell of a line, we finally got into the venue, and my girlfriend and I both jetted for the stage, just like everyone else. We were touching the barricade. Then, we both took turns going to the bathroom and getting our merchandise (just like we do for every show we go to), that way we dont lose our space in the crowd. With limited merchandise, as to the merchandise sold at the arena shows so far, I chose the Red Comic Book like shirt, and only cause it said UNO, DOS and TRE and had the show dates. One thing I want to make clear is that everyone thinks the 99 Revolutions Tour started in Illinois, but no, it started in Pomona because the Pomona, CA date is on the T-Shirts. Anyway, I got back to the crowd and had the same spot, and then I started thinking about comfortability, was I comfortable? No, was simply the answer because I realized my red Vans that I wear to every concert were lacking the sole at the bottom because they have been worn out. So standing sucked, and also the fact that I was standing on the barricade stand, where all those bars are on the floor to support the damn thing.
Im looking at the stage and none of the bands equipment is easily visible. The only thing visible of the band was the band themselves as I saw Mike walk through the backstage door a couple times, and Billie once. The opening act couldn't care less if the crowd saw them, they walked in and out and everywhere. It wasn't till they came onstage and started listening to the music that I really respected the lead singer. For all you that saw The Stitches, the lead singers energy is insane, and it took me back to before I was even born in the 80's style punk. Even though I could hardly understand a word that was coming out of his mouth, I still liked them. After they went off, lights were back on and the radio was playing. Now this is where I was starting to get excited. Once Bohemian Rhapsody quietly played, life changed. Everyone was listening because they knew from past shows and the night before in Pomona that that was Green Day's pre-que. Everyone sang and jammed, then Blitzkrieg Bop played. It was all on now. When that final, "Lets Go!" hit, everyone cheered.
Now the moment in between when before Green Day comes onstage, and the moment after is warming, to me at least it was. This was my first time seeing the band in real life. When you listen to their music everyday and watch video's of them talking or playing, you know they're real, but there is still that dream factor, like they dont exist. When I saw Tre walk onstage, all I could do was smile ear-to-ear and think that I was happy. Then Mike walked onstage.
Then the man himself, the man that we have been paying attention to for the last 6 months was nearly 20 feet away from me, putting on his guitar in the shadows. He paced himself onstage and smiled, but it wasn't because he had just sold out a show, he was smiling because he was there, about to play music to the people that love him most. This is where reality hit me. I was there. The man that helped me through the impossible was standing 5-10 feet away from me, looking at us. He stood on the riser, looked at Tre and screamed. Started playing his guitar, and suddenly 99 Revolutions was beautifully played into my ears.
I love that song. The simplicity and honesty of it. How the band incorporated their live ways into the song and made it their own. It is one of my top 10's off of the entire trilogy. I was sadden that they weren't opening with Welcome To Paradise only because of the meaning that song has to me, but 99 Revolutions was just perfect. I was jumping and screaming the lyrics. Once the second verse hit, Billie started singing the first verse again and before he could even finish two words, he "blah'ed" into the microphone and was embarrassed but it was all fine. I sang those lyrics he forgot at the top of my lungs, me and barely 10 fans. The song isn't popular and I was happy that I was of the very few to know the lyrics. By the end of the song, we all were pushed around and hand held out to the ceiling, to the band.
The setlist could of had two more tracks that would have completed my dream Green Day show; X-Kid, and Macy's Day Parade. The luck of them playing Macy's Day Parade was not very high, and the fact that they played X-Kid for the first time just the next show was ironic. But other than that, the show was perfect. It was hot and by the 6th song, Oh Love (which was an awesome performance, made me love the song that much more) me and my girlfriend were pushed back fairly far. But we were still in the vicinity of front row. There were three songs that night that really got to me performance wise though, those songs are: Stay the Night, Coming Clean, and Jesus of Suburbia. I'll start with Stay the Night.
The live performance of Stay the Night is easily better than the recorded. The "Hey Ho, Hey Hey" before the bridge that Billie does is one of the most interesting climax's of a song I have ever heard. Yeah the bridge isn't very original, but the overwhelming feeling you get when Billie's signals the crowd is amazing. The live version was used in the Cuatro trailer, and the climax of the trailer when the title screens displays "Take a look into the lives of the greatest rock n' roll band ever" is what I'm talking about. It makes you feel good inside. That was a beautiful song.
Then what took a lot of people by surprise is Dookie's not-so-famous Coming Clean. That song to me doesn't stand for me coming out of the closet. Where it does relate to being who I am, I find that song relatable in the way that I am who I am. I am not gay, but I am me. The line, "Well mom and dad will never understand." will always be one of my favorite lyrics ever to be played in my ears. The other fact that I was shocked as to how many people knew the lyrics, that taught me how much of an impact that whole record was in 1994-Present. That showed me that the crowd didn't just consist of teenage American Idiot lovers, but the old Dookie fans and even 39/Smooth fans through Going to Pasalaqua.
I forgot which song it happened, but Billie decided it was a good idea to through his guitar pick he had been playing with all night. That guitar pick is now in my possession. He threw it towards us, and it went through so many hands I lost faith in trying to retrieve it. But then both my girlfriend and I bent down to try and find it and she comes up with it out of the crowd and gives it to me as payment for buying her ticket. That was awesome and I am so glad I have memorabilia of Billie Joe's own UNO pick.
It was after Longview that my girlfriend needed to get some fresh air and some water. So the guy standing next to us, kindly ask if we wanted up so we could crowd surf our way to the front to so we could escape. We boosted my girlfriend up and then he signaled me and at first I was not planing on going up but I said to myself, why not. So here I was crowd surfing to Basket Case and honestly I felt on top of the world. It was breathtaking. Splitting up, I decided to squeeze myself back into the crowd, towards the front of Mike's side and enjoyed the final songs of the main set. This is where I heard Billie sing Stand by Me and he did it so well and it was so beautiful. Then they hit with Minority and left the stage. The crowd roared. Everyone was wanting more. Now I didn't think Green Day would leave and come right back, but thats what they did. Billie strummed American Idiot and let the crowd sing the first verse, like he had been doing since the start of the 21st Century Breakdown Tour. Everyone went insane and the crowd yelled every lyric.
Finally, they ended American Idiot and this leads me to my last song impressed by performance. Now, the amount of video's I've watched of this song being played live is unbelievable. I know this song recorded by heart, and live by heart. I know when the Hey Ho's are. Billie said, "This is our last song tonight, this songs called, Jesus of Suburbia." Off went Tre's drum sticks signaling the start of the song. I screamed that song. I apologize to anyone who was near me. That song to me saved my life and if I didn't scream every lyric, I would hate myself for a long time. "Im the son of rage and love, the Jesus of Suburbia." Those lines overwhelmed me. I didn't take in the fact that the show was almost over, I was taking in the fact that the song was starting and less than its 9 minutes from being over, I didn't want it to end.
During I Dont Care, I decided why not crowd surf again? So I asked someone to lift me and I was in the air in no time, crowd surfing to my favorite song. It was special because there was a time in my life I had no care, and no one had a care for me. I was going to do what I wanted to do this time. I crowd surfed. I screamed and I surfed because I simply did not care. I didn't care about life, I only cared that that song was being to me. I was touching distance from Billie, and I skipped/ran out of the security area, I found myself standing on a chair at the very back of the venue, watching. My view was incredible. One of the greatest sights I have ever seen. The crowd and the band. EVERYONE. I smiled, I sang, I took in the moment. When the song slowed down and Billie sang,
I dont feel any shame..." I didn't. That day was my mom's birthday. I never talk to my mom anymore. She is awful to me and everything she's done to me has made me love Green Day that much more. I didn't feel any shame that I was at a Green Day concert on her birthday, I didn't care. I was there, for me. I was happy. That's what Green Day has done to me. They have made me happy. Once they ended with, "You're leaving home." I later realized I already did, and I'm in a better place now. I'm with my dad, I am where I belong. Listening to Green Day.
This is my experience of my first Green Day show. This is my life. This is what I love to do. That show did wonders to me, and I will never forget any memory I have of that time. I love Green Day, I support them, and Billie and everything he went through.
The best part is, mom and dad indeed will NEVER understand.