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I feel obliged to dispel the myth that my home state gets hot. Even during summer, California "heat" is refreshing compared to the deathly scorch of the east or south regions of the country. The mediating influence of the Pacific means that California, particularly its coast, never gets really hot or really cold.
Source: have traveled internationally and lived on both U.S. coasts. No weather compares to Cali bliss.
In most cases, people who globetrot for events like these are those who already have the resources and desire to travel. It's not "for Green Day" as much as it's for the adventure, with a show or two to sweeten the deal. If you were planning to visit a new land anyway, why not take the opportunity when your favorite band rolls into town?
I'll concede that Kentucky may not be the most enthralling destination, but it's a hell of a place to absorb some true Americana. I can't fault people for wanting to see a bit more of the world and catch some music in the process.
My framing of "punk" evokes a community more than anything else. Rather than considering it an ideology, a fashion style, or even a type of music, I think of it as the individuals that come together to cultivate belonging amongst themselves. Punk to me is singing alongside your heroes and newfound friends at a Captain We're Sinking show. It's stumbling into your favorite record store and realizing you're home, even when you're hundreds of miles away. It's the surge of tears you feel when your favorite band runs onstage and the chase of that feeling. So give me major label or indie, give me rich kids from LA or janitors from Minnesota, give me studded belts or shaven heads, give me the world's biggest band or one no one knows. Give me that sense of community through music, art, or organization, and I'll give you whatever "punk" might be.
Sure, Green Day are punk because they continue to engage in and support the community they've always been a part of. Naysayers will paint them as bloated, out-of-touch rockstars, when really they're a few good-natured, middle-aged dads with strong ties to their roots. As a Northern California native, I can assure you that none of our other homegrown superstars have given back as much as Green Day. We in the bay identify with the band because, well, they're us.
I feel like Gilman and its ethos, though recognized widely thanks to a certain handful of bands, are misunderstood. It's surreal to come onto a global community like GDC and see kids on the other side of the world arguing about who should or should not be playing within the hallowed bricks. As a result of the changing world around it, the Gilman of 2015 is not the same as the Gilman of 1986. The music industry, the political climate, even the street itself has undergone radical transformation since the infamous ground rules were laid down. Is it "fair" to apply these rules to Green Day in the 21st century? That's not for me to decide. I will point out, however, that as iconic as Gilman is, the bay is rife with independent venues with less stringent regulations that would welcome a band like Green Day.
^This guy and I only hit up the Oakland location for the first time last week. I reckon Emeryville has more of a family atmosphere, while Oakland's customer base is largely the adrift staggering in after shows. There's a time and place for both!