Saturday, August 15, 2009

Do you have the time to listen to me whine?

Nihir, Suchit, Deep and Nick accompanied me to the Green Day/Franz Ferdinand concert at the Sprint Center last Wednesday. For some odd reason, we almost all were delayed for one reason or another. Seriously, it was like the medicine gods were pointing and jeering at us while we all waited to be released from our respective medical duties. It's not like I don't like being in the hospital (actually I kind of don't), but it's more like when my work is all done and I'm ready to leave, I don't want to deal with a fucking lame ass trauma. Which of course is exactly what happened at 4 PM, right as I was about to give check out. We'd finished her workup, but our attending wanted me to stitch up a laceration. I sewed that shit with three interrupted sutures in less than 2 minutes. No joke.

Fast forward, we got there and missed some of Franz Ferdinand's set. They were playing Do You Want to when we got to our seats, and apparently we missed No You Girls and Michael which kind of sucks because those are two of my favorite songs. Luckily I saw them at their fucking fantastic show at the Beaumont earlier this summer. They played Take me Out, Lucid Dreams, Jacqueline, This Fire and Ulysses to round out a fantastic, upbeat, energy-charged set that was appreciated by no one except for us and a few kids in our section. I've never seen a more terribly matched opening act for Green Day than them. I LOVE FF. I really do, but they deserve much better than the Green Day crowd...both bands are just in two different genres. It is a testament that GD would pick them, that means they have good taste, but they were a little ambitious thinking their fans would like FF. It was a treat for me though, so fuck every one else.

That was just the beginning of a pretty bizarre night. Green Day is this band that has had so many there were songs I totally forgot they had. In the beginning, they played songs about being bored teenagers. The album Dookie came out when I was 7 years old. I remember Basket Case was the first video played on MTV at midnight in 1994 because it was voted the number one song of 1993. This is one of the albums that played pervasively throughout my youth. Everyone was into Green Day, their songs were inescapable growing up. Their sound changed with cuts like Time of Your Life and then the whole Warning album, and then they became uber political with the hugely popular American Idiot. They got real preachy with that album, and they were preachy during their concert.

Their whole schtick has always been anti-suburbia/middle America. They denigrate religious zealots and fanatics...championing leftism and punk rock and the like. Which is funny because they were playing a show in the Bible Belt, the exact culture/part of America their songs poke fun of. This mockery was very evident in the way Billie Joe said "Kansas City" about 8920375038 times. Before every song, during every song, and during his stories. He said fuck way less times. To prove the point that Jesus freaks are crazy, Billie Joe "saved" a little girl on stage in true evangelistic style during East Jesus Nowhere (very apropo). Billie Joe Armstrong seriously put his hand on her face and pushed her down onto the stage. It was very strange, and I'm not gonna lie...I think we were a little uncomfortable. I guess he made his point though. Touche, Billie Joe Armstrong.

Luckily, they diffused the awkwardness with a lot of hits from Dookie, Nimrod, American Idiot and a smattering of new songs from 21st Century Breakdown.

Their set was pretty simple, the main one was lit up buildings a la the opening of Gossip Girl. I don't think that was the intent. They also had TV screens that sometimes showed a manic looking Billie Joe, surprisingly less manic looking Tre Cool, and always calm and collected Mike Dirnt (who has always been my favorite). One of the coolest moments was when Billie Joe pulled up a girl from the audience and had her sing Longview. She didn't miss one lyric. I would be petrified.

The most amazing thing about the show was that it was 2.5 hours long. Other than the Cure, I don't think I've ever seen a band play that long continuously. The show was very high energy, and they sounded actually better than they do on their records. The energy was especially at its pinnacle during the songs from Dookie...except they didn't play When I Come Around, my all time favorite Green Day song. Apparently, they don't like playing it or something. It is arguably their most famous song, so it kind of sucked that they didn't play it.

I am very surprised at the sustainability of BJ's vocal cords with the way he screams everything. The man is 37 years old. He practically invented black eyeliner on dudes in rock bands. They've been playing for a long time. Some of their songs are apart of the ever growing soundtrack that I've set to my life. When I was in my second year at college, I was really really depressed. Like, I probably needed some Lexapro depressed...I hated everything about that time. That was about the same time American Idiot came out and specially Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Those lyrics still can make me cry to this day.

  1. Song of the Century
  2. 21st Century Breakdown
  3. Know Your Enemy
  4. East Jesus Nowhere
  5. Holiday
  6. The Static Age
  7. Before the Lobotomy
  8. Are We the Waiting
  9. St. Jimmy
  10. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
  11. J.A.R.
  12. 2000 Light Years Away
  13. Hitchin' A Ride (he had us sing 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4...right into the next song)
  14. Welcome To Paradise
  15. Brain Stew
  16. Jaded
  17. Longview
  18. Basket Case
  19. She (one of my all time favorite GD songs)
  20. King For A Day
  21. Shout (The Isley Brothers cover)
  22. 21 Guns
  23. American Eulogy
  24. American Idiot
  25. Minority
  26. Macy's Day Parade Acoustic
  27. Last Night on Earth Acoustic (probably the most fucking romantic song they've ever written; off the new album)
  28. Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)
Of course they ended the night with that song. So predictable. Overall, very good concert.

Next one: tentatively Weezer and Blink 182 (more bands that shaped my SoCal youth).

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