Green Day Exceeds All Expectations – Live At Verizon Wireless 8/31/10
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 8/31/10 – Sold Out
It seemed as if the [lastfm]Green Day[/lastfm] Twittyerverse was exploding between 8:30-11:15pm last night. Everyone that had a phone and two fingers was punching away furiously to friends, Facebook or Twitter about one of the best concerts of the decade. There were nearly a dozen “Oh my God, you’ll never believe what song Green Day is playing right now!” moments.
Yes, of course this sounds like an overstatement, but it was this feeling that swept the crowd during the show and stayed with us on our drive home. You don’t have to believe me, just search Twitter and you’ll see what I mean. Every single concert goer had that after-sex glow as they made the long walk out of Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. Among the people going nuts was tennis star Serena Williams. She was Tweeting all night, basically narrating the entire show for her friends around the globe. Apparently, she’s a huge rock fan. Who knew?
It all started when dirty, beer drinking bunny hobbled on stage. As if he’d just woke from a night in a dumpster, he wobbled around the stage interacting with the audience. It was almost like one of the roadies found an old, thrashed bunny suit and said, “Hey, I’m gonna go out on stage with this on…” And the band said, “Sure, go nuts.”
From the moment that Green Day hit the stage, you could tell Billie Joe was energized and this wasn’t going to be any ordinary show. The giant LCD backdrop, the balls of fire, and perfectly choreographed explosions added the right elements to every song without ever upstaging the band.
[pullquote quote="I'm Billie Joe f**cking Armstrong, I'll do anything I want!"]About a third way through the show, Billie started bringing fans up on stage. Yes, he’s done this a million times, but for some reason, this time seemed a little more special, and a whole lot funnier. He looked down at security and said, “I’m Billy Joe f**cking Armstrong, I’ll do anything I want!” Clearly, security believed him.
An Asian guy, probably in his early 40s, was called out from the pit. When he finally made it through the pit and up to Billie Joe, he stood next to him, almost dumbfounded, and grabbed the mic. “This is Billie f’ing Joe! (insert long pause) Billie f’ing Joe!” He’d step back a few feet then as if we didn’t hear it the first time, he repeated, “This is Billie Joe Armstrong!” The crowd erupted as expected. Billy grabbed the mic and graciously motioned to this awe-struck man that the only way to get off stage was to dive back into the crowd. And that’s just what he did. He grabbed his shades from neck of his shirt, slid them on his face and went running right off the edge of the stage. This was just the beginning.
Over the course of the night, throngs of people made their way onto the stage to sing along with the band.
Throughout the evening, Billie Joe made it crystal clear where the band was from and where they called home. “I live in Cali-f**cking-fornia!” I’m so happy to be back in California! Los Angeles County, Orange County… and surrounding areas… oh, and my friends in Riverside!” This was a reoccurring theme all night. Billie was clearly, and honestly, happy to be home. The crowd responded.
It was somewhere around “Geek Stink Breath” that the band members grabbed high-pressure water hoses and squirted the crowd. Everyone in the first 50 rows got nailed.
It was clear to everyone that Billie was having fun during every song. How often does a band’s front man put down his guitar and do a head stand? That’s precisely what Mr. Armstrong did during “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams.”
Although we all hate to admit it, familiarity is the key to a good concert. As a concert-goer, you want to be able to sing along with every song. When a band comes up and starts playing new songs, yes, the über-music geeks writing for online music magazines go nuts, but the average schmo just stands there and bobs his head waiting for the next big sing-along. This is where Green Day excels. They over-compensate for each unfamiliar song by following them with blockbusting crowd pleasers.
[pullquote quote="I don't care, I'll play anything!"]Then, there’s the cover songs. Sometime around 9:40pm, Billie Joe, (now affectionately known as rock music’s Energizer Bunny) decided that he’d take song suggestions from the crowd. “I don’t care, I’ll play anything! What do you want to hear?”
Among the songs that followed were “Sweet Child O Mine,” “Highway To Hell,” “Iron Man,” Hey Jude,” “Free Falling,” “Satistfaction,” “California Girls,” “Shout” and Led Zeppelin’s “Rock And Roll.” Remember what I said about familiarity, well, this takes the cake. Covers of rock classics performed by one of the biggest bands on the planet is the best possible combination. Billy Joe, Mike and Tré Cool had all 15,000 fans eating out of their pocket.
After a 38 song, three-hour set with two encores, the exhausted and waterlogged crowd was treated to the final song of the night. What else… “Good Riddance (The time of your life)”
Working in radio, one of the perks is going to concerts and I’ve been to a few. Green Day turned up the knob to 11 on this one.
If you’ve got some good video, photos, comments or corrections, hit us below.
@SerenaWilliams: Most amazing @GreenDay show ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!
@nikieatsbrains @GreenDay was fucking amazing. Even better than I expected, holy shit.
@EnixLHQ Just saw Greenday in concert.I’m amazed at how much they love their fans. They truly do. And the concert was 4 hours! I hurt.
@BikerfayKarla Confetti @GreenDay dam.. it’s almost over :( http://twitpic.com/2k5jzm
@VALgabond I have to say…this @GreenDay show def makes my top 3 shows of all time.
@rasputintx #BillyJoe is the Energizer Bunny of rock stars. #GreenDay
@loveisadrug nothin quite like seeing the biggest, most colorful shooting star while watching @GreenDay kill it on stage. #perfectnight
@established71 #greenday is killing it right now – seriously, a cover of ozzy, led zep, gnr, ac/dc and more…holy shit #classic #rocknroll
@hsanfordUSC Billie Joe just hosed the crowd!! I can’t love this guy enough! @greenday
@stfu_its_ginaaa Billie just did a headstand. Holy crap. PS I’ll be tweeting live about the @GreenDay show a LOT throughout the nite. Just a heads up.
@MaryJaneDuck Ay! Ay! 2.5+ hrs, and still going on strong. @GreenDay doesn’t kid around. When Green Day holds shows, they throw parties! Best concert!
@MissLust18 Omg still at the concert damn Green Day know how to f**king play forever haha
@Alligangsta: God. Green day are the best ever. Played paper lanterns, JAR, 2000 light yrs away, burnout.. so much i didnt expect.
@jjmelo: Old school Green Day, new stuff, everything in between, even a dozen cover songs. Great performance. #greenday #fb
@Obsessee: Green Day concert was unf**kingbelievable.