Tuesday, July 28, 2009

After Thoughts: Green Day - Madison Square Garden; July 27, 2009

Kind of a backwards process from last year's Foo Fighters' concert After Thoughts, as I've already posted all the media prior to this. But one year later, the feature has become refined.

As the title states, the concert was at Madison Square Garden, right in New York City. The show was the first of two nights at the arena, and the first show of the tour with Kaiser Chiefs opening (The Bravery opened for the previous shows, and Franz Ferdinand will replace Kaiser Chiefs later in the tour). Personal fact, this was also the first concert where I was actually excited to see both the opening and headlining bands!
Kaiser Chiefs opened with a bang, starting the show off with "Never Miss A Beat" without any introductions. A bulk of the crowd was poser-punks and younger kids sadly, so not a lot of people were getting into the band. I was a distance away, but I enjoyed them no less and really dug Kaiser Chiefs' stage presence, particularly lead singer, Ricky Wilson's energy.

Kaiser Chiefs' set list was surprisingly short, only playing eight songs which lasted about thirty minutes:
1. Never Miss A Beat / 2. Ruby / 3. Everyday I Love You Less and Less / 4. The Angry Mob / 5. I Predict A Riot / 6. You Want History / 7. Take My Temperature / 8. Oh My God

But despite the set list being short, it featured some of the band's finest songs, not to mention the B-side track, "Take My Temperature", which I never heard prior to the show was pretty awesome. So all in all, it was a short but sweet opener, and I love to see Kaiser Chiefs live again.

However, the reason most people in the building came to the show was for Green Day, obviously. Interesting fact, prior to the band coming out, next to where I was sitting there was this little VIP section, and Billie Joe Armstrong's wife was there; nothing exciting, but I'm just saying. Soon after, the lights went out, and "Song of the Century" started to play, with the familiar piano playing of "21st Century Breakdown" starting to play, the back drop lit up, and BAM! the band started to play. And lucky for you readers I recorded the whole thing and uploaded it.
Now, while Kaiser Chiefs' set was short, Green Day's was not, in fact it was about two and a half hours, spanning over 30 songs! Here's the run down:
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. 2000 Light Years Away / 12. Welcome To Paradise/ 13. Castaway (sort of..) / 14. When I Come Around / 15. Disappearing Boy / 16. Brain Stew / 17. Jaded / 18. Longview / 19. Basket Case / 20. She / 21. King For A Day / 22. Shout (The Isley Brothers cover) / 23. 21 Guns / 25. American Eulogy // Encore: 26. American Idiot / 27. Jesus Of Suburbia / 28. Minority // Encore 2: 28. Drama Queen (Billie Joe solo) / 29. Last Night on Earth (Billie Joe solo) / 30. Good Riddance (Billie Joe solo)

As you can see, the first hour or so of the concert was all about 21st Century Breakdown and some of American Idiot (grr). But then the band surprised me, in a really good way by playing two tracks from Kerplunk in a row, "2000 Light Years Away" and "Welcome To Paradise" (though that was also on Dookie). After, "Castaway" (from Warning:) started playing, and in the middle of singing Billie Joe stopped, saying, "I f***ed up the words," and then "When I Come Around started. My personal highlight was when "Disappearing Boy" started to play, because that's off of 39/Smooth, the band's first album and my personal favorite. And if you're like me, thinking that Green Day has forgotten their roots, hearing that live, in 2009, was something special in my opinion.

There was a lot of fan interaction which I found really cool though. Numerous times the band would have audience members come on stage to either sing, play guitar, or to just screw around with. And during the transition of "Brain Stew" to "Jaded", Billie Joe got out a huge water-gun and sprayed the crowd, and also used this peculiar toilet paper thing and also shot out some t-shirts; and you can watch it all here! Speaking of fans, as I mentioned before with Kaiser Chiefs, a bulk of the crowd was poser-punks and younger kids, and even parents... not my choice crowd to be honest. And I noticed something, during the American Idiot/21st Century Breakdown tracks everyone's really into it, but when Green Day started playing older material, particularly "2000 Light Years Away" and "Disappearing Boy", all those posers and kids looked lost, and that was really annoying but certainly proved a point.
The hour of older stuff closed out with "King for a Day" (from Nimrod) which transitioned into the necessarily long "Shout"; with "21 Guns" and "American Eulogy" closing out the set... But, of course, Green Day took the stage again, thanked the fans, and said they'd "play the show till we die". So "American Idiot" and "Jesus of Suburbia" played, with "Minority" closing out once again. But it was not over yet, as Billie Joe Armstrong came out solo this time, to play a three song acoustic set.

Overall, the concert was pretty awesome, and considering it was my first show at Madison Square Garden it wasn't too shabby either. Seating was OK, though it'd probably be nicer to be a little closer to the stage next time; regardless, the experience was great, and I certainly would love to see both Green Day and Kaiser Chiefs live again in the future!

If you missed all the links, be sure to check out my photos and videos from the show.


Hampig said...

Damn man, sounds like a good show. I would have loved to of seen it.

Anonymous said...

I'm going tonight in DC. Don't want to miss the opening of the Kaiser Chiefs. What time did they take the stage? Thx.

Green Day Tribute said...

I was at this show, Green Day exceeded all expectations and 21st Century Breakdown is definitely a triumph in terms of musicality and as a follow-up to such a success as American Idiot. I guess lightning can strike twice...

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