I live near NYC...
I go to school in upstate NY...
That means everytime I click to get tour dates for my favorite band, I have to hold my breath because most of the time, bands don't come up to upstate NY (and I don't blame them, the place is depressing as hell). Anyways, I was shocked to find that Green Day was coming to Rochester's Blue Cross Arena. After spending a swell $40 on my floor ticket, I waited the month a half for the day to arrive.
I was hoping that maybe the crowd would be a little older, around my age (20) since Green Day really broke through in '94 when I was 10. But, of course, I was confronted with mainly younger kids in tight jeans, trucker hats, and studded belts. No, wait! Security was making kids take off their studded belts. Excellent move! "BUT THAT'S NOT PUNK!!! THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO WEAR WHATEVER THEY WANT!" Wrong! Studded belts never did anyone any good. Take that shit off!
The set-up was one of those T-barricades, which meant you couldn't really be in the center. I was on the left side right on the rail (which actually proved to be beneficial in the end).
Sugarcult came on and ran through their selection of songs rather quickly. I've always liked these guys more than the average pop-punk bands because they're more of a pop/rock band. Hooks and shiny melodies along swiftly paced numbers that work well.
Stuck In America
She's The Blade
What You Say
Bouncing Off The Walls
Nothing else special to say about their set.
New Found Glory was up next and the shrieks grew even louder. I think this was the first time the guy with the wheelchair attempted crowd surfing. Chad made a point to comment on how psyched they were to be touring with Green Day, which I thought was a nice, sincere thing to say. They played their hearts out and put all their energy into it, but nothing can hide the fact that they are a studio band.
Truth Of My Youth
Hit Or Miss
Head On Collision
Failure's Not Flattering
Something I Call Personality
I Don't Want To Know
My Friends Over You
All Downhill From Here
Now, onto the main event. I must give the crew on this tour credit because the stage set-ups were relatively quick. Someone in a pink bunny suit came out to do the whole YMCA thing and drink a beer. This excited people who had an IQ of less than 80, but in the end, it seemed pretty stupid. All was forgotten when Green Day hit the stage.
Pummeling through their songs with ferocious intensity, Billie Joe held the audience right in his hand. All of the standard Green Day aspects were in the set. There was the "I said a 'Waaaaaaaay-oooohhhh'" placed in the middle of several songs (most prominent in "Minority"). The "1-2-3" count-offs leading "Hitchin' A Ride." The one-note tease before "Brain Stew." Making a band out of the audience for "Knowledge." And just some good old-fashioned Green Day rockin' out for classics like "Longview," "Basketcase" and "Welcome To Paradise." Interestingly, the band didn't intermix new songs into their old set material, choosing to play 5 right off the bat in the beginning and then using two more near the end of the show. A wise decision, since the new material is a little more mature and has more depth to it than the earlier numbers (which isn't to say it's necessarily better, but just different).
Green Day's setlist:
Jesus Of Suburbia
Are We The Waiting
Hitchin' A Ride
King For A Day (into Shout)
Wake Me Up When September Ends
Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Welcome To Paradise
We Are The Champions
Good Riddance (just Billie Joe on the runway)
Personally, I think it would have been more effective to put "Welcome To Paradise" in the place of "Wake Me Up When September Ends" in the regular set and then for the band to come back out onstage into "Wake Me Up" and go into "Boulevard." It would have made the encore more of a mellow/sophisticated piece while keeping the main set more of a hits collection. Nevertheless, Green Day made NFG and Sugarcult look completely forgettable and proved, once again, that they can blow all these new "pop-punk" bands away.