Now, as you can see by the title, this isn’t your standard concert review. A little back story, if you will.
A couple weeks ago, word traveled that Green Day would be coming to NYC to play on "Late Night with Conan O’Brien." In the past, when Green Day’s come for something like this, they like to do everything they can while they’re here -- play on "TRL," play secret shows, etc. So naturally, a few days later, word gets out that they’re going to be on "TRL" I was lucky enough to get in to see them play three songs on "TRL," which was pretty awesome too, but nothing could have prepared me for what was coming next.
It was announced that Green Day would be playing an hour-long show on FUSE for their show, "Comp’d." So, yeah, that’s pretty cool, right? There was a rumor going around that they were going to play American Idiot the whole way through. Having not been able to go to any of the club shows, this excited me greatly. I ended up going with a bunch of my friends; they were all able to get reservations, except for another friend and me, so we had to go stand by. I won’t go into too much detail on what I went through to get in, but we were the last two let in.
So, I was pretty excited at this point. Except for the three songs on "TRL," I hadn’t seen a real Green Day show in a year. Green Day’s shows are something that should be experienced as often as possible, if you ask me. So after a while of waiting, we were finally let inside the FUSE studio where "Comp’d" was to be taped. To give you an idea of just how tiny this concert was…there were 50 people inside this studio. Fifty. FUSE, being the awesome network that it is, ended up letting the entire standby line in a little bit later, but even then, there were maybe around a hundred people in the audience for this concert.
The taping was supposed to start at 4pm, but it didn’t actually get going ‘till maybe 4:30pm or 5pm, but no one really cared. Even before Green Day was anywhere near the stage, you could feel the energy emanating from this crowd. While there were a number of stupid fans who were pretty dead for the whole concert, the majority of the crowd consisted of the biggest, most hardcore Green Day fans you could imagine -- including me and my friends, of course.
Eventually Green Day took the stage, and the ride of my life began. FUSE was having us all stand behind this red line about five feet away from the stage, but right away Billie Joe said “fuck that,” and before anyone knew it, we were all practically ON this tiny stage. It was raised maybe a foot or two up. Excepting the American Idiot songs starting out the set, it felt like I’d stepped through a time warp back to before Dookie. After the requisite (but fantastic) AI songs were through, the band decided to complete this time warp feeling with a true blast to the past. Three songs from their first two albums were played back-to-back -- “Christie Road,” “Going to Pasalacqua,” (not even on the set list, they just felt like playing it for the hell of it!), and “Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?” The tiny crowd, intimate atmosphere, and old-school songs all added up to one of the most incredible musical experiences of my life. I never thought I’d see Green Day like this, but here I was, three feet away from Mike Dirnt. It really felt like a true club show, complete with people yelling out random shit and inane requests, and just chatting with the band members between songs.
After hearing a couple more songs I’d never heard live before (“Letterbomb”, “I Fought the Law” -- where did THAT one come from!?) and “Minority,” Billie Joe started asking for requests. After a few minutes of constant inaudible screaming, someone plainly yelled out for “Misery,” a song they’ve never played live. Until this concert, at least. That’s right, they played the deep album track from Warning, “Misery,” for the first and only time ever live. It was amazing, and pretty funny since Billie Joe forgot most of the words, leaving the crowd to take care of it for him. After “Misery” they went into “Homecoming,” another song I’d never heard live before, and that was that.
All in all, it was easily the best concert I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve seen a lot of concerts. I’ve seen some pretty emotional ones, too. But this was something else. The band was obviously having the times of their lives (ba-dum, CHING!), Billie Joe did a crazy solo during the break down of "Minority," and Mike just improvised off his old bass lines on the older songs. Tre was just crazy, as always. The show airs December 4th on FUSE.
Oh, and it was free.
The almighty set list:
- American Idiot
- Are We the Waiting
- St. Jimmy
- Give Me Novacaine
- Welcome to Paradise
- Christie Road
- Going to Pasalacqua
- Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?
- I Fought the Law