Green Day

Green Day: live in New York [Monday and Tuesday]live in New York [Monday and Tuesday] (2009)
Green Day

Reviewer Rating: 5

Contributed by: lostandclownedlostandclowned
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In May, when 21st Century Breakdown was released, Green Day played a week of shows in New York City to promote its release. Seeing them play in front of audiences that ranged from 200-1500 people, and how little the feelings of the shows differed was truly a sight to be seen and I didn't think I wou.

In May, when 21st Century Breakdown was released, Green Day played a week of shows in New York City to promote its release. Seeing them play in front of audiences that ranged from 200-1500 people, and how little the feelings of the shows differed was truly a sight to be seen and I didn't think I would ever have as good as a time as I did at those shows. Before then, I had only seen them in arenas, the last being Giants Stadium in 2005. And while I thought American Idiot was a monumental album, up until the last month of the tour cycle, there was a complete lack of spontaneity at the shows. Still, Green Day have always given me a reason to go back and back to see them. These two nights at Madison Square Garden were no different in that respect, and the best times I've seen them play.

Replacing the Bravery for this leg of the tour was Yorkshire, England's Kaiser Chiefs. I wasn't expecting much but their brand of new wave-y indie rock made for a fun set. Touching on their three albums, they played "Never Miss a Beat," "Ruby," "I Predict a Riot" and "Every Day I Love You Less and Less." On the second night, the singer said that there were two rules for being in a rock band. The second rule was, "Always say that the audience is better than the last night's." It was. No one yelled, "You suck!" on night two. After their half-hour set, we waited in eager anticipation of Green Day's Pink Bunny, who drunkenly stumbles on stage and chugs beer for the audience's amusement. After a few minutes, it left, "Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio?" by the Ramones played and then the lights went out.

The early shows on this tour seemed a bit disappointing when looking at the set lists, but that's to be expected, especially in a tour's early stages. About a week or two before the MSG shows, they had started showing some flexibility in the set list, throwing "Words I Might Have Ate" in before playing "Good Riddance," taking requests and even playing unreleased material. By the time they rolled into New York, the band seemed to have found its niche and right from the first song, Billie Joe owned the crowd as usual; Tre was his usual goofball self and Mike, as always, was somewhere in between. Throughout the shows, the pyrotechnics and arena antics were kept tasteful and not as over-the-top on the American Idiot tour.

The first half-hour of both nights was 21st Century Breakdown and American Idiot material. Each night, during the intro of "Before the Lobotomy," Billie Joe told a different amusing anecdote (one about jumping into the backseat of a car to beat someone up who yelled "Fuck you, Billie Joe! Green Day sucks!" at him from a car on Sunset Blvd., and the second about sleeping next to a human head after playing a squat in the early `90s), which is surprising given how choreographed even their stage banter usually is.

In the middle of "East Jesus Nowhere," a first-born son was brought on stage "to be saved." "The younger the better," Billie Joe said as he chose. As "Blvd of Broken Dreams" ended, so did the first part of the set and on night one, they jumped right into things with "2,000 Light Years Away" and "Welcome to Paradise." Requests were made both nights and one for "When I Come Around" prompted a "Fuck it!" from Billie and cheers for the old favorite. The second night, I brought signs for "Ha Ha You're Dead" and "Stuart and the Ave.", and to my surprise, Billie Joe played half of the first verse of the latter before forgetting the words. It was still thrilling to hear, as to my knowledge, neither song has ever been performed live.

On a personal note, the shows were also fun because Aaron Cometbus and Larry Livermore were both in the audience. I was fortunate enough to speak to both of them and say "Thank you" to Larry, who had a big smile on his face when "Who Wrote Holden Caulfield" was played. After the requests, the band ran through some Superhits. During "Jaded," the backdrop was a constantly changing collage of show flyers and 7" covers that highlighted bands from the East Bay scene to Fugazi and Bad Brains to the Sex Pistols. For "Longview," three kids were plucked from the crowd to sing each verse, reminding me at least that though Green Day regularly play arenas, they're a band that thrives on intimacy. Live staples "King for a Day" and the "Shout" medley were as fun as ever and the set proper was rounded out with "21 Guns" and "American Eulogy."

The encore both nights started with "American Idiot," but frankly, this made the shows for me: Before playing "Jesus of Suburbia" on night one, Billie Joe asked for a guitar player to play the song and being the sharp guy that I am, I took off my "Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash" t-shirt and waved it in the air to catch his attention. "I like your shirt," he says. Simultaneously, these guys next to me hoist me up and he walks over to me. Five feet away from each other with me leaning over the barrier, he asks me if I can play the song. I say, "Yeah." "You can play it?" "I fucking can!" Then he looks me right in my eyes and says, "You're a fucking liar!" into the mic and walks away. I have to give him credit. Truthfully, I only knew part I, but thought that's all he was asking for someone to play. The girl he picked played the whole song note for note.

"Minority" followed and as the confetti dropped and the song ended, Jason Freese, Jason White, Tre, Mike and Jeffrey left the stage leaving Billie alone. On night one, he gave us what is apparently an unreleased song from the 21st Century Breakdown sessions called "Drama Queen" and "Last Night on Earth," which actually included Jason White on slide guitar. On night two, he played "Macy's Day Parade" and an American Idiot-era song called "Olivia" that appeared in the "Heart Like a Hand Grenade" documentary. Both shows were closed with "Good Riddance."

For a band who, at their worst, are still one of rock's greatest live bands, Green Day might have played two of the best shows in their history. If you get a chance to see them on this tour, go. They aren't disappointing.

Fuck objectivity.

Set lists:
Night One:

  1. Song of the Century
  2. 21st Century Breakdown
  3. Know Your Enemy
  4. East Jesus Nowhere
  5. Holiday
  6. Static Age
  7. Before the Lobotomy
  8. Are We the Waiting
  9. St. Jimmy
  10. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  11. 2,000 Light Years Away
  12. Welcome to Paradise
  13. 1/4 of "Castaway"
  14. When I Come Around
  15. Disappearing Boy [dedicated to his son Joseph]
  16. Sweet Home Alabama / Thank You [Led Zeppelin, dedicated to Larry doing acid in 1977] / Sweet Child O' Mine / Take Me Out to the Ball Game / 99 Bottles of Beer / Iron Man (riff)
  17. Brain Stew / Jaded
  18. Longview
  19. Basket Case
  20. She
  21. King for a Day
  22. Shout / Earth Angel / Swanee / I'll Be There
  23. 21 Guns
  24. American Eulogy
  25. American Idiot
  26. Jesus of Suburbia
  27. Minority
  28. Drama Queen (acoustic)
  29. Last Night on Earth (acoustic)
  30. Good Riddance
Night Two:
  1. Song of the Century
  2. 21st Century Breakdown
  3. Know Your Enemy
  4. Murder City
  5. East Jesus Nowhere
  6. Holiday
  7. Static Age
  8. Before the Lobotomy
  9. Are We the Waiting
  10. St. Jimmy
  11. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  12. A Quick One While He's Away [in its entirety "for the first time on the tour and probably the last."]
  13. 3/4 of "Hitchin' a Ride"
  14. Welcome to Paradise
  15. Stop Drop and Roll (intro)
  16. Eye of the Tiger (clip)
  17. F.O.D.
  18. When I Come Around
  19. Going to Pasalacqua
  20. 10 seconds of "Stuart and the Ave."
  21. Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?
  22. Brain Stew / Jaded
  23. Knowledge [with the usual band-starting scenario, and for the first time on the tour]
  24. Basket Case
  25. She
  26. King for a Day
  27. Shout / Earth Angel / Christie Road / I'll Be There
  28. 21 Guns
  29. American Eulogy
  30. American Idiot
  31. Jesus of Suburbia
  32. Minority
  33. 3/4 of "Macy's Day Parade"
  34. Olivia
  35. Good Riddance


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
lostandclowned (October 12, 2009)

The song I said was "Olivia" is actually called "When It's Time," and I'm not sure if it's an American Idiot-era song. Poor journalism.

Deadpan (August 3, 2009)

The support acts for these shows really fucking suck. The Bravery and Kaiser Chiefs? Don't they only have like, 2 different songs between them?

The only good thing The Bravery have ever done is that stupid argument they had with The Killers about which one of them used to be a ska band. And the less said about Kaiser Chiefs the better.

drugmoney (August 1, 2009)

geez 35 songs
exactly how many people are there in green day, i thought it was a 3 piece

DarrenMcLeod (July 31, 2009)

man, i'd love to see "Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?" live. I once heckled a Green Day tribute band excessively to play that song, but they apparently didn't know it well enough.

jacknife737 (July 31, 2009)

I'm kind of regretting skipping their stop in Ontario.

I think i'm going to their next show here, even if it's a fucking arena. Those setlists are great.

telegraphrocks (July 31, 2009)

My fiancee and I took her brother to the date in Chicago, and though I love Green Day's entire catalog (yup, even 21st Century Breakdown), I was not looking forward to an arena show with 25,000 dipshit fans.

I was fucking wrong.... I had a blast. Chicago didn't get any of the older or more obscure songs (WTF?!?!?!), but they were extremely tight, the sound was perfect, and I threatened a bunch of kids who then shit themselves.

I'll definitely be catching them again when they return to Chicago.

names (July 31, 2009)

Actually, I would have loved to gone to both of these shows. Damn, some of the old stuff is really impressive. The new stuff would be a downer (what is it, like 65% of the last two records? Eh...)

Problematiclogic (July 31, 2009)

"I brought signs for ??Ha Ha You??re Dead? and ??Stuart and the Ave.?, and to my surprise, Billie Joe played half of the first verse of the latter before forgetting the words."

This makes me sad.

sickboy22 (July 31, 2009)

Fuck you, Billie Joe! Green Day sucks!

banal242 (July 31, 2009)

Score is for the NY Times calling you a "wannabe."

Put that shit on your resume.

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/desperate ly-seeking-stephanie/

iruineverything (July 31, 2009)

I've seen Green Day countless times and although am not a huge fan of the last two albums, Monday's show blew me away. It was hands down the best time I've ever seen them. I went to this show with two casual Green Day fans and they had loved every second of it.

I might get flamed for this, but in my opinion, as far as rock and roll bands of our generation go, they're all we've really got. I can't think of any other rock band out there that people will still find relevancy in 15 years from now.

lostandclowned (July 31, 2009)

Some odds and ends:
During "Are We the Waiting," Bill said he wrote it in New York but besides that, he just got drunk during his stay. It would appear that the rumors of tapes of songs written by him and Ryan Adams are just rumors. And during the soundcheck, they played "Redundant" and "Scattered" so they are aware that the other fifteen songs from "nimrod." exist.

overdefined (July 31, 2009)

Does anyone remember the Green Day live in Chicago thing MTV aired in like '94 or 5? It was between Dookie and Insomniac...a whole hour of the best material and Billie Joe acting completely deranged. I videotaped and watched the shit out of it.

I also had a videotape of their first SNL appearance when Roseanne Barr hosted and wore a Green Day shirt to announce them. They played "When I Come Around" and "Geek Stink Breath" when it was unreleased. Wish I still had a VHS player.

oldpunkerforever (July 31, 2009)

The comment below mine, agreed, great song and that song alone is better than their entire last cd-oldpunker-

defianceohioequalslove (July 31, 2009)

2,000 Light Years Away is still a fuckin great song

scorpiondeathlock (July 31, 2009)

THIRTY SONGS!? fuck a bunch of that.

inagreendase (July 31, 2009)

My favorite band from the ages of roughly 8-16 (can you tell?) and I still had little-to-no interest in going to these shows. But...these set lists definitely make me regret not going...a little.

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