Pop Disaster Tour - live in Wantagh, NY (Cover Artwork)

Pop Disaster Tour

live in Wantagh, NY (2002)

live show

I couldn't wait to go see this show, as it was my first time seeing Green Day live. I saw Blink last year on their TOYPAJ tour and they were ok, nothing to write home about. Even though I was a bit mad when Jimmy Eat World wasn't going to play, it really didn't matter, as I was there for really only one band, Green Day. So I shelled out my 40 bucks for this show, and I was ready to be amazed.

It was a foggy Thursday night when my friend and I arrived at the outdoor Jones Beach Amphitheater. We got there at about 5:45 pm and there was a pretty short line of about 500 people most. The doors weren't open yet, so we all had to put up with the staff telling us "absolutely no recording equipment, etc." They finally opened the doors at about 6:15 and we headed into the outer entrance of the theater, which had merchandise, refreshments, etc.

We got our Green Day shirts, and some drinks, and we headed to the other end of the outer part, to see a small crowd of about 70 people surrounding something. We headed over and saw a band setting up out there. The band was called "Kut U Up", and we never heard of them, so we thought we would stick around for a bit. They the put up their logo, which was a spray painted sign with their name, and handed out Atticus stickers. They then started to play. Their bass player had his amp up too loud was drowning out both the guitar and vocalist, but overall, they weren't bad. They most likely would have sounded better though if they were allowed to play on the main stage. I'd like to hear more by them, but I don't think they have a record out yet.

After that, we headed to our seats. The stage was set up with a Saves The Day banner in the background, and was covered in a pretty thick layer of fog. It was about 7:20, and we waited for Saves The Day to come on.

Saves The Day came on at about 7:35, and they opened up with "As Your Ghost Takes Flight". Chris was singing a few steps lower then he does on cd and he was dancing like Gumby (remember Gumby?). I actually think he sounded better a bit lower, it made his voice cleaner and more legible. They played a good set, which was mostly stuff off Stay What You Are, such as "Cars and Calories", "Certain Tragedy", and "See You". The only old song I recognized was "All Star Me" from Through Being Cool. They ended their set with "At Your Funeral" and a new song, which was pretty good.

After that, there was about a half an hour break so they could set up for Green Day. The seats all around us were getting refilled and after that half hour was up, it was Green Day's turn. The lights dimmed, and the curtain opened to a bunch of spinning red sirens. About 2 minutes later, the band broke out on stage and opened up with "Welcome To Paradise", complete with pyrotechnics too boot. Green Day was flat out amazing. They played a great set which included all kinds of stuff. They even played "Disappearing Boy" from Slappy Hours. My only real complaint was that Billie Joe was trying to work the crowd a bit too much, and it took away from some of their play time. Like in every Green Day concert, they invited people in the front rows to come up on stage and play their instruments. They got a kid in a yellow sweatshirt named Andrew to play drums. It was a simple beat and he did it well. For bass, believe it or not, it was Billie Joe's father, or at least that's what he told the crowd. And for guitar, it was some kid in a blue jacket...I'm pretty sure. They played a short little song, with them, and then made the two kids stage dive back into the crowd. Another highlight to the set was the cover of "Shout", with Billie Joe donning a crown and robe, basically because when he was working the crowd, he was calling himself "the king of punk rock". Their set also included all their singles such as "Brain Stew/Jaded", "Longview", "Basket Case", "Minority", and "When I Come Around". A cool surprise was when they played "She" from Dookie, I didn't expect them to play that one live. After "When I Come Around", the curtain closed, and Billie Joe came back on stage with only a guitar and played "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)" to close their set. They did such an amazing job, one of the best acts I've seen live.

After that, we had about a 45-minute break so Blink could set up. I really wasn't expecting much, as I knew there would be most likely no surprises. The curtain was closed, and my friend and I were expecting to see the huge flaming "Fuck" sign they had last year when they came on stage. When it finally opened, their background was a destroyed stage, with fake lights that crashed down, etc. The lights re-dimmed, and they kicked off their set with "Anthem Part 2". Something was weird though; Tom's voice (even though his voice wasn't that great to begin with) was absolutely awful. He was about 4 steps too sharp, and made his voice even higher and more annoying. It was by far the worst I've ever heard him do. This completely butchered the song, and made it almost pitiful to sit through. After that, they wasted no time and went right into "The Rock Show". Mark steps up for the vocals for this song, and it was like he didn't even try to actually do a good job singing it. His voice sounded so plain and bland that he could have gotten anyone in the audience to sing it and it would have sounded exactly the same. Again, the song was pitiful. Surprisingly, the crowd was actually noticing this too, as there were boos and people chanting "you suck" and "get Green Day back out here" (can't say that I didn't agree). Even Blink knew that they were sucking and they didn't even care. At one point, Mark clearly stated to the audience "Maybe at tomorrow's show I'll actually give 40%", It was like a huge insult to the crowd. People started getting up and leaving too, however, we regrettably stayed for the rest of their set. Think about it like this; imagine all of Blink's radio hits and poppiest material being performed with them singing really, really off key, and in a nutshell, you'll have their set. Another thing, Tom said to the crowd, "Hello Pittsburgh", too bad that we were in NY. Even he caught the mistake and he muttered something after that. Their set was just painful. Hearing Tom sing the chorus of "Stay Together For The Kids" sounding like he was just mashed in the nads is not my idea of fun. The only person actually trying during the set was Travis. I felt really bad for him, unlike his two idiot frontmen, he was actually doing an excellent job. His drumming was excellent, and during his solo, he was turned upside down on his platform and still nailed all the drum rolls perfectly. By the time Blink got to their closer "Dammit" (the only song they played off Dude Ranch, which is blasphemy, because Dude Ranch is actually a very good disc), pretty much the whole crowd was walking out. Mark did his little stunt when he was carried out on a stretcher, and that ended Blink's pitiful set. Even though my friend who went to their next show said they did much better there, they still gave a totally unforgiving performance that will clearly be one of the worst live acts I've ever had to sit though.

Saves The Day did a good job, Green Day was flat out amazing, and Blink was undeniably terrible. Was it worth the 40 I shelled out for it? For Green Day, yes, they were amazing, too bad Blink had to ruin the night with their awful set. After seeing them fall flat on their faces during this, I highly doubt I'll ever go see them again. Maybe they were just pissed at the place cause when I saw them at Jones Beach last year, they blew out their amps and there was a huge delay in their set. However, was it really fair to take it out on the fans? I mean, who really wants to sit through "Happy Holidays, You Bastard" performed in three slightly different ways? Or Tom singing so off key that it grinds your ears? Or Mark not even caring about the set in the first place? Not me, not again.