Green Day: 21st Century American Clash
It is rather generous to refer to Green Day as an American version of the Clash, but they should at least be paying royalties to the surviving members of that seminal punk band. Certainly, they are the closest sounding band in
Green Day’s new album 21st Century Breakdown is going to be released next month and they have recently been chasing around the San Francisco Bay Area performing guerrilla concerts at tiny venues with little or no advance warning to test out the new songs before live audiences. They performed last week at the Independent and the
The band began the night at the Fox by playing the entire new album- none of which has been released or is available on the internet. 21st Century Breakdown is structured as a three act play and a playbill was distributed last night containing all the lyrics. A concept album, nonetheless one from a punk band, normally foreshadows disaster, as Green Day should have learned with previous efforts, but this time I think they pull it off. There were a number of genuinely brilliant songs and the themes of the modern breakdown along with accompanying anxiety, anger, and despair, instead of being dreary and depressive, were cathartic and rebellious in the hands of Green Day.
Of course, since these songs were not familiar, the concert really didn’t take off until the second set when they played many of their older hits, including American Idiot, Jesus of Suburbia, and a phenomenal, soaring
Additional talking points from last night:
1. The show sold-out in seconds and I had to scam a pair of tickets by joining the fan-club at the last minute.
2. The show was videotaped with a large boom camera swooping over the audience and cameramen dodging in and out of the fans. This concert will surely show up in an official Green Day release in the future or in music videos for the new album.
3. Great light show- arena quality in a small theater.
4. Also, it was incredibly loud. The loudest concert I’ve been to in many years. Even though I am an old fart, I can objectively state that it was louder than it had to be. I like a loud band (adds to the excitement), but I don’t think it is necessary to leave a venue in pain, fearing for your hearing.