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Green Day
A Concert Review
[More Photos From the Concert]

August 10, 2005

The Allstate Arena

Rosemont, IL

A Review and Photos by
The Dude on the Right
As I get back into covering the concert scene, I find myself forgetting many of my "First Rules" of concert going that I once had. One of those "First Rules" was that in going to see a show at the Allstate Arena, never come north on Manheim to get to the parking lot. Yet, there I was, heading north on Manheim on my way to the parking lot, and yes, it was pretty much a parking lot, but that was okay, in the end, because I did leave pretty early for this show so I knew I wouldnít be late.

As I was sitting around, waiting for Jimmy Eat World to start and get some photos of them, it was time to people watch, and it proved interesting people watching. It quickly occurred to me just how long Green Day has been around, and just how much their appeal keeps growing a new legion of fans. There was mom, looking like she would normally be a conservative type yet dressed a little more risquť than normal. But that wasnít the interesting part, there she was with her youngins, letting them bust out the mousse and gel and giving themselves fake mohawks. Then, of course, there were plenty of real mohawks, lots of green hair, and lots of teen girls dressing way too skimpily. The Jimmy Eat World photo shooting came to a close, giving me a chance to try out my new camera in an actual concert situation, and things were looking good for getting some good shots when Green Day took the stage.

And took the stage they did.

Starting with the drinking bunny leading the crowd through "Y.M.C.A.," eventually the lights went down, the band hit the stage, and Billie Joe led the crowd through nearly two hours of music and fun like a maestro leading an orchestra. No surprise, the set list was similar to the European leg of the tour, and I guess from those reviews Iíve read, so were some of the antics, but it was all new to me and it still kicked ass. Leading off with "American Idiot," and into "Jesus of Suburbia," my photo shooting was over, and with "JesusÖ" being a nine minute anthem, I was in my seat just as "Holiday" was finishing up. As I got settled, it occurred to me that Green Day has done something with "American Idiot" that most bands seem to forget to do these days Ė make an actual album, where sure, the kids are finding the radio hits, but they are buying the album, learning all of the songs, and this crowd was an album fan crowd, rather than a hit single fan crowd, because the entire night turned into one big sing-a-long, and that was spotlighted by the jump-along-fest during "Longview" and a great version of "Hitchiní a Ride." And this is where the maestro leading took a giant leap. Leading with one of many yells of "All right Chicagoooo!," Billie pitted the stage right crowd versus the stage left crowd in a yelling "Yeaaah!!!!" competition, cruised into "Brain Stew," (lots of flames ensuing during the song had me reminiscing back to the "Beavis and Butthead" chants of "Fire! Fire! Fire!!"), pulled out a pressure washer and started dousing the crowd, and then pulled a youngin up on stage to help him out with the pressure washing duties. The little dude seemed thrilled at just spraying the crowd, but then that just got kicked up a notch when Billie helped him get the crowd into a hand swaying frenzy.

As the show continued on, Billie showed he could pass a sobriety test as during Operation Ivyís "Knowledge" he began doing some guitar soloing, standing on one leg, with the guitar behind his head. And of course it was time to bring up some lucky fans to play, and play they did. The dude brought up to drum gave Billie a kiss before taking his place at Tre Coolís drum set, Billie chose a dudette for bass duties, and the dude brought up for guitar worked his couple of minutes of fame for all they were worth, playing well while running all over the stage, complete with a leap from the drum set platform. The dudette got to keep Mike Dirntís guitar, the drummer got some sticks and the opportunity to stage dive back to his place in the crowd, and the lead guitar dude, well he just seemed to disappear. Anyway, back to the show.

Some normal hits followed, you know, a "Basket Case" and "She," but "King For a Day" just showed the band having a grand old time, with Billie with his crown, transitioning the song into a version of "Shout" (the crowd, though, I guess was too young and havenít been to enough fraternity parties to know you are supposed to scrunch down during the "a little bit softer now" part), but Billie did, lying on stage as they put the Kingís robe on him, as he transferred from "Shout" to a quick version of "Danny Boy" back into "Shout," getting back on his feet as the crowd went wild, and finally back into "King For a Day."

I was quickly reminded that I havenít been to a concert in years when "Wake Me Up When September Ends" kicked into gear and quickly realized that cell phones are the new lighters. I donít know when that really started, but I have to say it does look way-cool, and probably cuts down on the number of burns to peopleís thumbs.

So as things were beginning to wrap up with "Minority," Billie Joe thanked the crowd bunches of time, and then hoped for a few things this year for the Chicago crowd. He hoped the Bears would win the Super Bowl, he hoped both the Cubs and White Sox would win the World Series, and he hoped that the Bulls would get Michael Jordan back.

Sitting in my seat, as the large sign flashed from "Green" to "Day," and the crowd obliged by chanting "Green" and then "Day," I was worried the band was really done. Okay, I wasnít really worried, and the band came back, breaking out with "Maria," "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," and ending this encore with, yes, you can probably guess, Queenís "We Are the Champions," complete with some lyric changing from "I thank you all" to "Iím Rick James, bitch!" And then came the confetti, and then came more confetti, and then more confetti, and Iím thinking to myself, "Self, thatís a butt-load of confetti." Then I noticed the confetti was actually decorated, with "Green Day" stamped on the red pieces, and hand grenades on the white, and then I immediately thought about gathering up a bunch of it and trying to sell it on E-Bay until I realized pretty much that, if you wanted some, you already took some.

And so, with one more song to sing, it was time for time for Billie solo, doing "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" and a rousing night came to a close.

Okay, letís finish up this monstrosity of a concert review.

First off, upon leaving, I heard numerous comments that this concert was awesome, although I did hear a couple of dudes say the show at The Vic last year was better. I thought, "Duh, big arena show versus intimate club show?" But in any case Green Day gave you exactly what you want from a big arena show. You had explosions, you had fire, you had sing-a-longs, you had loud, you had the band running all over the stage, you had cell-phone moment slow songs, and you had a band that has been around for 16 years, building their fan base from day one, giving everyone a fantastic show and not just going through the motions. From young to old all seemed to have a blast, although Iím sure a couple of dads and moms who decided to let their six to eight year old daughters see the show might have been a little shocked. Not so much by the use of the f-bombs, they can probably just let the little ones let that go, but it was when, at the end of "Hitchiní a Ride," Billie Joe was standing on the stage portion jutting into the audience, then he started to moan, then he started to moan and grab his crotch, then he started to moan and put his hand down his pants and grab his crotch, and then he yelled "Somebody fuck me!" I suppose, in the end, itís good to see a punk band never really grow up. Happy explaining to your daughters, mom and dad!

All that being said, and I apologize a little for getting long-winded, but itís TWO "Iím Rick James, Bitch!" THUMBS UP for Green Day!

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


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