United Center – Chicago, IL
July 13, 2009
I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to explaining how much I love Green Day, the band’s music, and their live performance. Prior to last Monday, I had only seen Green Day live in concert once before, and that was on May 10th, 2005 in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the Van Andel Arena. My Chemical Romance was the opening act. My seat was in the nose bleed section, and I could barely see anything on stage. I did not own any Green Day albums, but was familiar with the trio’s singles thanks to my younger cousin John and the radio. The next day I went straight to Best Buy before heading to work and bought every single piece of Green Day music that the store had in stock. Never in my life had I been so completely and utterly blown away by an artist’s energy and passion for what they do than at that Green Day concert over four years ago. Trust me, I have attended more concerts that I can count and Billie Joe Armstrong and Co. still hold the record in my book for incorporating the most audience interaction into their live show.
Crowd participation is by far the way to go to lock in fan loyalty if you ask me. Green Day held tight to their tradition and brought up four fans on stage during last Monday’s sold out show at the United Center. A ten year old boy named Jack from Evanston was chosen to join the band on stage during “East Jesus Nowhere” to be “saved” by the band’s frontman and songwriting mastermind Billie Joe. Next, a man whose name escapes me was allowed to take the mic and lead the crowd of more than 15,000 through the band’s early hit “Longview.” After that dude had his turn singing a verse and chorus, a girl from Palos Heights got her turn and sang through the next verse and chorus before being told by Armstrong that the only way to leave the stage was to dive off of it and back into the pit where she came from. Upon seeing this chick barely make it back over the barricade into her friend’s arms, Armstrong proclaimed that “That was the worst stage dive I have ever seen in my life.” Agreed.
The fourth, final, and luckiest fan chosen to join Armstrong, Dirnt, and Cool onstage was a boy who appeared to be no more than 12 years old. The kid only made it up there after answering Armstrong’s question of “What key is it in?” while referring to the epic single “Jesus Of Suburbia” off of Green Day’s 2004 disc American Idiot . The goal was to find a fan who knew not only how to play the guitar, but how to play the entire song on the guitar while simultaneously singing every word to it. Billie Joe even made sure fans knew that “This isn’t just a three chord thing; it’s more like a six chord thing.” Well, this little dude did not disappoint. He was AWESOME! I can’t imagine what was going through this boy’s head as Armstrong placed his very own guitar over the kid’s shoulder and let him sit down on one of the many monitors lining the edge of the stage. Sure enough, the kid held his own and easily strummed all six chords included in the song’s many catchy progressions while Billie Joe took over vocal duties leading the crowd through all of “Suburbia.” However, the track is over nine minutes long. Therefore, Armstrong ended up sending the kid back into the crowd about halfway through and finished up plowing through “Suburbia” along with bassist Mike Dirnt, drummer Tre Cool, and the rest of the guys who play with Green Day every night as part of their augmented touring band.
You can find the set list from Green Day’s Chicago show below. As much as I love all of Green Day’s catalog, I wish the guys would have played more than just seven songs off of their latest record, 21st Century Breakdown. I know for a fact that the band did not have a curfew that night. Therefore, if Green Day wanted to play every song they’ve ever written, they damn well could have done so! At least they played “Before The Lobotomy,” which is my second favorite track off of Breakdown . However, I wish the guys would have played “Murder City,” my absolute favorite track on the new record. And one of these days, I hope to see Green Day perform “When I Come Around,” my favorite song off of Dookie.
Set List / Chicago
21st Century Breakdown
Know Your Enemy
East Jesus Nowhere
The Static Age
Before The Lobotomy
Are We The Waiting
Geek Stink Breath
Hitchin’ A Ride
Take Me Out To The Ball Game (7th Inning Stretch)
King For A Day
Shout (The Isley Brothers cover)
Chicago (Frank Sinatra cover)
I’ll Be There (Jackson 5 cover)
Stand By Me (Ben E. King cover)
American Eulogy: Mass Hysteria / Modern World
Jesus Of Suburbia
Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)
More photos of Green Day members Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool after the jump!
Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos: