Tag Archives: Green Day

The Queen Is Dead

They had no manager. Morrissey kept ‘falling out’ with them and finding ever incresingly inventive excuses as to why such and such a manager ‘has to go’. Johnny had a workload and a half, was basically running the group from top to bottom. The tapes were held by the studios they’d been using for unpaid bills. The album was delayed. Johnny had put his very into the recording and making of this, so that pissed him off. Fortunately, it all came out alright in the end! Well, and how! There are few opening tracks are simply stunningly super fantastically stupendously brilliant (!) as the title song. That roll of drums! ‘Take me back to dear old blighty…’ and then THOSE lyrics! The whole thing is perfect, and if you don’t like it….I don’t like you! Well, i’m sorry. I’m probably being unfair. I bet your’re a really nice guy/girl! You don’t have to like The Smiths or ‘The Queen Is Dead’ to be my friend. Honest. After this epic opening title song we have the quite frankly ( hey! ) silly ‘Frankly Mr Shankly’. Its dumb, its stupid. It fits perfectly and raises a smile, the lyrics are really funny, genuinely so. The guitar is fine and the production shines. ‘I Know Its Over’ has been covered by Jeff Buckley amongst others. Morrissey’s finest five minutes and forty nine seconds as a vocalist. No question. No wonder Mr Buckley was inspired by it. Again, Johnny catches Morrisseys mood and provides a perfect, dramatic and sad musical backdrop. And, yeah, it is dramatic. Its one of the most beautifully sad songs ever recorded. Never Had No One Ever’ is more of the same in terms of feel. Not quite so inspired this time but it remains perfectly fine. ‘Cemetry Gates’ is jaunty, happy and lighthearted. Perfect album structuring. Just you wait! Ah yes! What follows? Well….

‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’. Johnny comes up trumps, wins the lottery and in his own words not mine creates ‘our Jumpin Jack Flash’. It bears no resemblance to Jumping Jack Flash at all, by the way – apart from defining The Smiths in song. Fantastic guitar throughout the track. ‘Boy With The Thorn In His Side’ has another of Morrisseys most beautiful ever vocals. As soon as the first syllable is out of his mouth, i’m crying tears of joy. It really is that good. And, as ‘Bigmouth’ was largely Johnnys show, its only appropriate that this should be Morrisseys time to shine. Both support each other in actual fact, on both songs, of course 🙂 ‘how can they see the love in our eyes, and still they don’t believe us…’ Possibly a dig at the music press. Some way to have a go at the press for not believing in The Smiths. ‘Vicar In A TuTu’ is simple, stupid, happy…. and brilliant. ‘Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others’ coming off the back of another emotional, perfect song ‘There Is A Light’, is perfect to close. Really. The lyrics are funny and whilst your wiping away the tears from listening to ‘There Is A Light’ gives you another emotion entirely. Yeah, this is an emotional record. This isn’t easy listening and its not Green Day either. A masterpiece, and certainly The Smiths peak as both writers and performers. This is my personal favorite record by them.

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Green Day in Chicago


July 13th, 2009, I went to Chicago with my buddies Scott and Arvin. Much respect to Scott, who got me the whole catalog of Green Day. This was my first Green Day concert, and I was very much looking forward to it.

Arvin, Scott and Me

Green Day’s new album record: 21st Century Breakdown points to economic uncertainly in the shadow of political transition. Although those are heavy sentiments indeed, the ever-evolving trio turned one of this summer’s most anticipated tours into the ultimate party, peppering in these message-centered anthems, but playing plenty of hits in between. I pretty much fainted when Green Day came on stage, and the skyline of Chicago in the background appeared. They opened the set list with “Song of the Century” leaning into “21st Century Breakdown” track. The lyrics from this track: “My generation is zero…I never made it as a working class hero..” is to be ponder upon.

Jason Freeze did Micheal Jackson tribute

For me, it’s not about the particular moments, it’s a whole magical experience that leaves you dizzy and slack-jawed. I know people like to relate the little tidbits, the moments when Billie said this or did that, or one of the other band members did whatever, but there is no essential moment for me. Yes, there were bits I noticed and loved, like the fact that when they played “Welcome to Paradise”, and then again in parts of other songs, like “Longview”, “Basket Case” and “She”, using the same wide-legged stance, with one leg thrust forward, and his head banging. At various points, he donned police cap and feather boa, used a T-shirt gun to fire merchandise into the second deck, and employed a retrofitted leaf blower to shower the crowd with toilet paper, saving a child on “East Jesus Nowhere” or trying to taste his nipples in the middle of the stage..lol. Confetti filled the air at the close of “Minority,” and indoor fireworks cascaded over the band during “21 Guns.” Green Day also opted for a medley of sorts during the quirky” King For A Day” with snippets of “Earth Angel” and “Shout” as Armstrong got a bit cheeky in showing his buttock, yet also paying tribute to Jackson 5 on the snippets of “I’ll Be There”. It came off okay despite saxophonist Jason Freese delivering a good solo dressed in a vintage Michael Jackson circa “Beat It” ensemble with the appropriate dance steps. The constant interaction between Armstrong and fans was great. All of that onstage and lyric-driven message mongering – would have been for naught if Green Day didn’t deliver musically. Which they did, whether it was with the power-chord crunch of “Brain Stew,” the echoey football chant singalong of “Are We the Waiting,” or the lone-man-on-acoustic-guitar, sentimental strum of the prom-theme closer “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).”

Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool are a vise-tight rhythm section. And while the auxiliary players added power and a smidgeon of subtlety, the principal attraction of the mature, high-minded Green Day remains the same as it was in its juvenile delinquent incarnation. This concert was amazing from start to finish. I don’t think I ever had this much fun. They really knows how to get involved their fans, giving them a chance to sing with them, play guitar along with them. This was my first time seeing them and surely much more to come in the future!


Setlist

  1. Song of the Century
  2. 21st Century Breakdown
  3. Know Your Enemy
  4. East Jesus Nowhere
  5. Holiday
  6. The Static Age
  7. Before the Lobotomy
  8. Are We the Waiting
  9. St. Jimmy
  10. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  11. Hitchin’ a Ride
  12. Brain Stew
  13. Jaded
  14. Longview
  15. Basket Case
  16. She
  17. King for a Day
  18. Shout (The Isley Brothers cover)
  19. 21 Guns
  20. American Eulogy

1st Encore

  1. American Idiot
  2. Jesus of Suburbia
  3. Minority

2nd Encore

  1. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)