Green Day: Jesus of Suburbia

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Its been awhile! No good shows have come to Denver for a while. Tonight, Green Day was here. All alone so let’s go! I parked and went through 3 ticket guys before I got a hold of a floor ticket for $10 over face value. So if you count all the Ticketmaster charges, I came out ahead — especially because the show was sold out.

The 2 college students that were in front of me in line to get in were totally baked. They were pretty funny. The one guy was trying to smuggle in a water bottle filled with JD. He kept trying to tie it into the string on his shorts and it would fall out. Then once it stayed, he would ask me how it looked. So I had to examine his crotch to be sure the bulge wasn’t too big. I wasn’t sure why he wasn’t just drinking the booze in line like everyone else.

Got inside right before Green Day opened up. I was able to weave through from the back to about 10 people from the front. This is the only advantage to being a smaller guy. Green Day started off with American Idiot and ran through the new album for a while. Song #2 was Jesus of Suburbia which is by far the best song they have ever had. I swear they made it last 15 minutes in concert. Metallica would be proud! I remember when the critics would say all Green Day songs sounded the same. Maybe, but these newer songs feel punk but have more depth.

Then a few songs into things, I got wet from the back. Not again — I thought to myself. Turns out it was a girl throwing her beer in another girl’s face after some pushing and then they started whooping ass. Then the boyfriends jumped in. Then their friends. Suddenly, we had about 8 people going at it. The girls went right to the floor kicking and punching each other. Me and the guys around me jumped in and worked to separate the pile — surely, Pepsi Center security would be here soon? Hello? Hello? It was at least 1 minute and change before 1 guy shows up then figures out something was going down. We, fight-breaker-upers, had to point out who was being nasty and then they escorted those folks out for a talkin’ too. The Pepsi Center is about the calmest crowd ever — I often overhear “sorry” in the mosh pit when its just getting fun. But the security is lame — seems like a bunch of people there watching the show. It should be a bunch of jacked up jocks waiting to get the chance to kick some kids ass!

Anyway, Green Day made it fun by doing lots of little things in between songs. At one point, they keep the song going and said they needed a break. So they picked 3 kids out of the crowd. “Who can play drums?”, Billy asked. He “interviewed” a few and then brought a kid up. Trey got off the drums and the kid kept the beat going. Then he got a bass player. Then a girl was picked to play Billy’s guitar. The kids finished the song with Billy singing. What a cool moment for those kids! The stage had a section that went out into the crowd and Billy made the guitar players run out there. Their moment of fame. When done, he said all their names but then he told the girl she could keep the guitar. She about passed out.

One crowd factoid — when they played the slow songs, everyone held up their — CELL PHONES. What the hell? We used to use lighters in my day. Even if you didn’t smoke, you brought one. Now everyone is opening their flip phones and waving their phones around to create the “new lighter” effect. Instead of a sea of orange lights, now you see blue, green or some other translucent color.

Oh and another first and hopefully last — Billy pulled out a pressure washer-like squirt gun and started spraying. Then when he had to go and play, he brought some kid out of the audience and that kid kept spraying. Not good to be up front!

It was a good show and it was fun to see Green Day bigger than ever. I remember seeing them in 1994 in Berkeley — their home town. It was the summer of Dookie. Now, 12 years — just as fun.

Here are some pictures from a fellow concert-goer. I need a better camera phone!