w/ Dog Party
October 20, 2016
The UC Theater
The last time I left Green Day, I had seen them perform at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, one of the first places they ever congregated as a band. First playing there in the early 90s, before being 'shunned' by the club due to their major label signing and success, this show back in May of 2015 was a milestone in not only the Bay Area music scene, but in the history of punk rock. The beef had been squashed and the band were welcomed back for a "secret", sold out show that went nearly three hours into the night, performing in a room nearly the size of a classroom.
This time, the gentlemen from the East Bay are back with a brand new album, Revolution Radio, an album that truly showcases a return to form for the band. This show finds us in a venue that's bigger than Gilman, but still considered intimate for a band of Green Day's stature. That's kind of the point, though. The band embarked on a special intimate venue tour surrounding the release of Revolution Radio, before making the leap back into arenas. Shows all across the country have been sold out, and the Bay Area date of this tour sold out within less than thirty minutes.
Our openers for the evening were Sacramento punk duo Dog Party, a group comprised of sisters Gwendolyn (guitar/vocals) and Lucy Giles (drums/vocals). Both assert vocal duties throughout tracks that are incredibly reminiscent of The Ramones: fast, upbeat, straight to the point, and high-energy. I had actually seen Dog Party once before this at a venue called Thee Parkside in San Francisco. The room was about the size of a "good" college dorm, so it was nice to see what the duo sounded like in a venue where the sound could actually travel and breathe. I must say that I was rather impressed by how tight their sound was, and how comfortable they were communicating with the audience between each song.
Green Day finally took the stage after all of the usual elements needed to kick off their show came into place: the drunk pink bunny that runs around onstage to "Blitzkrieg Bop", the crowd singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" in unison before the lights come down, the usual. The lights remain out for awhile, before suddenly blinding the crowd as Green Day and their massively talented touring band run out onstage.
"DO YOU KNOW YOUR ENEMY?" Billie Joe Armstrong shouts as the band launch into their immensely popular track from 2009's 21st Century Breakdown. I had full confidence that the rest of the night was going to be just fine. Green Day were back, playing the music that they loved, and truly better than ever.
The night consisted of a massive setlist, playing not only hits, but some serious deep cuts, songs that I'd never heard them play live before, and never would have expected them to play. Such examples include "Scattered" (Nimrod), "Armatage Shanks", "Stuart and the Ave." (Insomniac), "Waiting" (Warning). Shit, they even played "Private Ale" (Kerplunk!). That's one of the greatest things about a Green Day set; it's shaken up every single night and you literally never know what they're going to do decide to play. It's the antithesis of modern arena rock artists.
Two encores followed the massive set, the first including none other than "American Idiot" and the nine-minute epic "Jesus of Suburbia" in all of its glory. The second was acoustic, where Armstrong performed "Ordinary World", a beautiful new track from Revolution Radio, and closed the night with "Good Riddance".
It took some time, a few warm up shows, and a new album, but it is incredibly safe to say that Green Day are back, and have reclaimed their crown among the modern rock artists in today's day and age. There's no doubt about it in my mind.
Know Your Enemy
Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Stuart and the Ave.
Welcome to Paradise
Christie Road (Partial)
Hitchin' a Ride
Are We the Waiting
When I Come Around
King for a Day
Shout (The Isley Brothers cover)
Jesus of Suburbia
Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
This has been another Shameless Promotion.