Roughly 13 years I remember hearing American Idiot for the very first time and my world changing forever. At that time I was merely 8 years old, and honestly had no idea about what they were singing. Nonetheless, I went to my first concert ever. Green Day at AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA for their last show of the American Idiot North American Tour. To this day I can still remember them bringing people up on stage to play bass, guitar, and drums. Then afterwards giving them the guitar/bass & drumsticks–although it would’ve been cool to get a whole drumset.
Fast forward 13 years and a lot has changed in the world. When American Idiot came out, myspace was the rage and facebook had barely become a thing. We had a short man from texas instead of an oompa loompa with a toupé. Green Day, however, has stayed relatively the same. They’re still one of the few punk bands that’s made it and been able to stay relevant. Last October they released their 12th studio album titled “Revolution Radio”, since that time they’ve been on a world tour in support of it. I was lucky enough to attend their hometown show in Oakland, CA at O.Co Stadium, which is where the A’s and Raiders play.
The night started off with the opening act: Catfish and the Bottlemen. They played about a 20 minute set, and did a more or less good job at keeping people’s attention. During intermission songs were blasted over the speakers, including Bohemian Rhapsody. If you’ve ever been to a Green Day show you know how amazing it is to hear thousands and thousands of people chanting this song together.
From there the night commenced with Green Day starting off with one of their big hits of 21st Century Breakdown called “Know Your Enemy”. Billie got to the bridge and was frantically yelling “I need someone, I need someone, come on!”, as he went searching for someone to stage dive. Clearly he was very stoked to be playing at a stadium I’m sure he’s attended many games at in the past. Green Day played a lot of new songs, while sort of speeding through them. At one point he dares someone in the audience to streak the baseball diamond that was gated off. Two people did streak barely 5 minutes later, with one getting caught and the other disappearing off into the pit. All of this is pretty hysterical considering I found this video that Billie posted hours before the show went off.
Shit Just Got Real! #RevRad2017 Hometown Show! – Follow mikedirnt (Instagram).
I’ve always been more of a fan of albums like Dookie, Kerplunk!, Insomniac, and Nimrod, so it’s always nice hearing classics off those records. What Green Day brilliantly does to fill up the whole 2 1/2 hours they’re scheduled is draw out a lot of their old songs for crowd participation and solos by different members. Throughout the entire performance Billie constantly brought up community, happiness, revolution, and love. All of this while yelling Oakland about 50 times. While he may have gotten ranty during some parts, it was all clearly with good intentions.
As he pointed out, the Bay Area has always been more open-minded to radical thinking, especially for groups like the LGBTQ community. Berkeley was the hub of free speech protests during the 1960’s, and since Billie is from Rodeo, it’s clear to see why he’s been so vocal about how much he hates our new president. Regardless of the political aspect of the show, it was one of the most solid performance I’ve seen the band do out of the 4 times I’ve been able to see them live. There was a lot more improvisation on solos, along with an overall higher energy displayed by the band.
One thing I love that they’ve always done is how they bring people up on stage during their rendition of Operation Ivy’s song “Knowledge”. They’ll have a person play the 3 chords on guitar, in front of thousands of people, then proceed to give said guitar to the person to keep. Crowd participation is something not a lot of big name acts concern themselves with. But Billie has really kept to his punk roots by eliminating that attendee and performer aspect. Overall, I had a great time and realized how many GD songs I know every single word to. Firework show after was almost on the level of Disneyland’s, which was a nice touch.
Author: Ben Schlotthauer
Born & Raised in Northern California
Attending Chico State for BA in Music Industry & Tech
Intern at We Are Triumphant