@ZackTeibloom Green Day is the kind of show that skews the grading system. They did it all. I mean everything. The amount of artists who have that many moves in their pure entertainment repertoire is limited to The Flaming Lips and Girl Talk. That’s about it.
I’m choosing these words carefully on this next sentence, because this thought wouldn’t escape me throughout their two and a half hour set: Green Day is the most effective band at consistently pleasing a crowd I have ever seen. Were they the best musical act I’ve ever seen? Probably not in the top 25. They have a deep song catalog, and they know what they’re doing with it, but it was all in the performance.
With a lot of bands you can see a handful of songs and feel like you got the point. At least that’s what you need to convince yourself, so you can make it through Lolla without feeling like you caught everything. Not the case with Green Day. Every minute was a chance to pull out one of their well worn performance aspects. They lean heavily on audience participation and pull it off so well because Billy Joe knows who to bring up, what to tell them and exactly how much sway to give them. (Read and watch the 5 best moments from the show if you haven’t yet.)
They paced the set expertly with songs from every era. The “Longview,” “Basket Case” and “When I Come Around” Dookie classics mixed with “American Idiot” and “Warning” and “Insomniac” and, of course, ending with “Time of Your Life.”
But it was more than the originals. They tried a bit of everything. There was an 80’s rock montage featuring a riff of “Highway to Hell” and others before a decently long take on “Sweet Child of Mine.” And honestly, what more could you ask for than a medley of “Shout” & “Satisfaction” & “My Kind of Town” and “Hey Jude” back into “Shout” with most of it being done on their backs?!
When you know a 9.7 Phoenix show is going down on the other side of the fest, it’s hard to stay, but I could never justify leaving. Green Day was so damn entertaining. And at the end of the day, that’s what I want. I never thought I’d say they were twice as crowd pleasing as Lady Gaga. It’s shocking how much better they were. Ra Ra.
Performance: 20/20 What was there not to love? As a friend of a friend said while leaving “It’s everything I’d ever want from a rock show. And maybe a little more.” The pyrotechnics, the visuals, the songs, the fireworks, the medleys. They pulled out every trick. Even borrowing a couple (like the toilet paper shooter trick from Wayne Coyne and Girl Talk. It all worked. Except the t-shirt gun. I say that now, but I’m not wearing a shirt. Other bands should take notes. A lot of notes.
Ambiance: 5/5 I waited 45 minutes for this show and suffered through Slightly Stoopid, but once that ended it was all gravy. I was next to Brett and Josh and they were both being made out with by a 40-something woman from New Orleans who was so excited someone had finally shared a sandwich with her. Possibly the only time I’ve ever been glad I didn’t have my own sandwich at a fest. Glad I sat that one out. Seriously though, a little moshing and we never considered leaving at any point in the 2.5 hours.
Set List: 8/10 There’s a lot of newer Green Day songs I don’t like. I was worried that could be a big problem. It wasn’t really. They space the set so well and always have the crowd participation so insanely interesting that there are few lulls. And if so, just make a New Orleans festival goers day. Or watch it and laugh. If you’re like me, you’ve listened to a shit ton of Green Day in the 16 years since Dookie came out and it was all anyone could talk about. Their song catalog has built up rather nicely since then.
Misc: 5/5 They had the longest set time of anyone all weekend and went over! Who are they, Pearl Jam? If I said they were far more entertaining than Pearl Jam would you be mad?
Overall: 48/50 or 9.6/10