Archive for the ‘Green Day’ Category

[ATTENDED: August 20, 2021] Green Day: Hella Mega Tour: Green Day / Fall Out Boy / Weezer / The Interrupters [rescheduled from August 29, 2020]

I loved Green Day’s Dookie when it came out.  I also really liked American Idiot (and a bunch of stuff in between).  But it was pretty wild when my teenage son became a big fan of Green Day (especially American Idiot).  I’ve never seen Green Day live before–which I’m guessing I now regret since they were fantastic live.

The most interesting thing to S. and myself was that they opened their part of the set by playing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” over the speakers at full concert volume.  Not Green Day playing it, but the actual original version.  And the crowd went utterly bananas.  Singing along at full volume.  The lights even went bright and dim accordingly.  It was a pretty amazing moment to hear an entire arena singing along to a song.  And it really got everyone pumped.  It was a pretty genius idea and I’m surprised more bands don’t do it.

They followed this with Ramones’ “Blitzkreig Bop” which went over although not quite as well, but it segued into a kind of mashup of “Also Sprach Zarathustra”, “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”, “Blitzkrieg Bop”, and “We Will Rock You” played behind a series of clips from Green Days shows old and new.  It was clear they were preparing for A SHOW.

They came out on stage to lights and video and started out with two songs from American Idiot.  And the crowd was berserk.  “American Idiot” and “Holiday” was like a one-two punch of wonderfulness for my son.  And there were fireworks and explosions and big lights and it was a great start.

I never knew that Billie Joe Armstrong was such a great and engaging front man.  I was especially delighted that he acknowledged that many of the fans there were from New Jersey.  I mean, sure we were in Philadelphia, but there were lots of NJ folks there and he really won us over by dividing the crowd into the Philly and NJ sides to see who could be louder.  This was especially cool for my kids, I think. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 20, 2021] Fall Out Boy: Hella Mega Tour: Green Day / Fall Out Boy / Weezer / The Interrupters [rescheduled from August 29, 2020]

Both of my kids are pretty big Fall Out Boy fans (naturally, my son likes the older songs and my daughter likes the newer songs).  I really only know them from my kids playing them.  This means, however, that I know most of their popular songs.  So while I wasn’t looking forward to this set as much as the other two, I was looking forward to a couple of songs (I suspected that the “Light ’em Up” song would have excellent pyrotechnics, and I was right).

So after Weezer, we ran off to Chickie and Pete’s to get some fries and made it back to our seats in plenty of time (we somehow just beat the crowd).  A dark cloud floated over the stadium as we were enjoying out fries.  So I looked at the weather app which assured us that there was no chance of precipitation, and moments later the skies opened up and dropped bucket loads of water on us.  We were soaked!

The main concern was that the posters would get wet (they got a little wet but nothing too bad).  As we tried to stay dry, Fall Out Boy came out and we quickly forgot about the rain.

They had a very cool set–it looked like a hole dug into the earth or something (it was a little hard to focs with all the rain) and a video screen in the hole which showed a series of videos that seemed to be telling a story.  In fact, when the set started a narrator told us something (I couldn’t follow it at all) that I assumed had to do with the narrative. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 20, 2021] Weezer: Hella Mega Tour: Green Day / Fall Out Boy / Weezer / The Interrupters [rescheduled from August 29, 2020]

After The Interrupters, we decided to get some snacks.  Who would have guessed that snacks could take so long?  Well, any reasonable person could have.  But we waited for French fries (not realizing that Chickie and Pete’s was just down the way with tons of fries for the taking).  We gave up when it was a few minutes before Weezer was supposed to go on and then, as we were heading down the stairs, the unmistakable sound of Van Halen’s “Jump” playing over the speakers.

This was the key for the Weezer to come out on stage with six bass drums (spelling out Weezer), giant teal lightning bolts, a light up W logo and a video screen.

When I saw Weezer headline two years ago, the set was amazing–set changes, fire, lasers!  This one was a little less amazing, but, heck if you’re the first of three bands and you only have an hour, you don’t have time for fooling around.

The band released Van Weezer a few months before the show and it was clearly designed to let Weezer Rock out a bit more–or at least to give Rivers Cuomo an opportunity to sport a mullet and mustache.  He was also wearing a big black leather jacket and playing a flying V guitar.

And so the early part of the show was pretty heavy with the new.  “Hero” and “All the Good Ones” sandwiched one of my favorite songs from the early 2000s, “Hash Pipe.”  “Beverly Hills” also rocks and Brian Bell plays a fun talkbox solo, which everyone likes.

Then Rivers introduced “The End of the Game” by talking about the wicked riff that starts it (classic heavy metal hammering riff).  From there, the band dove deep and the fans went crazy.  The jacket came off around here and he was wearing a white ringer T (the video screens showed off his painted nails).

“My Name is Jonas” was one of five songs from their debut.  It was followed by a rocking “Pork and Beans” with a nice promo for Weezer’s own brand of pork and beans on the video screen.

For a set that was heavy on the first and last albums, they did manage to throw in one song from a bunch of other ones too.  The noisy “Feels Like Summer” from Pacific Daydream was followed by the new hit single “All My Favorite Songs” (off of OK Human).  I wondered if the band felt weird about playing the song that was essentially a Rivers solo song.  But it was fun and we all sang along.

Then it was back to the debut again for “Undone” and the rather surprising “Surf Wax America” (of all the debut album songs, I wouldn’t have expected this one).  And, this is the first time I’ve seen them play it in three shows.

I was pretty delighted when they started “El Scorcho” (because I’m a Pinkerton junkie) but had totally forgotten about the line “I asked her to go to the Green Day concert.”  How cool is that?  Obviously the crowd went nuts for that.

The Green album seems to be quite a popular release too, so “Island in the Sun” went over like gangbusters.  Then came the moment everyone was waiting for.  The hit single that was 100% ironic and is now 100% unironic as everyone sang along full bore to Toto’s “Africa.”  Rivers even got to hit the giant floor tom (which I thought was decorative) for a mini drum solo with Patrick Wilson (whose drumming skills are really top notch).

Interestingly, it started raining about 30 minutes after they were singing about the rains down in Africa–almost perfectly timed.

After one more dip into a different album (the black album) for “California Snow,” they ended with two more from the debut.  The crowd went nuts for “Say It Ain’t So” and even more nuts for “Buddy Holly.”

Rivers seemed to have a lot of fun with us–even if he didn’t smile very much (how can you tell behind that mustache?).  I assumed that this would be a kind of nostalgic set of all classic tracks, but they played six songs that I hadn’t seen them play before.  There were plenty of big hits mixed in as well, and it pushed everyone’s happy buttons.

Although both of my kids said it was their least favorite set.

Hella Mega, August 20, 2020
Jump [Van Halen taped intro]
Hero √
Hash Pipe
All the Good Ones √
Beverly Hills
The End of the Game √
My Name Is Jonas
Pork and Beans
Feels Like Summer Φ
All My Favorite Songs ⊕
Undone – The Sweater Song
Surf Wax America Bϖ
El Scorcho ρ
Island in the Sun
Africa (Toto cover)
California Snow Blϖ
Say It Ain’t So
Buddy Holly


PNC Bank Center, July 20, 2018 Sands Bethlehem, December 3, 2016
Buddy Holly California Kids [white]
Beverly Hills  Hash Pipe
Pork and Beans My Name is Jonas
Undone – The Sweater Song (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To [rad]
(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To [rad] Pork and Beans
Perfect Situation Wind In Our Sail (Live Debut) [white]
My Name is Jonas Jacked Up [white]
El Scorcho ρ Perfect Situation
In the Garage Bϖ Thank God for Girls [white]
Why Bother? ρ Beverly Hills
Happy Together with a snippet of Green Day’s Longview Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori (Live debut) [white]
Keep Fishin’ (Brian Bell sings lead) ≅ Undone – The Sweater Song
Island in the Sun (Rivers solo) Island in the Sun (with Rivers’ acoustic solo version of Kiss’ “Beth”)
Take on Me (Rivers solo) King of the World [white] / Only in Dreams Bϖ [white]
Burndt Jamb ≅ Say It Ain’t So
Hash Pipe encore
Feels Like Summer [pd] Φ El Scorcho (Rivers solo on piano for first verse) ρ
Africa Buddy Holly
The Good Life ρ
Say It Ain’t So
Paranoid (Black Sabbath, partial)

Songs from:

Weezer 1994
Pinkerton 1996
Weezer 2001
Maladroit 2002
Make Believe 2005
Weezer 2008
[rad]= Raditude 2009
[white] = Weezer 2016
[pd] = Pacific Daydream 2017

Bϖ = Weezer (blue album) (1994)
ρ = Pinkerton (1995)
Gϖ = Weezer (green album) (2001)
≅ = Maladroit (2002)
⊗ = Make Believe (2005)
Rϖ = Weezer (red album) (2008)
[rad]= Raditude 2009
[white] = Weezer 2016
Φ = Pacific Daydream (2017)
Tϖ = Weezer (teal album) (2019)
Blϖ = Weezer (black album) (2019)
⊕ = OK Human (2021)
√=Van Weezer (2021)

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[ATTENDED: August 20, 2021] The Interrupters: Hella Mega Tour: Green Day / Fall Out Boy / Weezer / The Interrupters [rescheduled from August 29, 2020]

I bought tickets for this show in September of 2019.  I knew it would be a ton of fun for the whole family.  And I was right!

All four of us loved the show (even if we got poured on mid set).

We arrived plenty early, but didn’t realize the super long line was the merch line.  So we were a little late to get on line.  But since there were four of us, we could take turns and the hour (!) wait didn’t seem all that bad.  Especially since we snagged some Federal Donuts (yum) mid-wait.

The only downside to the wait (I mean, it kept us out of the sun), was that we missed the first two songs by The Interrupters.  Well, actually we could hear them just fine, we just couldn’t see them.

We headed down to our seats during the fourth song and really only paid attention to them when they started the song after that.  Which happened to be their cover of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” which was a ton of fun. (more…)

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Drummer has a funny story about joining My Little Funhouse.  It’s especially funny given how young he was and how raunchy the band seems.

This album feels like a hair metal band whose second guitarist had just heard of grunge.  Lead singer Alan Lawlor sounds bratty and sleazy like an L.A. hair metal stud.

There’s some ripping guitar solos (“Destiny”) and big soaring ballads (“Wishing Well”) and there’s a dumb straight up rocker (“L.S.D.”).  There’s even the quiet intro (lighters up in the air) “sensitive” song (“breaks my heart/tears me apart”), “Anonymous.”

The one musical surprise is the summer guitar intro of “Been too Long” which sounds like it belongs to another song all together.  Although the bass/drum clap along is pretty apt.  “raintown” is another song that is a little unusual here–it feels like a B-side.  Lawlor’s vocals are toned way down and the production is much softer.

Perhaps the one thing that sets them apart from the West Coast metal is the song “Catholic Boy.”  Yup, it’s just as sexual/ist as a typical metal band, but the specificity of being Catholic seems very Irish to me.

My Little Funhouse opened for Guns N’ Roses when they toured Ireland.  And that makes perfect sense.  This album is completely of its time (or maybe a year too late).  With the right exposure, they would have been huge.  But this is the only thing they released before they broke up.

[READ: December 30, 2020] Irish Drummers Volume 1

I received this book at work and thought it would be interesting to look though.  I flipped through the names in the contents and was pretty sure I hadn’t heard of any of these drummers.  But it turns out I knew a lot of the bands they played in, just not their names.

Gilligan says that he created the website Irish Drummers several years ago.  It was an opportunity for him to interview Irish drummers and celebrate them.  Gilligan himself is a drummer but never really played with any bands.  Probably the most famous Irish drummer, U2’s Larry Mullen, Jr is not in this book, but he is on the website.

Gilligan thought it would be very cool to publish a book and here it is. The interviews are truncated for the book, you’ll get a lot more online.

Each interview has a picture (or two) and three to seven questions.

I have made some notes of interest from the drummers who had something unique to say. (more…)

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[POSTPONED: August 27, 2020] Hella Mega Tour: Green Day / Fall Out Boy / Weezer / The Interrupters [moved to August 20, 2021]

indexWhen this tour was announced I knew that I’d have to get tickets for the whole family to go to.  We haven;t all been to a big spectacle show and I thought this sounded like a great one.

My son likes Green Day.  My daughter likes Fall Out Boy.  We all like Weezer.  No brainer.

Neither of them have been to a big stadium show before.  I don’t love a stadium show really, but getting decent tickets would make it more fun to be sure.

The tickets were pricey, yes, but I managed to get pretty good seats (on the ground but near the back of those seats) and I thought it would be a great way to end the summer (even if I have no idea what Citizens Bank Park is like it was better than trying to get to CitiField in New York).

I was bummed that this tour was postponed since it was at the end of the summer and seemed so far away.  But they need to postpone a tour like this early and it was decided on May 19, so there was no waiting until the last minute.

There’s not much to say about any of these bands.  They’re all huge.  Musical purists don’t like any of them, but they write catchy songs and all of the songs are fun.

I have only seen Weezer, and if they put on the kind of show that they have been playing, that alone would be a great night.  But I’m pretty sure all three bands were going to pull out all the stops.  I think we were in for an exhausting night ( I assume with traffic we wouldn’t be home until like 2AM).

The Interrupters are a ska band with whose lead singer Aimee Interrupter sounds a bit like Brody Dalle from The Distillers. The rest of the band is three brothers: Jesse Bivona on drums, Justin Bivona on bass, and Kevin Bivona on guitar.  I’m still a fan of ska so I’m glad to see its (apparent) resurgence.  I hope it’s still of interest next year since i;d love to hear a new ska band.

I’m glad the show is being rescheduled.  The kids will all be one year older, which makes it even more fun for us all.

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SOUNDTRACK: BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG-“I Think We’re Alone Now” (2020).

This quarantine has already brought out a ton of creative work from musicians.  If not new items, exactly, then certainly a lot of home concerts.  And also a lot of cover songs.

Billie Joe Armstrong released the first cover that I heard about that was specifically quarantine themed (even if jokingly).

It includes a homemade video (of what one might do at home with a lot of time on your hands).

So, yes it’s a cover of the song by Tommy James and the Shondells.  It’s about 2 minutes long and it’s terrific.

A simple. formulaic Green Day pop punk take on a simple, formulaic pop song.  It’s instantly recognizable as Billie Joe.  He recorded the song in his bedroom.  I feel like it sounds like it’s not the full band (the drums are really simple and the bass isn’t as prominent as usual).  But it’s a really short poppy song, so the spareness is understandable.

Whatever the case, it’s a fun cover and one of the, by now, dozens of fun things musicians have done to keep busy.

[READ: March 20, 2020] Comics Squad: Detention!

I really enjoyed the first two Comics Squad books and I was delighted when T. got this third one.  I wanted to read it when she brought it home, but I forgot all about it until I saw it the other day.

And what a better time to read a book about detention than during a quarantine.

Like the first collection, this one is edited by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Babymouse/Squish) and Jarrett J.  Krosoczka (Lunch Lady).

This book has comics from Krosoczka, George O’Connor (the Olympians series), Victoria Jamieson (Rollergirl), Ben Hatke (many many great books), Rafael Rosado & Jorge Aguirre, Lark Pien, Matt Phelan and the Holm siblings.

Like the previous book, the Holms and Krosoczka sprinkle the book with comments and interstitials from Babymouse and Lunch Lady. Like that Babymouse is in detention and Lunch Lady is going to slide her some cookies (no cupcakes?). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 20, 2018] Weezer

I saw Weezer a couple of years ago in Bethlehem.  It was my first time seeing them, but I left feeling somewhat underwhelmed. They debuted 2 new songs, which was cool, but the show felt pretty short and I was really irritated by the crowd.

Tall, drunk college kids.  A lot of pushing and shoving (but not dancing) and I could not get close enough to the action.

I enjoyed the set designs and Rivers’ get ups.  But they finished in less than 90 minutes.

True they sounded great, but overall I was just a little blah.

I felt for sure if I could see better I would enjoy them a lot more.  And this proved to be true.

This show was not in support of a new album (I didn’t realize that), it was more of a career retrospective (sort of).  And what this meant was that they played a lot of songs I really like and, amazingly, they played not only more songs than the last time (very odd for a co-headlining show), they wound up playing nine songs that they hadn’t last time. (more…)

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gipiSOUNDTRACK: FOO FIGHTERS-There is Nothing Left to Lose (1999).

Foo_Fighters_-_There_Is_Nothing_Left_to_LoseThis album introduces drummer Taylor Hawkins and is considered the first “band” record from the Foo Fighters. The album was recorded as a trio—Grohl, Hawkins and Nate Mendel on bass (who played on Colour as well).  As with a bunch of these middle Foo Fighters records, I feel that it starts really strong and then kind of fades a bit by the end.

I love the big fuzzy sound that opens this record. It doesn’t sound like anything Grohl has recorded before. “Breakout” is a poppy song with a very summery opening. It’s propulsive and super catchy. “Learn to Fly” is another wonderfully poppy song with a great chorus (and a hilarious video).

The opening riff of “Gimme Stitches” has a total classic rock radio sound, which really shows the diversity they were going for here.  “Generator” opens with a talk box—toally retro man. Even though it a silly thing to add to the song, the song is really catchy.

“Aurora” is a lengthy mellow song. I guess I never really thought to much about it, but on reading about it, it proves to be one of the bands’ (and Dave’s) favorite songs.

I feel like the second half of the album suffers a little bit as the songs don’t really stand out.

“Live-In Skin” is a solid song although there’s nothing too special about it (especially given the other songs on the album). The riff is pretty cool though.  “Next Year” is a mildly catchy mid tempo song. It seems like it could have been Foo Fighters’ version of Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” if they had played their cards right.

“Headwires” has an interesting 80s sound in the guitar and Grohl’s whispered vocals. But the big chorus returns to the Foo Fighters sound.

“Ain’t It the Life” is a mellow ballad. It doesn’t quite reach the heights of the Foo’s other ballads though the slide guitar solo is a nice touch.  “M.I.A.” opens quiet as well.  It has a chorus that is pretty typical of the Foo Fighters, but it seems to either lack some oomph, or it gets stuck at the end of the album.

[READ: February 10, 2015] Notes for a War Story

I’m fascinated by how many translated works First Second publishes.  And it seems like a great resource for non-English writers to get published in the United States.

Gipi is an Italian artist and writer (this book was translated by Spectrum) and as with many other European artists, I could tell right away that the style here was not done by an American.  I wonder why that is.

In general, I don’t really care for Gipi’s books.  They are a little too bleak, a little to “ugly” for my tastes.  And yet the stories are quite compelling.  This one revolves around an unspecified war that is happening around the countryside (but not, for some reason, in the city).

The protagonists are young men adrift in a world where they are clearly lost.  Guiliano is a slightly richer kid than the other two and he is the narrator.  The other two are his friends Christian and Little Killer.

They learn about a man named Felix, who is leader of a militia.  When they go see him, he immediately takes a shine to Little Killer.  They talk and bond while Giuliano and Christian feel left out (and are rather naive I feel–I mean its obvious that Felix is a killer). (more…)

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greatestSOUNDTRACK: PINK FLOYD-“The Hard Way” and “Wine Glasses” (1974).

glassThis book informed me about these two unreleased Pink Floyd songs (there’s a Wikipedia site that lists some fifty more !).  While the were unreleased in 1974 (from the abandoned Household Objects album), they were eventually released in 2011 on expanded versions of albums.

“The Hard Way” features some “percussion” that sounds like someone taking steps.  There’s a bass riff which I gather is from rubber bands (but very well tuned).  There’s clocks ticking and chiming and tape being unspooled.  It’s a neat idea and while it is absurd to think you could make a whole album with this kind of stuff (in 1974), it’s a surprisingly good sounding track.

“Wine Glasses” was apparently made with wine glasses.  It is all of 2 minutes long.  It was designed to be a full song but was eventually used in the introduction to “Shine on You Crazy Diamond.”  I never really considered that there were wine glasses making the sounds (and clearly there are synths added on top), but yeah, so that ‘s kinda neat.

[READ: November 25, 2014] The Greatest Albums You’ll Never Hear

I found this book at work and knew I had to read it.  I was actually surprised at how long it took me to read (there’s a lot of entries).

The title and subtitle pretty much say everything you need to know about this book (and if you need to read it or not).  This book collects a series of writers who give a brief history of some of the more famous (and some not so famous) albums that were never released.  It explains (as best they can) why the albums weren’t released and even gives a percentage chance of likelihood of the album ever seeing the light of day (interestingly, most seem to be a 3/10–they may have been able to use a 5 point scale).

I knew some of the records they talked about (The Beach Boys’ Smile, Neil Young’s Chrome Dreams), but was ignorant of quite a lot of them. And while big fans of the artists may know all of the details about their favorite lost album already (these are sketches, not exhaustive research), there will certainly be some new information.  For instance, I’m a huge Pink Floyd fan but had no idea about the two shelved works mentioned here.

I liked the way the book was done chronologically and grouped by decade.  It was also interesting to see how the “reasons” for the non-release morphed over the decades from “the record label didn’t like it” to “it was leaked online.”

The one major gripe I have with the book is that it is chock full of “imagined” album covers.  This in itself is okay, but it is not made explicitly clear that they are all imagined (credits are given at the bottom of each image, but it took me a few entries to realize these were just people’s ideas of what the covers could look like).  And most of them are gawdawful.  Just really lame and dull (as if they had 20 minutes to come up with an idea).  They mar an otherwise cool collection,especially since some of the unreleased records actually do have proposed covers (even if they were never released).  I see that there is in fact a paragraph about the covers in the front pages of the book, but it is almost hidden away.

In addition to the albums I’ve listed below, I learned some fascinating things.  That Bruce Springsteen has hundreds of songs that he wrote but never released for various reasons.  That Pink Floyd did try to make an album out of household objects (with no instruments).  That the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks was almost simultaneously released illicitly as Spunk.  And that Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album was recently remastered.

The end of the book includes two small sections: other favorites that were never released.  Not sure why they earned only a small column instead of a full entry, but that’s okay.  The second was albums that we eventually did see, like My Bloody Valentine’s MBV and Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy.

So if you ever wondered what happened to that long lost album, this may be the book for you.

A sampling of the unreleased records include:

  • The Beach Boys-Smile
  • Buffalo Springfield-Stampede
  • The Kinks-Four Respected Gentlemen
  • The Beatles-Get Back
  • Jeff Beck-The Motown Album
  • Jimi Hendrix-Black Gold
  • The Who-Lifehouse
  • Wicked Lester
  • Rolling Stones-American Tour ’72
  • CSN&Y-Human Highway
  • Pink Floyd-Household Objects (1974), Spare Brick 1982
  • Dusty Springfield-Longing
  • David Bowie-The Gouster (1975), Toy (2001)
  • Sex Pistols-Spunk
  • Neil Young -Homegrown (1975), Chrome Dreams (1976)
  • Frank Zappa-Läther
  • Beastie Boys-Country Mike’s Greatest Hits
  • Weezer-Songs from the Black Hole
  • Jeff Buckley-My Sweeetheart the Drunk
  • Van Halen-IV
  • Foo Fighters-The Million Dollar Demos
  • Green Day-Cigarettes and Valentines (the author doesn’t believe it was actually stolen)
  • Tapeworm (Trent Reznor and Maynard James Keenan among others)
  • Deftones-Eros
  • U2-Songs of Ascent
  • Beck-The Song Reader



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