red lights


Green Day asks for a better day

Green Day / Sugarcult
U.S. Cellular Arena
Milwaukee, WI
Nov. 9, 2004
Green Day
Green Day
Green Day
Green Day

Story and photos by Karen Bondowski

Kicking off the night for the American Idiot tour, openers Sugarcult were ready to get the concert rolling. I once read the title from their record label, "Sugarcult don't play by the rules" and tonight's performance was surely an accurate statement. Back in April, I did an interview with lead singer, Tim Pagnotta and one of the questions I had asked him was: "What band would you kill to open for?" His reply, "Green Day!" And here's the proof that dreams can come true.
As members of Sugarcult eagerly rushed the stage, Tim, with scruffy blonde hair, tight fitting jeans and leather jacket greeted everyone and quickly the band jumped into their classic hit from the Start Static album "Stuck in America."
Green Day With it's electrifying guitar riffs shared between Marko and Tim, the bouncy bass lines that Airin loves to get in trouble with, hard hitting drums from Kenny who likes to show who's the boss, it was only the beginning of show and tell. Jumping into "What You Say," it's hard impact and topsy - curvy guitar chords left you lost in the wilderness.
Their most cherished single "Memory" from their latest release, Palm Trees and Power Lines, was reborn right before your eyes. With Marko playing his amazingly sweet and choppy guitar riffs and Kenny gutting it out like there was no better place to be.
They also decided to do a short version of the "Milwaukee Song" ("For those of you who don't know how to say Milwaukee, It's Mil-wah-kay-yeah-yeah") which they had wrote when they were on tour with MXPX and Simple Plan earlier in the year and made a visit to the Rave in Milwaukee. They first played this song back in April when they had performed an intimate acoustic set. It's a quieter melody with uplifting vocals. It's something that their Milwaukee fans now treasure.
Green Day Ending their short, but over-excited set with "Bouncing Off the Walls" - the crowd, here primarily for Green Day, ate-up every last beat as their anticipation grew for the headliners. After a loud bang the curtain quickly found its destination south. The crowd screamed as the punk-members of Green Day rushed before them with smiles on their faces as Billy Joe Armstrong with his black, semi spiked hair, black shirt and red tie seemed so anxious to get to the microphone and sing and play his heart and soul out. After all, it was the American Idiot tour. Would they have titled it that because that is what their new album is called? Or could it possibly mean they had a feeling George W. Bush would be in the office again for another four years? Oops!! What I meant to say was it because of their own personal beliefs on today's politics? They kick off their set with their new single from their latest release, "American Idiot" which was a high driven, powerful song sewn from the oats of pissed-off rebels. Containing these biting words:
"Don't wanna be an American idiot.
Don't want a nation under the new mania."
"I'm not a part of a redneck agenda.
Now everybody do the propaganda.
And sing along in the age of paranoia."

Now that takes a lot of courage to stand up for what you believe in and they are definitely not afraid to tackle any political issues. Green Day is the "missing link" between old school punk and new school. Iggy Pop mutilated himself - while Sid Vicious murdered for love and drugs. The Sex Pistols pissed off the world and the Ramones rewrote the book. All in the name of indifference and nihilism. Green Day is about change. With clever lyrics, point-the-finger-at-yourself-first and a three-chord barrage that lays waste anew to a barren nuclear test site. Old punkers blame everybody else, but never themselves. While Green Day is probably one of the most influential bands of all time- what they have spawned is something surely momma would never love. Blink-182, Good Charlotte, Bowling for Soup, Simple Plan and the likes, have stripped the raw spirit of punk and sold-out. Shame on them. Who else, other than Green Day would make such a statement like "It doesn't matter who is in the fucking White House. They don't give a shit about people like you and me. Remember it's you who determines your own future."
Starting with the deep guitar and bass chords of the highly popular song "Longview" it sent the crowd flailing like disciples receiving their messiah. One of the many traditions that Green Day has been doing for years now, is that they like to pull three random fans out of the audience who are musically inclined and have them play their instruments. First up - a bassist. Next up - a drummer. As the two "new" members of Green Day are keeping the beat, Billy continued the search for his replacement. Finding his stand-in, the "new" boys kept the music flowin' quite nicely. The kids were having a great time on stage as Billy played conductor while waving his arms back and forth to help the band keep time. Their fame lasted only a couple of minutes, but will surely be treasured forever.
As the "Bumble-bee" trumpet player hit' the stage, they kicked it off with the fun filled tune, "King for a Day." Billy pranced around with his crown on. We all need to be king for a day after all. Halfway through the song, "Shout" began which had everyone dancing and singing a little bit more. When the beat finally slowed down, it sent Billy laying face down on the ground quietly chanting, "a little bit louder?" As his voice rose to the groove, he slowly stood up with a king's cape on and finished off the ending like a hungry bum who actually spent his handout on food rather than wine.
Performing a quite intimate performance of "Wake Me Up When September Ends" had everyone holding their lighters in the air, swaying back and forth. Billy pulled his mic stand out on the runaway to sing so he could connect with his fans. Before exiting the stage, they decided to rile up the crowd once more with "Welcome to Paradise." A black-and-blue version indeed.

Green Day
Green Day
Green Day
Green Day

What Do You Think?



City & State:

e mail:

Here's Your Chance to.... Respond!

Your feedback will be featured on
Rant or Rave within 24 hours.

Return to Reviews
Return to Menu