Green Day - a once in a lifetime concert experience

There is an old cliché that the Chinese symbol for disaster is the exact same symbol as opportunity.  It’s meant to teach you a lesson about tenacity, and not being the little bitch that you are.  I have no idea if that cliché is true, but it tells the story of Green Day live last week in San Francisco.

I was not am not a Green Day fan.  I am not against them, just not for them.  Largely indifferent.  That was until I saw them play Saturday night.  Things went incredibly bad at the concert.  It was the biggest disaster of a concert I have even seen my in 800 plus national touring rock shows I have seen.

I have seen a lot of things go wrong at rock concerts.  I have seen a lot of rock stars storm off stage.  Jane’s Addiction, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Butthole Surfers, Anthrax are just a few that come to mind of shows I was at where the artist stormed off.  In fact, I have seen more rock stars stomp off stage than you have seen playing normal shows.

This is what should have happened Saturday night.  Green Day was playing in a huge rain storm in San Francisco.  You say to yourself “well, it often rains in San Fran, so how is that a story?  More importantly, how were they not prepared for a rain storm?”

Well, the venue they played wasn’t built for rock concerts.  They played the local baseball stadium – AT&T Park.  Here is a picture of me and the wifey at the show.

Full disclosure, I was at the show for free.  I was at a trade show for work, and they hired Green Day to play just for the trade show attendees.  It was super bad ass!  So, that is why I went, even though I declare I was mostly indifferent about Green Day.  WAS.  So, the band plays for about half an hour.  I don’t know ANY of the songs.  I kinda figured that would happen.  I really don’t know much beyond Dookie, except their big radio hits – Time of your Life, and Wake me up when September ends).  I know they have the big Broadway show, and just released three full albums this year.  So, I didn’t expect to know the material.

About half an hour in to the show, the power goes out.  Rain hits the soundboard and everything goes dark.  Can’t hear or see anything.  The power doesn’t come on.  Not for a long time after that.  Maybe half an hour. They managed to power a spotlight on Billie Joe.  This is where Billie Joe should have stomped off.  I would not have been disappointed.  I saw Billy Corgan stop a concert and storm off stage because someone threw a tshirt near him.  Not at him, near him.  A soft billowy piece of cotton came near Billy very slowly, and he lost is SHIT.  Billy told the guy who threw it he should kill himself, and then stopped the concert.  No exaggeration.  So, I expected Billy Joe to bolt.

Remember, Billy Joe isn't famous for handling things well.  Just a year ago he went APESHIT on stage.  He went so apeshit that they immediately canceled the rest of the tour.  Here is video of the incident.  In case the video doesn't capture it, Green Day was given a ‘1 minute’ warning.   They were playing a festival with a TON of other bands.  So, the schedule was tight.  Billy Joe did not cotton to being told when to stop playing.

So, when the power went out, we were all expecting the worst.  Since this was a corporate gig, he also knows no one is really there to see him.  We didn't save our hard earned cash to see Green Day.  It all adds up to a potential meltdown from the band.  They would get paid either way.

Nope.  Instead, Billy Joe became a hero.  A goddamn deity.  Billy Joe picks up his acoustic guitar, which no one can hear beyond the first few rows.  Billy led a sing along.  He switched over to songs he knew we would all know.  Mind you, no one at this show paid.  So, in theory, none of these folks are Green Day fans.  We were there for free beer and music and free food.

I found some more footage.  Billy Joe isn't leaving.  He sits out in that ugly cold ass San Francisco rain and we have a concert anyway.  I wish I could embed it here, but it appears a myriad of copyrights doesn't really allow that.

And here is another great moment.  The only mic that didn't go dark was the backstage managers.  So, they took that.  The guitar sounds like shit because it was a battery powered practice amp at the same time.

Billy leads the first few rows into a sing along… which caught on like the wave in a football stadium.  Soon, Billy has the whole crowd of a baseball stadium singing along.  It was a campfire thing.  He only did songs he knew everyone would know.  For half an hour he said on his monitor in the dark and kept us all entertained.  Remember, this is a torrential rain storm.  Billy Joe sat in the rain and sang songs with all of us until the power came back on about 30 minutes later.  When it did come on, he apologized to us!

Then, to make things even better, he played the only Green Day song I love.  So, then I went super nuts.  I had told my wife earlier that night it was the only song I wanted to hear.  I said “he should play ‘When I come Around’ and then leave.  That is almost what happened.  We all sat in the pouring rain, drunk, singing along to ‘Time of your Life’ and ‘Wake me up….’ And then with some power (only the guitar was working, which was fine by me) he did ‘When I come Around’.

So, it should have been a disaster.  Instead, he gave us the concert experience of a lifetime.  I do not make that comment lightly, either. I have literally seen everyone in rock live.


Kevin of Parker said…
More proof that Billie Joe is a really great guy. Man, I wish I liked their music more, but I really don't care for most of it. As a group, though, they are clearly great and genuine people.
Kevin of Parker said…
oops, forgot my link. Just found this today (March 2017)

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