Friday, December 11, 2009

Epic Gig Flail Post : starring the owners of my soul

Must blog before adrenaline wears off!

My ears are ringing, the muscles in my legs are aching, bruises are no doubt forming on my arms, I have a spasm in my neck, not to mention the fact that my neck is stained bright red thanks to the fact that I had my hair done today and the colour has come off second best to the mosh. Oh, and I really need a shower. But you know what? I don't care. I really do not care one single bit, because right now, in this very moment in time, I am one hundred and ten percent content. Happier than I have been in quite some time in fact. You see, I have just returned from the first Green Day gig, and am so ecstatically happy that I could die right now and have no regrets.

Oh boys, what you do to me. No other band makes me feel like this. No other band has this effect on me. There isn't a single other band that I lose absolutely all inhibitions for, that I scream and yell for, that I sing out every word as if my entire existence depends on it, and that I follow every command without even thinking about it. Green Day own my soul, I gave it to them a long time ago, and they have never, ever let me down.

Say what you want about the band, they really are just fantastic live. Absolutely fucking fantastic. The entire time they are on stage, they give it their all, and they are there to entertain, make no mistake about it. Seriously, they could have the shittiest day personally but you wouldn't even know. When they step on that stage, they are there, one hundred percent committed.

The thing I love most about their live shows is the intimacy they manage to create. It may be an arena, or a stadium, or whatever, but they just engage with the audience on so many levels and really strive to interact with everyone, that it feels like it might as well be in someone's living room. Tonight, not even two songs in, Billie Joe was already in the stands, draping his guitar over some unsuspecting man. There were the usual antics with getting audience members on stage to sing and spray us with waterguns, and the constant singing back at them. There was also a t-shirt gun (bazooka?) which I found utterly hilarious...and evidently Billie did too. But that's the thing, you are constantly involved as an audience, and that creates a level of intimacy that many other bands could only ever dream of achieving. You can tell the band is enjoying it, that they absolutely love playing and entertaining, and I think that makes you love it even more.

I brought Roze along as her Christmas present (it was supposed to be The Offspring originally, but they cancelled their tour) and she is one hell of a gig buddy. Totally fearless. Before I even knew what was happening we had shuffled forward to four rows back from the stage, and so ended up in all the mosh action for the night. Before this however, we were intrigued by a guy sitting around reading by himself and Roze in her infinite wisdom started a conversation with him. So we made a friend, who hung out with us the entire night. Win. I also got talking to another girl and her boyfriend, and it was just lovely. Absolutely lovely. The crowd were in general very well behaved. I was expecting us to be crushed in the rush forward when the lights went down, but no one moved. What a change. Obviously in the mosh it is unavoidable to receive a windmilling arm in the face or a finger in the eye, or a knee in the shoulder as one girl clambered onto her boyfriend's shoulders, but hey, whatever. If you're going to complain about things like that, you have no business being in the mosh in the first place.

Things didn't take long to get started either. Jet was the only support and they were way better than I expected them to be. Also oddly attractive on stage. Further proof that any guy automatically looks more attractive with a guitar slung over his shoulder. Nic's guitar was gorgeous, while we're on the topic. I actually want their new album, I love all the singles off it. I feel sort of sorry for them, people give them a bit of a hard time in general and I can't even imagine how tough it must be when your first single is a huge smash like 'Are you gonna be my girl?' The pressure of topping that must be immense. But anyway, I enjoyed their set. Much old school rocking out. Good times.

The Green Day boys however are in a league of their own. Seeing them play the same place I'd seen other bands play, really makes it stand out even more. For exampe, I have seen both Fall Out Boy and Panic At The Disco (sans !) play at the Acer and I was quite underwhelmed because it seemed too big and empty, the sound too crappy, the extras too sparse (or in Panic's case far too dominating). I blamed the venue for that, arena shows generally tend to be a bit lacking in those departments. Tonight though...holy hell. It's the band, the way they approach the venue and their audience, that makes all the difference. Those two bands have never even entered the same galaxy as what Green Day did tonight. They really are just that good.

The stage set-up was gorgeous. They had a hug electronic backdrop that had a foreground of monitors, set up in the same shape a city skyline would be. At first it was illuminated as buildings against a night sky, but every song had something different happening. It was never domineering or overwhelming, just the perfect balance to accentuate the show. At one point it was a bunch of televisions stacked on top of each other, and the top section started falling and crashing to the ground. There were also cameras running about so that was often projected onto the backing screen. It was all so brilliantly done...I don't even have the words to do a proper description of it all. I always tip my hat to any band that brings out a proper stage show cause hardly anyone ever does it for us here. We had everything tonight though, pyrotechnics that kept going, those flame throwers things (my personal favourite, I love when you're close enough to feel the heat off them), and confetti canons. Huzzah!

The boys themselves were just wonderful too. It is ridiculous how much I love them, seriously. Tre was in fine mad hatter form, Mike was fierce, Billie....oh Billie. The man can do no wrong. He just gets better with age. They have so much energy, it's unbelievable. I don't know how they ever manage to film them, they never stand still. Both Jason's were fabulous too and they had a guy on back-up guitar and vocals (and all sorts of other things) I hadn't seen before and who was totally cute. In general I just want to kidnap them all and keep them in my closet. It's getting very crowded in there.

I can't fault the setlist either. They have such an immense back catalogue that it's impossible to know what you actually want to hear. That's another thing I love about this band, they were on stage for almost 3 hours and they never stop. There's no pointless nattering in between, it's just entertainment city central. It is very rare to get a band who plays as long and as hard as they do. They really make every second (and every cent) worth it. They played 'Hitchin' a ride' and 'She' which is all I ever ask for. 'The King for a day/Shout' medley had the brilliant inclusions of 'Suspicious minds', 'Satisfaction' and 'Hey Jude.' At some point there was also a brief cover of 'Highway to Hell.' It makes me stupidly happy though when they announce the last song and it's 'Jesus of Suburbia'. It's over seven minutes long, that is value for a last song. Also a blatant lie, since the last song was 'Last night on earth' morphing into 'Wake me up when September ends' (which still gives me goosebumps) morphing into 'Good Riddance' - of course, as if we'd go home before we heard that one.

Gah. Everything was just perfect. Utterly, utterly perfect. It reminds me why I love them as much as I do. I'm now seriously considering going to tomorrow, or rather tonight's show as well.

I just want to live like this forever.

Music: The ringing in my ears. I'm so going to be deaf before I'm 40.
Mood: Blissful. Happy. Content. Ecstatic. Jubilant. You name it.

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