Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/7/2009 (4531 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It was a weird day in Winnipeg Thursday, with the sky changing from grey to blue to black.
Inside the MTS Centre though, it was nothing but a green day.
Make that Green Day, the California trio who helped get punk on the radio 15 years ago and have recently turned it on its head again with two sprawling concept albums, the Grammy-winning American Idiot and the new 21st Century Breakdown.
Call them mature, complex, arty, whatever -- live they still come across as three snotty punks with a knack for writing melodic, catchy three-chord punk who enjoying swearing and don't mind going for a cheap laugh with a guy dressed up in a pink bunny suit.
Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong showed he meant business right off the top by ordering the crowd of 7,000 to stand up.
"This is a (freaking) rock 'n' roll concert. It's (freaking) real tonight. Get your (freaking) asses off those (freaking) seats," he screamed in the middle of opening number 21st Century Breakdown.
You can guess what he said in the freaking brackets.
Everyone got up and so did Armstrong -- during the second song, Know Your Enemy, he left the stage and wandered into the crowd with his guitar and played a few chords in the seats with the fans before getting back on the large stage backed by a giant LCD display that flashed images of cityscapes, flames, war, a giant green gas mask and the band's lyrics.
Armstrong continued the antics early on, pulling a girl out of the crowd to stand on stage where he serenaded her at the end of East Jesus Nowhere before she was literally blown on her butt when a flash bomb went off to end the song.
There were more explosions and fireworks during American Idiot's driving Holiday, a sax solo in the middle of the classic-rock-meets-Ramones-flavoured Static Age and plenty of crowd singalongs. Later there was pyro and fans were invited onstage to shoot a giant water bazooka into the crowd before Armstrong shot T-shirts at them.
Much like their recent albums, Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool, along with an extra guitarist and keyboard, made sure the show had a distinct ebb and flow. The first half of the set was dominated by new material from the last two albums before they pulled out the mid-1990s hits like Nimrod's Hitching a Ride, Insomniac's Brain Stew and Longview (with the verses handled by fans pulled from the crowd) and Basket Case from their 1994 breakthrough album, Dookie.
Speaking of old times, the band's entire crew, including Cool and Dirnt, visited their old stomping ground, the Royal Albert, Wednesday night to check out Noise Complaint, a band made up of some of the band's techs. Green Day played the bar in 1992, which Armstrong mentioned on stage prior to Before the Lobotomy.
Press time came before the encore, but they were scheduled to end with the ballad Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).
Opening act the Bravery worked hard to win over the Green Day fans since the two are nothing alike musically. The New York quintet specializes in jarring neo-New Wave and synth-driven pop that sounds better in a smaller space than an arena where it lost something in the translation.
. MTS Centre
. July 9
. Attendance: 7,000
.... out of five