Green Day, Starry Night

I don't make it to many live music shows these days, being a mom pushing 40 who likes her beauty sleep and all. But when my super-cool, well-connected friends Dan and Jenna Adler practically hand me prime tickets and say, "Do you want to go?", I go! So last night I took the boys to the Green Day concert in Chula Vista (south of San Diego but not quite to Mexico). The venue was an outdoor amphitheater and it was a clear, beautiful summer night. And what a show. I know this phrase gets overused, but I don't know how else to say it: I was blown away.

I have always liked Green Day's music and their their gritty, Bay Area-roots story. And, though I might not share all the views expressed in their songs, I love that Billie Joe Armstrong consistently takes on and grapples with real life--politics, religion, culture, relationships--in an intelligent, often poetic way. But I had never seen Green Day perform live--and this is where the blown away part comes in. Their musicianship and sheer passion made for an electrifying show. I know that live concerts are supposed to be that way, but they aren't always, so I don't take it for granted.

A punk band may not take this as a compliment (they'd probably rather I said that they were obnoxious and rude), but Green Day were total professionals, without sacrificing any of the raw energy and rebelliousness that defines punk. Trust me, there were plenty of f-bombs, loud explosions, and awesome pyrotechnics--they haven't lost their edge. But there was none of the jaded, I don't know what city I'm in or what day it is attitude that you sometimes get from touring musicians who have made it big. There was no posing or trying to look cool--they worked. They sweated (there was real fire on that stage!) They brought so much heart and authenticity to the show that I felt honored, and respected, in being there. Again, probably not what a rock band wants to hear from a soccer mom, but there you have it.

two generations
punk, passion, pyrotechnics
Green Day, starry night