I had a busy weekend. I don’t have a ton of time to write (what else is new), so let me quick talk about all that we did.
I took the day off of work on Friday, so Sara, her mom, and I went to Let’s Dish which most of you have probably never heard of. Basically, what you do is you make a bunch of restaurant quality meals, freeze them, and bring them home for later. In two hours, we made 8 meals that could serve 6 people which we split with Sara’s parents. The food is great, it makes preperation and cleanup easy, plus now we can have good meals for right around $2.50 a serving. As much as I like taking Sara out to eat, saving $20-40 on a food bill because we eat in instead of going out helps a fellow out! If you live around the Cities area, I highly recommend you check it out at least once.
The original reason why I had planned on taking Friday off of work was to check out Jimmy Eat World and Green Day who were playing at the Xcel Energy Center. I bought the tickets about 4-1/2 months ago when I had just started going out with Sara. I knew we’d still be going out at this point, so I grabbed the best tickets I could as soon as they went on sale. I don’t know whether or not Sara has been on the floor at an arena-concert before, but it’s my absolute favorite place to watch a show. Anyway, I’d seen Green Day in concert twice before, so I knew the Billie Joe Armstrong owns the crowd like nobody I’ve ever seen before.
To start things out, Jimmy Eat World played three songs that we didn’t hear as we were late. The only one that I really would’ve loved to see was “Bleed American.” I feared that they played “Hear You Me” which “our song.” Surprisingly, though, they didn’t play any of their slower songs like “Hear You Me,” “Lucky Denver Mint,” or “For Me, This Is Heaven.” Overall, I thought they brought a solid emo show. They didn’t work the crowd as well as Green Day. In fact, they didn’t really even talk to the crowd much at all. It was pretty much what I expected from them, though.
You may remember a post back in May in which I picked out the ultimate Green Day playlist. Of the 23 songs I had picked out, they played 15, so I can’t complain too much. Plus, I’ve seen them two other times and they’ve played those songs. And now… the actual playlist with my thoughts.
- American Idiot – A great opener! I’ve loved this song from the first time I’ve heard it and it was great in concert.
- Jesus Of Suburbia – It’s surprising how awesome a 10-minute long song like this can be in concert. It has so many different sounds that a person that didn’t know Green Day would think that they just played about three or four different songs.
- Holiday – Another song off of their newest disc – American Idiot. I love the cd and it was one of my favorite cd’s to listen to until someone decided they wanted to steal my car stereo and all my cds back in February. To that person, I say thanks…
- Longview – As much as I love the new songs, I came to see the songs off of Dookie. These are the songs that I absolutely grew up with. I think there is something about 7th grade that made me interested in music. As a 7th grader, I went over to the high school for the first time. Seeing all the older kids with their Nirvana, Green Day, and Smashing Pumpkins t-shirts made me want to learn a little more about these bands.
- Brainstew – One thing I haven’t yet mentioned is how awesome Billie Joe is at absolutely working a crowd. Before this song, he would play one or two simple notes on a guitar and people would go nuts. I knew exactly what song he was going into, but it was awesome nonetheless.
- Jaded – Of the super-fast Green Day tunes, this one comes in at number two to “Platypus” but it’s still a solid pick. I am pretty confident that this was Sara’s least favorite song, but she was a good sport.
- When I Come Around – For some reason, I didn’t think they played this song. The songlist tells me otherwise, though. Anyway, this is another song that brings me back. This might be my favorite music video of the 90’s after “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
- All By Myself – Can’t say I’ve ever seen this in concert before! I don’t know if it was planned or spontaneous, but Tre Cool obviously was funny.
- She – I was extremely surprised they played this song. I thought this one would be one of those great songs that just doesn’t quite make the playlist in concert… kind of like how Blink-182 used to never play my favorite Blink song Josie in concert.
- Basketcase – As much as I might love every other Green Day song, this is the song that I first think of when I think of the band Green Day. This song is as awesome now in concert as it was the first time I heard it in the 7th grade.
- Knowledge – As usual, Green Day pulls three members out of the crowd to play drums, bass, and guitar. The bass player went nuts when he was selected. He was wearing those nerdy-but-cool looking Weezer classics to which Billie Joe referred to when he said “Calm down Rivers.” He then pulled a 10-year old named Rocky which prompted the inevitable “Rocky” chant from the crowd to play guitar. At the end of the song, I saw perhaps the most shocking thing I’ve ever seen at a show. The weirdo/bass guiatar player lifted the bass over his head and smashed it twice before getting pulled of the stage by security. Craziness!
- 2,000 Light Years – I wasn’t at all surprised that they played this song as it’s a song Billie Joe wrote about his then-girlfriend and current wife. She actually lived in Minnesota. They met at a concert at the U of M and he wrote this song about how it sucked that they lived so far apart.
- Are We The Waiting/St. Jimmy – Again, it was a longer song like “Jesus of Suburbia,” but they did a great job of keeping the crowd interested. Billie Joe does so many things to work the crowd… he absolutely is the best live frontman I’ve ever seen. As much as I love Blink-182, he made them look amateur-ish when they opened for them at the Pop Disaster tour the last time I saw them in concert.
- Hitchin a Ride – On the ride to the concert, we were listening to Green Day’s greatest hits cd and I proclaimed this song the most underrated Green Day song ever. It’s a great tune that most non-fans don’t instantly recognize. I highly recommend checking this one out, though.
- King For a day – This is one of the most fun songs that Green Day plays. I was a little surprised they still played it because it wasn’t a radio hit. Billie Joe puts on a crown and cape while the rest of the band wears stupid costumes.
- Wake Me Up When September Ends – For those of you who have seen this video, you know it’s a pretty emotional song. Another thing that I haven’t mentioned is that throughout the whole concert, Billie Joe was making political statement after political statement. I, for one, thought it was kind of cool because I think kids between 15-25 (which was the bulk of the crowd) are still very impressionable and need to be exposed to politics. At least two full generations grew up without any political influence from their musicians whatsoever, so it’s nice to see a band that preaches about something bigger than themselves.
- Boulevard of Broken Dreams – This was Sara’s favorite song in concert and I have to admit that it was a great as well. Although it was extremely overplayed on the radio, it’s a great song that bridges the gap from Green Day of old to the Green Day of new.
- Maria – Again, I was surprised they played this song as it was never a hit, but it’s a good song. At this point, I remember wondering if they were going to play *anything* off of Warning which I thought was a great, underrated album…
- Minority – …it’s as if they were listening! I was a little bummed that this was the only song they played off of Warning. I would’ve loved to have seen “Warning,” “Waiting,” or “Macy’s Day Parade.” I wasn’t devestated because I’ve seen them all in concert before, though.
- We Are The Champions – I was a little surprised by this. They played the entire song and then Tre Cool smashed his drums as the rest of the band walked off stage. Sidenote – why is Green Day considered three guys when Jason White always plays guitar on all the new songs. There are seriously like six people who regularly contribute to the band, though. At some point in the encore, they also played a medley that included “Shout” and “Stand By Me.” Very cool!
- Minnesota Girl – This was a song that Billie Joe wrote about his wife Adrienne. He apparently had never performed the song live before, so it was cool. I wish I could find a copy of this song… if anyone knows where I can get it, let me know!
- Time of Your Life – Billie Joe stood out on the catwalk which split the crowd and played this song all by himself. It’s one of my favorite slower tunes of all-time. All in all, it was a very solid way to finish off a show.
A line I read in the Star Tribune’s review of the concert said Green Day “came off like a classic-rock group worth the $350 that some veterans are now charging — much less the $45 that it actually cost.” That pretty much sums up exactly how I feel. Green Day completely owned the stage. Sometimes when at a concert, I can’t wait for the next song or I can’t wait until they play some of their better songs. With Green Day, I was captivated by every minute of every song. I have seen hundreds of bands in concert but this was quite possibly my absolute favorite concert of all-time.
We also checked out Ikea for an amazing five hours on Saturday before heading back to Sara’s parents house. Sunday was a pretty mellow day that involved doing homework, watching the Vikings absolutely stink up the joint, and also putting in a couple hours at work.
I apologize that the updates have been few and far between lately. I am extremely busy right now. I work until 3:30 every day and then I go to cross country for at least two hours. After that, I’ve got to get some supper and occassionally get a run in. After supper, I’ve been doing school work at least four days a week for an hour or so at a time. By the time I’m done with homework, I’m so sick of the computer that I don’t want to touch it again until the morning. The good news is that I’m done with my first class two weeks from tomorrow and then I get a one-week break before I start up again. I can’t wait! I’m liking my classes, but it’s highly time consuming and highly frustrating at times. Hopefully, one day it will all be worth it.
If you’re out on your bike tonight, do wear white,