Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Greenday @ Cricket Pavilion

Somehow Billie Joe still has it. I'm not saying he shouldn't have it. I don't think anyone's saying that. I'm certainly not. But, even so, it was refreshing to see someone really attempting to connect with their fans, and seriously rock the house. And in a pair of red and black striped pants and spotted socks, I think he did it.

I think some people are surprised how often I say "I'm not really a fan, but..." in my blogs... so, why stop now? In fact, I was pretty ANTI-Green Day when they really hit hard with the Dookie album. Not because I was a too-cool-for-school-hardcore-true-punk-fan-from-way-back or anything... in fact, I liked 'real' punk even less. I just never liked the 'cleverness' or goofiness to the band back then... fitting words like "melodramatic" into a pop song, and butchering the pronunciation of it to fit the timing. I always grouped them in with the way Ben Folds' lyrics turn my blood and make me want to lobotomize myself. (Or just turn the station) But, that said, I've grown to appreciate them over the years. They fill a gap. And they are very entertaining to watch live.

I shot them last time they were here, at the considerably larger US Airways Center... so they're hugeness may have waned slightly, but they still sufficiently rocked the house. The house, which was only about a quarter full while the opening band (AFI) was playing... did eventually fill up nicely. The stage show was only slightly scaled back from that of the previous show. A lot of the same lights and screens... minus a catwalk and the side perches... but Cricket sort of has those built in anyways.

We photogs were told we'd only get to shoot 2 songs for Greenday, but that the second song would be quite a bit extended. Which, it was. Billie Joe jumped off the stage and ran into the audience... he went searching for a fan and brought him on stage. The fan got to run around on stage, sing a couple of backing vocals, then Billie Joe cleared a space for him... and instructed him to dive off center stage. The kid couldn't believe his luck. I said this before I think... but Green Day had just then turned that kid into a fan for life, and probably made his whole year just then. And what did that cost Green Day?

Lighting, if I'm honest, was good, if a bit boring. Lots of white light meant you could take your time with exposure and get a nice pic... but it wasn’t anything crazy. And the city skyline and flames on the LED screens were a bit, cheesy. But, it was color... and what's the alternative? Rush's shows are crazy, but you don't even know what the hell you're looking at. To be fair, I'm sure the lighting picked up later in the show, they did have a bunch of gear. But I can't complain. This is one of those bands where, if you didn't get nice shots, you probably had the lens cap on.

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