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Green Day/Blink 182 review

Old 05-01-02, 12:38 PM
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Green Day/Blink 182 review

This from Billboard's website:


Pop Disaster Tour / April 24, 2002 / Los Angeles (Great Western Forum)


Celebrating the relatively recent marketability of punk rock, the MTV-backed Pop Disaster tour bounced into Los Angeles this week with a cartoon-y mayhem: a safely canned package of three chords, obligatory cursing, and bratty kiss-offs to mom and dad. The concert cast Green Day in the role of punk elders, showing up Blink-182 with a confidence and efficiency that the latter has not yet mastered.

While Green Day and Blink-182, the two most successful punk bands ever, present a similar brand of pop-leaning snottiness, the Pop Disaster tour felt a bit forced. It's Green Day who led punk's revival in the '90s with its 1994 set "Dookie," and Blink-182 who later hitched a ride on the latter's wallet-chain, distilling Green Day's high school anthems down to their most juvenile aspects.

But it was only a matter of time before a corporate committee would try to put the two together -- Green Day to show it can still relate to the kids, and Blink-182 to drum up some attention for its slowly fading "Take Off Your Pants and Jacket" album. But when you let a second-rate Green Day perform after the real Green Day, the end result is a nearly three-hour show that stumbles to a close.

It's a pity, then, that Green Day not only devoted too much of its 70 minutes to crowd-pandering cheerleading, but failed to deviate from a predictably safe setlist. Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong, looking rather mod-like in a black shirt and skinny tie, would routinely break from his tightly-packed melodies and cocky snarl to lead the audience on a number of unnecessary shout-alongs, even resorting to cliched arena moves like covering the Isley Brothers' "Shout."

The band was most successful when it channeled a Ramones-like intensity on the back-to-back punch of "Basket Case," "She," and "King for a Day," or the chomping guitar of "Brain Stew." Drummer Tre Cool held the rhythm with a steady punk showmanship, constantly flaring his drumsticks high above his head to bat at unseen gnats, while bassist Mike Dirnt roamed across the stage to define such predatory melodies as "Hitchin' a Ride."

But while Green Day has taken the reliability of the Buzzcocks and melded it with the suburban silliness of Screeching Weasel, Blink-182 continues to miss the point. The band's weaknesses were apparent right from the start with opener "Anthem Pt. 2," a haphazardly constructed number in which the spindly chords of guitarist Tom DeLonge futilely stretched for something memorable.

Even after delving into more serious topics like suicide and divorce, songs are still second to the band's childish schtick, the kind of non-offensive potty humor that frat boys eat up. "We like to have sex with dead people," DeLonge said before launching into "What's My Age Again?," a strong song DeLonge wasted by chirping his younger-brother-whine into every open space.

Travis Barker may be punk's most critically hyped drummer, but his hardcore pummeling provided a weight that DeLonge and bassist Mark Hoppus were seldom able to sustain. Only the bed-jumping sing-along of "All the Small Things," and the grungy drive of "Stay Together for the Kids," provided room for Barker's multi-colored touches.

Blink-182 is punk rock as spectacle, a notion underscored when the band arrived for its encore with Barker strapped in front of his drum kit on a suspended rotating platform. The crowd may have cheered as Barker spun above his bandmates, but it was the kind of staged shenanigan that punk was created to erase.

One was reminded of a moment earlier in the evening when Green Day snatched up three members of the audience to run through Operation Ivy's "Knowledge." "Three chords, that's all you need to know," Armstrong told a budding guitarist. Green Day's songs have endured because the focus has always been on the tune, not the foolish antics between them.
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Old 05-01-02, 12:42 PM
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A decent review. Green Day has always been one of my guilty pleasures. They do have a great knack for writing memorable tunes. I can't believe that Blink 182 is actually headlining over them...a pure travesty.
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Old 05-01-02, 01:30 PM
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Uh, really. The review pretty much slammed both bands I thought.
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Old 05-01-02, 01:41 PM
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Originally posted by cdollaz
Uh, really. The review pretty much slammed both bands I thought.
I don't think Green Day was slammed at all. Just because the reviewer wasn't fawning over their performance doesn't mean he was slamming it. They criticized Green Day, yes, but also made statements like...

But when you let a second-rate Green Day perform after the real Green Day, the end result is a nearly three-hour show that stumbles to a close. ...

The band was most successful when it channeled a Ramones-like intensity on the back-to-back punch of "Basket Case," "She," and "King for a Day," or the chomping guitar of "Brain Stew."

Green Day's songs have endured because the focus has always been on the tune, not the foolish antics between them.
Still don't think I'll be attending this show when it hits my town. Don't care for Blink 182 and Green Day is a good radio band, but not a must-see live band for me. Plus, my tolerance for 14 year olds is not as high as it used to be...
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Old 05-01-02, 08:05 PM
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JEW

I went to the San Diego show. Thought it was great. Growing up in SD, I've seen Blink probably about 10 times now. I saw them before they even had a CD out. To me, they've always been entertaining, and they are constantly improving. I'd say they've gotten better with every CD. They've always had the same sense of humor, and I don't recall seeing too many Frat-boys/13 year old girls at their concerts back in 96'-97. That's just the price of fame and making the cut on TRL.
I will say that compared to Blink, Green Day seemed like true professionals(which might not be a good thing, considering this is supposed to be punk rock). They really knew how to work the crowd, and thier sound was perfect. (Blink sounded pretty bad, the guitar was turned up way too loud. Maybe thier sound guy was wasted) To me, Blink just sounds better in a smaller venue.


Oh yeah, Jimmy Eat World stole the show. They were *****ing awesome!
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Old 05-22-02, 12:00 AM
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Saw them Sunday night in Raleigh only because I had free tickets. I've seen the bands before but wanted to see Jimmy Eat World again; I'm crazy about them. Green Day was great but I get pissed off when Billie Jo starts manipulating the crowd. He had them in the palm of their hand. I ended up leaving after two Blink 182 songs...I can't stand them anymore. I absolutely despise arena shows. Especially huge "punk" concerts...it's gotten ridiculous. I hope Jimmy Eat World doesn't get too much more popular...they have too much talent to be turned into radio-friendly arena crap...
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