Green Day, Jimmy Eat World
Monday, Sept. 12
In a padded, egomanical but ultimately satisfying performance Monday at Conseco Fieldhouse, Green Day played their biggest hits, displayed tons of energy and parlayed their pop-punk sound into a new style of arena rock, a style in which everyone from 5-year-olds to O.G. punks join in on the fun.
Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong thrashes on "American Idiot" Monday at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Starting with "American Idiot," the vaguely subversive title track from their latest album, Green Day put on a two-hour show that was full of time-killing between songs, at least two introductions of the band, pulling audience members onto stage to play and roughly 75 statements that "Indianapolis rocks."
"Sing so fucking loud so every redneck in America can hear us," singer Billie Joe Armstrong said during the instrumental break.
With 16-plus years of material to draw upon, one'd think that Green Day would have more than enough songs to fill a two-hour show. But their lead singer has taken a Jesus turn of late, striking messianic poses and fondling himself in between performing the songs whose lyrics have been quoted in the inscriptions of high school yearbooks everywhere over the last decade.
When the band did stop messing around and actually played, they were tight, as usual. "Jesus of Suburbia" had the crowd swaying early on in the set. Its undeniable passion and energy set the tone for a quality night of pop music. "St. Jimmy," however, suffered from a lackluster presentation.
In a near-capacity crowd whose median age was approximately 14, songs such as the Beatles-esque "Wake Me Up When September Comes" spoke directly to the audience.
Sure, Green Day took the sound of the Clash, de-politicized it and made millions off it, but that doesn't mean they don't write great, catchy songs. They're no less manufactured a product than, say, the Backstreet Boys, but that's not an insult to either group. Each fills a market niche.
Again, just about the show's only flaw was the ceaseless chatting and waving between songs. What could have been a tight 90-minute set stretched out as Armstrong blathered on and on.
Openers Jimmy Eat World wasted no time. Their 30-minute set was played at a Ramones-like frenzy, with nary a spare second. It was an excellent, well-performed opening set that could have been twice as long.
At any rate, Green Day reaches the masses like no other "punk" band does. And, for that, they deserve some credit. Next time, though, less talk and more rock.