Over the weekend: Green Day at Pepsi Center

Over the weekend: Green Day at Pepsi Center
Billy Joe Armstrong engages the crowd (Aaron Thackeray)

Green Day, Franz Ferdinand
Pepsi Center

Saturday, August 15, 2009
Better than: Hanging out with eleven-year-olds at an indoor recreation center.

The members of Green Day and their crew tried with all their might to summon the spirit of an old school punk show in the vast spaces of the Pepsi Center on Saturday night.
From the first chords of the opening tune, "Songs of the Century/21st Century Breakdown," frontman Billy Joe exhorted the crowd to emulate an audience at a cramped punk club. Joe encouraged the masses to pack in as close to the stage as possible, he regularly urged audience members toward crowd surfing and he made a point to regularly interact with the fans.

Over the weekend: Green Day at Pepsi Center
Billy Joe Armstrong (Aaron Thackeray)

While Green Day managed to temporarily whitewash this element in their energy and participatory flair, it was impossible to escape entirely. If the music retained the power chords, the defiant lyrics and the speedy tempos of the punk genre, it seemed to have lost its original power to offend and alienate.And in my mind, that power one of the music's most fundamental draws.

Critic's Notebook:
Personal Bias:
Most of the affecting moments came from the performances off of the Dookie album. Songs like "Longview" and "Basket Case" summoned long dormant memories from high school.
Random detail: At one point, the LCD screen at the back of the stage featured a collage of vintage punk posters, including hand-drawn posters for Fugazi, Operation Ivy and Vandals concerts.
By the way: Billy Joe referenced another large-scale rock show at the Pepsi Center from the past year. "This is not fucking Coldplay. Get your asses up," he insisted before beginning "The Static Age."

Green Day
Pepsi Center - 08/15/09

1. Song of The Century / 21st Century Breakdown
2. Know Your Enemy
3. East Jesus Nowhere
4. Holiday
5. The Static Age
6. Before the Lobotomy
7. Are We the Waiting
8. St. Jimmy
9. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
10. Murder City
11. Hitchin' A Ride
12. Welcome To Paradise
13. Going To Pasalacqua
14. When I Come Around
15. You Really Got Me (The Kinks cover)
16. Brain Stew
17. Jaded
18. Longview
19. Basket Case
20. She
21. King For A Day / Shout (The Isley Brothers cover)
22. 21 Guns
24. American Eulogy

Encore I
1. American Idiot
2. Jesus Of Suburbia
3. Minority

Encore II
1. Last Night on Earth
2. Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)

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