At the Barricade // Green Day @ Webster Hall, 10.8.16

I’d spent the last number of weeks looking for an extra ticket to see Green Day at Webster Hall. I posted on the event page, on my feed, friends feeds, etc. I was super annoying. But even as Saturday approached and no ticket was in sight, this wasn’t my first time at this rodeo and I had absolute faith that I’d get in. At 2pm on Saturday as I was laying down to take a nap, I looked st my phone to find a text from a Green Day friend asking if I still needed a ticket. After she verified that she knew the person and that she was not a scammer, I happily PayPal’ed her $100 and napped for about an hour.

I met up with a few Green Day friends at Bar None before going to meet up with my new best friend. There weren’t actual tickets, so we went in (luckily avoiding the entire square block long line to get in, thank fuck) and our names were checked off a list and our wristbands slapped on. Pictures after the jump 🙂

Webster Hall was already pretty packed so instead of trying to get closer going the way that everyone else was going (ie. the side closest to the door), we went to the opposite side and got right up against the barricade – pretty much – on the side. It was a first for me to be so close to the front, albeit the side, at a Green Day show, and at first I was like ‘where are all the people coming from that security is escorting out?’ and then I realized they were likely crowd surfers. Security sometimes pushed their way through us behind the barricade, too. Well, it was something. But we were close and got lots of love from BJA and Mike during the show, which was totally fun.

They played a 36ish song set, including some throws WAYYYYYY back that I hadn’t listened to in a LONG time. I probably appreciated hearing Nice Guys Finish Last and Minority, since I’m a huge fan of Warning. I’d never heard Nice Guys live before! I also, of course, loved hearing Bang Bang and Revolution Radio performed live.

Billie rhapsodized a lot on us all being together and to forget Facebook and the news for one night and just be present. I appreciated that. Still, there were a lot of phones up the entire time. Oh well.

American Idiot was especially timely given the state of our politics. And Jesus of Suburbia… who doesn’t love a 9-minute song cycle?

After two and a half hours of jumping, dancing, screaming, and singing we were sufficiently beat. I wasn’t deaf, which was surprising given how close I was to a few speakers.

I also picked up a completely affordable $40 shirt because no trip to see Green Day is complete without that.

I felt energized and inspired leaving the East Village but also really happy to go home and sleep. Because was I ever exhausted. But it was worth it. So, so worth it.

Synchronicity

I completed my Vedic (aka Transcendental) meditation training this week and maybe I’m connecting things that are just coincidences, but after 5 days of practicing TM, I feel like there’s some synchronicity happening.

On Wednesday, I finally booked my plane ticket to Poland. That evening at the training, a couple came and the husband was Polish.

On Thursday, I was on the train home and I saw a dude wearing a Green Day t-shirt from their last world tour. Listed on the back of it was a city in Poland. Green Day had also just released Bang Bang that morning. 

Finally, yesterday I told my cousin that I was leaving for Poland on the 18th of October and she reminded me that the number 18 is a lucky number for Jews. The letters of the Hebrew word “chai” add up to 18 and I have a gold chai that I was given at my baby naming. (I just had to Google all of that, btw, because I am a #badjew.)

I was really, really confused when I first listened to Green Day’s new track, Bang Bang, from their upcoming album (!) Revolution Radio yesterday morning on Spotify. I got somewhat that it was from the POV of a mass shooter but it wasn’t until I watched the video they made accompanying the song with the lyrics that I realized, yes, this is exactly that.

And the lyrics are subtle as fuck.

Not since the band’s criticism of the Bush administration on American Idiot have they been really political or this discreet with their lyrics (in my opinion). They criticized the hell out of that administration and never once mentioned their names.

But the thing is: I’m not sure which mass shooters they’re criticizing. Billie Joe was quoted saying he was inspired to write the song and the album after joining in a march in NYC for Michael Brown and his unfortunate shooting by the police. But the song sounds much more like a commentary on the Omar Mateen’s (the Orlando shooter) of the country than a commentary on bad police shootings. Basically it sounds like he’s calling out Islamic extremism.

Before you get your panties in a twist, I think it is 100% possible to talk about Islamic extremists without painting every single Muslim as a terrorist (because they’re obviously not). If a Christian went out and killed people and said it was for Jesus, we’d have no problem calling him/her a Christian extremist without implying that all Christians are bad. So, if you can’t handle me using that phrase, than scroll to the next blog and enjoy living your life with trigger warnings. (Side note: all religions are bad, in my opinion.)

I digress. Anyways, I think this is probably the case because of the following lyrics:

I wanna be like the soldiers on the screen
It’s my private movie (Holy War)
Oh baby, baby, this is Viva Vendetta
Oh this is love or it’s World War Zero

What soldiers? Most likely ISIS since the news likes to play videos of them all the time. Holy War? Hmm. Viva Vendetta? ISIS just released a list of reasons why they hate us (meaning western culture); one of which was for invading their lands. And the lyrics,”I want to be a celebrity Martyr” just make me think this is about religion

Then again there are these lyrics that make me think it’s about the Dylan Roof’s of the country:

I am a semi-automatic lonely boy
You’re dead, I’m well fed
Give me death or give me head.

Lots of these mass shooters who haven’t been motivated by Islamic extremism often have in common that they’re loners who aren’t good with girls (give me head). They come from decent families (I’m well fed) who don’t see it coming (or maybe they did and ignored it).  

But despite the supposed-lyrics that it’s about all of the mass shooters, let’s not forget the bridge music that sounds very, very, very like Arabian/Middle Eastern music (2.05 mark in the song). The sound bites before the song starts, too, are about executions which are exclusively an ISIS/Islamic extremist practice right now (at least in the news; I know other religions have partaken throughout history, thank you). 

I really haven’t found much discussion online so I’d love to know what your take on the song is. All I know is that, despite the topic, I love the song. And I love the subtly. It’s American Idiot all over again. There are even homages paid to St. Jimmy and Letterbomb in there.

October 9th can’t get here fast enough.