I had argued that it wasn’t a good idea to bring Bare back to New York, at least not in a very, very expensive way. I knew the writers had good intentions, but really, this revival was unnecessary as last year’s revival of Rent. I saw the third-to-last performance last Saturday and although I did enjoy watching it, the one word that absolutely describes it is contrived

The popular jock and the nerdy gay boy get into a relationship? Check. The jock is insecure with himself and sleeps with the stereotypical slutty chick? Check. The stereotypical slutty chick ends up getting pregnant because, of course, they didn’t use a condom? Check. The typical nice high school guy gets screwed over when trying to court the stereotypical slutty chick? Check. I can’t think of one scenario in Bare that I hadn’t seen played out somewhere else before last Saturday. The high schoolers were all caricatures of every type you’d expect.

That said: I enjoyed myself. The set was super cool, some of the music was melodic, the cast was great. and I felt like I was experiencing part of musical theatre history. This show had high hopes of getting to Broadway in 2004 before the Dodgers went broke (and apparently it was a completely different show back then – maybe less contrived?). I had many friends who’d loved it, though I’d never had the chance to see it. 

Alex Wyse was completely fantastic as Peter, and Jason Hite was good as Jason (although his voice got a bit whiny at times). I enjoyed seeing Missi Pyle onstage. This was also my first time seeing Gerard Canonico in a non-ensemble role and he was quite great. He has a great voice, and he moves really well (I completely missed this someone in American Idiot).  

While I’m glad I got to experience it, I think Bare may have been better left in the time capsule back in 2004, as it was just no longer as edgy as it probably was back then. 


Pinch me.

I was convinced I was being punk’d until I finally saw my name on the list inside the door of The Studio at Webster Hall. The Studio is a small underground bar that holds around 300 people. Did I really see my favorite band in a venue that wasn’t big enough to fit my graduating class from high school? Yes. Was I really three people from the stage the entire time? Yes. Did I survive the roughness up front of some obnoxious fans and almost get kicked in the face by Michael Esper? Mhmm. I was there.  

I usually never line up outside venues before concerts but since The Studio was so small and I was excited, I decided to get there early. I expected nearly every one of the 300 people to get there extremely early, but only about 60 did. I arrived down on East 11th Street around 7:15pm after grabbing dinner and cash and a little while later my friend Ben met me, and later Andrew and his brother joined us. There were several other concerts at Webster Hall that night and whenever someone asked us, “Who are you on line for?” and we’d reply, “Green Day!” They’d always respond with a look of shock and say, “Green Day?! They’re playing here?! No way!” The guys in front of us found out that Green Day was planning on doing 25 new songs and then a set of greatest hits.  I was stoked (and nervous that I’d be out until 4am, but more excited, really). I also found out via the fantastic people of Twitter that a band (called No-No Spot) comprised of Gerard Canonico, John Gallagher Jr., and Michael Esper (as well as a fantastic guitarist named Aaron Lee Tasjan) would be opening.

As expected, the guys rocked it out. Esper is a fantastic guitarist and I always love watching him jam. Esper and Gallagher split the vocals on the songs for the most part. Canonico is a fantastic drummer, too (which we already knew). Tasjan was also awesomely fun to watch.

Around 11:45pm, Green Day took the stage and it got rough down front. There was definitely a large presence of douche in The Studio, but we overcame, I suppose (and pushed back at times).  I was three people from the stage. It was pretty awesome. They were all in costume (BJA was reminiscent as Jack Skeleton, Dirnt was a zombie, Tre was a pink fairy, and I’ll guess that Jason White was a mad hatter) and opened with The Monster Mash (listen here!), which included the insertion of Basketcase lyrics at one point, and beautiful back-up vocals by Rebecca Naomi Jones and Alysha Umphress.  

They played a long list of new songs punctured by two Foxboro Hot Tub’s songs (Stop, Drop, and Roll and It’s Fuck Time) as well as a cover or two. All of the new material was top-notch; I can’t wait to hear what makes it onto their next album.  Everyone in attendance went absolutely batshit when the guys started to play the opening chords for Fuck Time. How can you not love that song? Billie Joe hung from the club’s piping, crowd surfed, and even threw an obnoxious crowd surfer off stage.  

I couldn’t wait to hear what songs they’d choose for their encore of “old” songs. They started off with Murder City, which I’d never heard live (admittedly I haven’t heard MOST of their songs live, sadly) but it’s a track that I love. It was during this song the obnoxious crowd surfer was thrown onstage, knocking over BJA’s mic stand so he stopped singing, but kept playing and the crowd kept up with the lyrics. He picked up right where we left off without a hitch. They played Letterbomb next, which I swore Rebecca Jones would probably get onstage for but alas, she did not. Michael Esper did crowd surf though! As much as I love the all-female girl power orchestration of Letterbomb from the stage, I can’t help but love it more seeing it performed by the guys who wrote it. It’s just such an awesome song.

The other “old songs” included Going to Pasalacqua, Hitchin’ A Ride, Welcome to Paradise (a song they didn’t do at PNC last summer that I was disappointed about – score!), Geek Stink Breath, Paper Lanterns, She, 2000 Light Years Away (I wonder if Adrienne Armstrong ever gets tired of hearing this?), and 1000 Hours (if I missed any, let me know – also click here to see the new song setlist).  They’d had enough around 2am and we dispersed with new faith in good music and the inability to hear anything but ringing in our ears.  I spotted Libby Winters and Theo Stockman also in attendance afterward, as well as Joseph Gordon-Levitt! (Talk about random!)

Needless to say it was an epic night. I got home at 2:30am and went to sleep around 3am (much more easily than I expected since my head was pounding!). It was being digitally recorded (picture and sound) from all angles so I think we’ll see footage on the next album extras.  My photos are almost all blurry or overexposed, but if you want to take a look at the rest, they’re over here.