Written by Samuel Barker
Oct 20, 2004 at 08:00 PM
Mike DirntLadies and Gentlemen, it is official. Green Day has completed their transformation from snot nosed pop punk band tearing up the tiny stage at Gilman Street to Arena Rock Gods. While I missed the appeal American Idiot after hearing it on album, seeing them in a live setting showed the maturity of the band and the completion of their transformation.Opening with the album’s title track (and tour name) American Idiot, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool exploded on the stage with jumps, pounding beats and immeasurable energy. The audience responded accordingly with lyrics being screamed back in unison. Task one of the Arena Rock Deity Test was passed.

With Jesus of Suburbia, Green Day worked on their first epic from American Idiot, and their first big test. Could they pull off all the changes and add the live edge to the song? It didn’t take too long into the songs to see they could do it with relative ease. The band played the parts out and used the audience to give the highs of the story and whirling round of applause and the hushed moments an easier vibe.

Even when they closed with the second epic of the nigh, Homecoming, Green Day brought out some backing musicians to contribute vocals and bring the production of the album version of the song to the live setting. This seamless transition helped the band pass their second objective with flying colors.

Next up was fitting a good helping of old favorites in with the new. With the center meat of the set containing classics such as Longview, Brainstew, Jaded, Basketcase and the encore ending on Good Riddance, Green Day brought the hits from a decade back for everyone to enjoy. Objective three: Complete.

The final is giving the audience something to remember. Most of these moments came during the band’s cover of Operation Ivy’s Knowledge. For people who have seen the band before, it hasn’t changed too much, but seeing it again is just as fun as the first time. Having audience members come up and rock gives everyone the feeling that they could do it too. Perhaps the next Arena Rock Gods were in the audience that night and got the idea to rock from seeing a peer pull off the 3 magic chords from the song. Objective Four: Perfect.

Despite people in the punk scene trying to slag the band for becoming a household name, Green Day has never changed their intentions or made anything that didn’t directly relate to themselves. If anything they used it as a platform to create something they believed in. After seeing the live version of the songs from American Idiot, the album makes a lot more sense today. For this, don’t miss out on this tour. See the band now that they are Arena Rock Gods and know someday you could be there too.