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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Epic. 

Best. Concert. EVER!

Wow.

That was, without a question, the Best Concert Experience I have EVER had!!

The whole thing - just over-the-top amazing!

If you've been following my blog, you'll know that I joined Green Day's Idiot Club late last week after hearing that they had done two surprise shows in San Francisco during the week, and the only way to know about the shows, and get in, was through their "Idiot Club".

Best $20 I've spent in a long, long time.

They posted the announcement for last night's show late Saturday night, which I saw Sunday morning. The first 100 club members to send an email with their club member name and info would have 2 tickets reserved for them at Will Call. Well, I don't think I made the final cut, as they posted a list early, and I wasn't on it, but then it turns out that they opened up more tickets for the fan club, and I got in then!

The show was a the newly restored and recently reopened Fox Theater in Oakland. According to this article, the theater was originally opened in 1928, closed since 1970, and reopened on April 5th of this year, after a $75 million restoration project. The theater itself was simply gorgeous.


The Fox Theater

but i digress...

I invited my friend, Miguel, to come to the concert with me. (Unfortunately, it was too late on a school night for Dick to be able to go.) I was told that the doors for the general public would open at 7:00, but that Will Call for "Idiot Club Members" would open at 6:00, and that club members would be let into the theater immediately upon getting their tickets.

Miguel and I met after work at the Embarcadero BART station at 6:30. We took BART to Oakland, walked 2 blocks, and arrived at the theater around 6:45. There was a HUGE line formed around the building. When I went towards the will call tables that were set up in front, I was told to go to the line. When I asked about "Idiot Club Members", the guard smiled, and said, "Oh, that's different. You can go around the building the other way to your own special Will Call".

So, we walked around the corner, found the will call ticket booths, walked up to the "A-C" window (no line), gave my name, bought out tickets, and walked immediately into the auditorium. Apparently, the other club members had been waiting in here for the past 45 minutes. We were only in the auditorium for less than 2 minutes, when the doors opened!

The Fox Theater has standing-room-only floor space, closest to the stage, and arranged in three levels. We got a spot in the very front of the second level - about 40 feet from the stage, slightly raised (by about 2-3 feet) from the bottom level, and with a railing separating us from the people in front of us. I couldn't have been more perfect. (we could have gone to the lower level, closer to the stage (within 10 feet, easily) but I didn't want to get caught up in the mosh pit!) :)

We ended up standing by a couple of guys, who happened to be from Noe Valley (about a mile from my house). We talked to them and their SO's for the next two hours while we waited - talking about favorite concert experiences, and holding each other's places while the others went to get drinks. Pretty Fabulous.

We were given concert programs, which included the set list, as well as the lyrics to all the songs from the new album. We also knew that this evening's performance was being filmed for an upcoming DVD! :)


The Program, and my ticket (I am such a geek)

It was a full house. Totally sold out. I had heard that it sold out on Ticketmaster within 10 minutes. We wondered what the capacity of the Fox Theater was. I found out (on the web today) that it can hold 1,500 - 2,800 people, depending upon how the main floor area was being used. (ie: standing room only versus chairs, versus cabaret tables.)

The show started just after 9:00.

The band played for 2.5 hours straight.

AMAZING!

They said that they were going to play their entire new album (which they did). That was the first hour or so.


Opening song: "21st Century Breakdown"

After that, they played a second set which included songs off of American Idiot and Dookie. I was in Green Day Heaven.



The band was simply incredible. SO much energy, such great performers, and such great musicians. I had seen Green Day perform live at concerts 4 times since 1994. This was Miguel's first. He/we were simply blown away by this performance.

Billie Joe Armstrong is just an amazing performer. I've never seen a more charismatic front man. He totally draws you in, keeps you entertained, and his voice was just perfect all night. And really, the whole band was fantastic. You could tell that they were all really into it, and really excited to be playing to this crowd.

Here's an article I found on MSNBC.com that has a review of their show at the DNA Lounge from last Thursday. It looks like they played the same sets, so you can get an idea of the play list.

They finished the night by playing "Homecoming" off of American Idiot, which was of course so fitting since they are from Berkeley/East Bay, and they were playing to their home crowd. They made many references to that all night.



The concert finished around 11:30. They gave away posters as we left. I may have to hang one in my cabana. ;)

The new CD, 21st Century Breakdown comes out on May 15th. I can't wait!

...and yes. I know... I'm a total Green Day Groupie.:)

update:

Here's a good review on the show.

and another one from Rolling Stone

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