Band records live album; announces move to Colorado at packed show
Saturday was a big night for Denver Green Day fans. Why? Let's count the ways: 1. The band's set at Comfort Dental Amphitheatre ran nearly three hours and featured explosions, flamethrowers, costume changes and loads of crowd participation. 2. About an hour in, frontman Billy Joe Armstrong casually mentioned that the proceedings were being recorded for a live album (and, rumor has it, a concert DVD). 3. After 23 years in the San Francisco Bay area, the most popular pop-punk act in history is apparently moving to Colorado.
Details remain sketchy, but Armstrong repeatedly said during the show that Green Day was now a Colorado-based band, noting that he was "sick of the bullshit" associated with his former home. He altered the lyrics of many songs to reflect his new home state and even knocked out a verse of John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" at one point. The hometown crowd ate it up, making for one of the most raucous and crowded scenes to hit Comfort Dental so far this year.
Otherwise, the sprawling set could scarcely have been better arranged. Green Day belted out a mostly predictable series of hits from the recent albums "21st Century Breakdown" and "American Idiot." Then, just as Armstrong announced that the set was being recorded and the older fans were starting to lose patience, the band jumped in the way-back machine and did a dozen old songs, including a few from the 1992 album "Kerplunk." Quietly awesome tracks such as "King for a Day" finally got the full arena treatment, and the under-appreciated "Minority" emerged as the band's new rallying anthem.
The concert definitely had a "live album" feel to it. Most aspects were good: Davey Havok (from opening band AFI) joined Green Day onstage for a song; as did numerous fans, an accordionist and an Elvis impersonator. But eventually it seemed that the band was mugging just a bit too much for posterity's sake. And when they actually played their new track "Cigarettes and Valentines" twice because they didn't nail it the first time, it bordered on insulting.
Still, Green Day is one of the best, smartest rock bands around and Colorado is lucky to have them. Stay tuned to Metromix for more information about the band's move just as fast as we can run it down. — Matt Farley, Metromix